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Robinsons, Starmall ready expansion beyond Manila

Posted on April 15, 2012 09:43:05 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ]

TWO MALL developers with key sites in Metro Manila have announced plans to further expand their respective portfolios into the provinces, citing attractive growth prospects outside the capital.

Listed Robinsons Land Corp., the property arm of the Gokongwei family, is looking to complete its first mall in Roxas City, Capiz province in the third quarter next year in a bid to strengthen its presence in the Visayas area and exploit the booming economy there, it said in a statement last week.

“Robinsons Land continues to be bullish about the growth prospects of the Visayas region, and the construction of a new mall in Capiz is an affirmation of our commitment to the region’s economic growth,” Frederick D. Go, Robinsons Land president and chief operating officer, said in the statement.

Currently, Robinsons Land’s mall network in the Visayas includes two malls in Bacolod City, two in Cebu City, and one each in the cities of Iloilo, Dumaguete, and Tacloban, in addition to flagship malls Robinsons Galleria and Robinsons Place Manila.

The new mall dubbed Robinsons Place Roxas will rise on a 75,000-square-meter lot in the 150-hectare Pueblo de Panay complex, an emerging commercial development that will soon feature the city’s newly-transferred provincial hospital, police station, as well as jeepney and bus transportation terminals.

Upon completion, Robinsons Place Roxas will feature two stories with a total gross floor area of 40,100 square meters and over 700 parking spaces, as well as sufficient area for future expansions.

Shares of Robinsons Land rose by 2.57% to P16.78 last Friday from P16.36 at its previous close.

Meanwhile, the Starmall Group, the unlisted mall operating arm of the Villar family, is aiming to spend P15 billion over the next five years to bankroll its nationwide expansion plans, beginning with a mall in Bulacan province, the so-called “northern gateway of Manila,” a separate statement released over the weekend showed.

Starmall San Jose del Monte, which opened its doors to shoppers yesterday, is the latest addition to its present mall line-up, joining Starmall Las Piñas, Starmall EDSA Shaw, Starmall Alabang, and Worldwide Corporate Center.

“Starmall San Jose del Monte is set to change the shopping preferences of Bulakeños, making it one of the most desired destinations in all of Bulacan,” the Starmalls Group said.

With the new three-storey mall’s total lot area of 52,522 square meters, the Starmall Group’s combined mall portfolio area now measures 400,000 square meters.

The mall will feature supermarket giant Puregold and Villar-led bargain store Finds Department Store and Metro Home Depot.

Visayas and Mindanao may be the next expansion sites, the company said without elaborating. -- Franz Jonathan G. de la Fuente

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