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SM readies latest Tagaytay development

Posted on April 28, 2013 09:09:29 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ]
SM LAND, Inc., the property development and management unit of conglomerate SM Investments Corp. (SMIC), is set to open next month its first leisure-oriented development -- dubbed Sky Ranch -- in Tagaytay City.
A VIEW of Taal volcano from the ridge along Aguinaldo Highway -- seen in this photo taken on Nov. 21 last year — remains one of the country’s premier tourist attractions. -- JLC
 “Sky Ranch is targeted for opening by May 2013. It will be a leisure park that will offer the definitive Tagaytay experience to both local and foreign tourists, as well as provide a relaxing family retreat,” SM Land said in SMIC’s 2012 annual report released on Thursday last week.
According to SM Land, Sky Ranch sits on a five-hectare property beside Taal Vista Hotel -- operated by SM Land’s sister firm SM Hotels and Conventions Corp. -- along Aguinaldo Highway and will feature horseback riding facilities, an amusement park, gazebos, restaurants, and a 2,000-square-meter events tent.
The amusement park, which will include a 63-meter high Ferris wheel, will be operated by SM-controlled Family Entertainment Center, Inc., David L. Rafael, SM Land Commercial Properties Group senior vice-president, said in an interview following an SMIC briefing at SMX Convention Center, Pasay City last Thursday.
Upon completion, Sky Ranch will join SMIC’s three other developments in Tagaytay City: Wind Residences, a residential condominium under SM Development Corp.; Tagaytay Highlands, an upscale mountainside residential resort by affiliate Belle Corp.; and Taal Vista Hotel, formerly known as Taal Vista Lodge.
Tagaytay City, a 6,500-hectare, second-class city in the province of Cavite, according to its Web site, is known as the country’s so-called “Second Summer Capital” and is currently a significant tourist hot spot.
“Tagaytay City continues to be one of the major tourist destinations in the country. Apart from the view of Taal Volcano, Tagaytay (City) boasts of various attractions, such as historical landmarks, the Japanese Garden, the Tagaytay Highlands, People’s Park in the Sky, Picnic Grove and Livelihood Complex, and museums (Character Museum and Museo ng Tagaytay),” the city government said in its City Development Strategies report on its Web site.
Mr. Rafael said that a sequel development to Sky Ranch could be introduced later this year.
“We are cooking up something. Let’s just say we’re going to do certain formats that the SM Group has not been known for -- small developments, around only one hectare (each) -- but we can’t disclose yet. We could possibly launch one more this year,” Mr. Rafael said, without elaborating.
SM Land, known as Shoemart, Inc. until late 2008, is into property management and construction, as well as commercial and office space leasing. It is the holding company for non-mall, property-related subsidiaries and projects of the SM Group.
SM Land is currently building ThreeE-com Center, a premier office hub in the Mall of Asia Complex in Pasay City, as well as SM Cyber West Avenue, an eight-storey business process outsourcing center at the corner of EDSA and West Avenue in Quezon City.
SMIC, SM Land’s parent, is the listed holding company of the SM Group with interests in shopping mall development, retail merchandising, financial services, real estate development and tourism, as well as hotels and conventions.
SMIC has allotted roughly P65 billion -- a record figure -- for capital spending this year, up from P56.80 billion in 2012, mostly for mall development arm SM Prime Holdings, Inc. and condominium developer SM Development Corp.
Shares of SMIC gained P2.00 or 0.18% to P1,141.00 apiece on Friday last week from P1,139.00 last Thursday. -- Franz Jonathan G. de la Fuente

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