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Robinsons Land plans expansion of mall complex in Ilocos

Posted on December 16, 2012 09:48:06 PM [ Businessworld Online ]
PROPERTY DEVELOPER Robinsons Land Corp. plans to widen its existing Ilocos Norte complex to include a new wing separate from the existing mall and a budget hotel, citing strong retail demand in the northern Luzon province, the company said in a statement last Saturday.
  “We are building an expansion mall to accommodate strong demand for more commercial space,” Arlene G. Magtibay, Robinsons Land commercial center division general manager, said in the statement.
Robinsons Ilocos Norte, which opened in Dec. 2009, is Robinsons Land’s first mall in the Ilocos region, according to the company’s Web site.
The mall now has two floors and a total floor area of roughly 22,220 square meters, serving over half a million residents of Ilocos Norte and nearby towns.
Robinsons Land is expanding in the province despite its locals’ reputation for frugality.
“We had approached Ilocos Norte cautiously in the past, aware that Ilocanos are famous for being frugal. But we were pleasantly surprised that the mall has performed quite well and our customers are themselves the ones encouraging us to expand the mall,” Ms. Magtibay noted.
The new mall wing, to be located on a 1.8-hectare lot across Robinsons Ilocos Norte in San Nicolas town, is scheduled for groundbreaking tomorrow and will add 35,415 square meters in gross floor area and 16,000 square meters in gross leasable area, the statement read.
Upon completion, the new mall segment will feature air-conditioned and al fresco areas, garden landscaping, as well as two cinemas, several restaurants, retail stores, an activity and events area, and a four-level, 622-slot parking area.
It will be anchored on the second floor by tenants Robinsons Appliances and Handyman.
A food court will be located on a second-floor bridgeway connecting the new wing with the existing mall, Robinsons Land said.
A Robinsons Land-owned Go Hotel is also set to rise near the planned wing, but details on the proposed budget hotel were not immediately available.
Robinsons Land has developed a number of residential enclaves in Ilocos Norte’s capital of Laoag City: Hanalei Heights, a 22-hectare subdivision; Brighton Parkplace, a five-hectare subdivision jointly developed with the Ablan family; and Brighton Parkplace North, a 3.8-hectare subdivision jointly developed with the Lazo family.
The company has also developed Sittio Andalucia, a 7.5-hectare subdivision jointly developed with BCS Realty Holdings & Development Corp. in Bantay town in neighboring Ilocos Sur.
Robinsons Land, incorporated in 1980, is the property arm of listed conglomerate JG Summit Holdings, Inc.
It has built 32 malls, 33 residential projects and eight office buildings to date.
For the 2012 fiscal year -- which runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30 -- the company had allotted P13 billion for capital expenditures, slightly less than the previous year’s P13.9 billion, from cash operations and debt, Frederick D. Go, Robinsons Land president, said last April.
More than 60% of the funding was to be spent on malls, office buildings and hotels, while the remainder was for residential condominiums and housing units.
The company grew its net income by 10.16% to P3.36 billion in the nine months ending June from P3.05 billion last year on the back of improved revenues across all business segments.
Last week, the developer inked an initial deal with Okada-owned Universal Entertainment Corp. wherein it would take stakes in Okada-controlled Tiger Entertainment Resorts and Leisure Entertainment, Inc. and Eagle 1 Land Holdings, Inc., respectively. The deal, which is set for closing on Jan. 31 next year, will allow Robinsons Land to build commercial and residential facilities at Tiger Resorts’ planned Manila Bay Resorts integrated casino and resort complex.
Shares of Robinsons Land lost 15 centavos or 0.70% to P21.35 on Friday last week from P21.50 last Thursday. -- Franz Jonathan G. de la Fuente         

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