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SM Investments planning entertainment center in Tagaytay

Posted on November 26, 2012 10:49:05 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ]
By Franz J. G. de la Fuente, Reporter

TAGAYTAY CITY -- Sy-led SM Investments Corp. aims to further grow its property footprint in Tagaytay City with a new “entertainment center,” a senior official of the company said over the weekend.

“Adjacent to this land, you can see some development. It is a six-hectare development attached to this lot, to be called Tagaytay Sky Ranch,” Jose T. Sio, SM Investments executive vice-president and chief finance officer, said in an interview on the sidelines of the Media Nation 9 conference at Taal Vista Hotel, Tagaytay City last Saturday, when asked about the company’s plans in the area.

“It will be composed of horse-riding [facilities] and other components like a gazebo, gardens, a Ferris wheel, a few commercial spaces and restaurants. It will be an entertainment center, almost a city by itself.

We’re going to have a soft opening by December,” Mr. Sio said.

Tagaytay City, a 6,500-hectare, second-class city in the province of Cavite, has long been positioned as “one of the major tourist destinations in the country,” according to its official Web site. Tourist attractions include historical landmarks, the Japanese Garden, Tagaytay Highlands, People’s Park in the Sky, as well as Picnic Grove and Livelihood Complex.

SM Investments currently has three developments in Tagaytay City:

Wind Residences, a residential condominium under SM Development Corp.; Tagaytay Highlands, an upscale mountainside residential resort under Highlands Prime, Inc.; and Taal Vista Hotel, formerly known as Taal Vista Lodge, under SM Hotels and Conventions Corp.
Mr. Sio described the planned Tagaytay Sky Ranch, which will be managed by SM Hotels and Convention upon its completion, as a potential tourism attraction.

“We will be complementing Tagaytay Picnic Grove… This is a place that you simply cannot replace as it is overlooking Taal Volcano,” Mr. Sio said.

At the same time, Mr. Sio said that there was still room for expansion at Taal Vista Hotel, whose last renovation in 2008 saw rooms double to 261 from 128, and the addition of a 1,000-seater ballroom.

“We still have space for development here,” Mr. Sio said without elaborating.

SM Investments remains bullish in its outlook for the next three years due to a growing economy.

“It’s ‘all go’ for next three years. It’s all growth -- it will be all positive for the malls, retail, banking, the property and hotel [units].

Everything will be a go, and I think this is what we also feel about the Philippine economy,” Mr. Sio said.

SM Investments, which plans a record P65-billion capital expenditure next year, grew its net income by 14% to P16.1 billion as of September from the P14.2 billion earned in the same nine months last year.

Shares of SM Investments rose by P1.50 or 0.18% to P837.50 apiece yesterday from P836.00 on Friday last week.
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