By Neil Jerome C. Morales (The Philippine Star) | Updated December 6, 2013 - 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines - Property firm Robinsons Land Corp. (RLC) is launching its 35th shopping mall in the country in line with its goal of beefing up its presence in the northern side of the National Capital Region.
The real estate arm of tycoon John Gokongwei Jr. said it will start commercial operations of Robinsons Place Malolos, its second mall in Bulacan, next week.
The new shopping mall forms part of RLC’s plan to put up more shopping centers in key cities north of Metro Manila.
“With its central location, we can expect that Robinsons Place Malolos will be able to serve the needs not just of Malolos but also the nearby towns and cities in the progressive province of Bulacan,” said Arlene Magtibay, senior vice-president and general manager of RLC’s commercial centers division.
Robinsons Place Malolos occupies a 2.6-hectare lot along MacArthur Highway, adjacent to all the commercial, educational, government institutions, hospitals, churches, and residential developments in the city.
The four-story shopping mall with a multi-level parking area has a gross floor area of 67,340 square meters (sqm), and gross leasable space of 27,093 sqm.
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Aside from its rich historical and cultural heritage, Malolos is a first class urban center that is rapidly becoming industrialized due to its proximity to Metro Manila. It is also the banking capital of Bulacan.
“Robinsons Place Malolos further beefs up RLC’s very strong presence in provinces to the north of Metro Manila,” Magtibay said.
RLC has shopping malls in major growth areas north of Metro Manila such as San Fernando and Angeles in Pampanga, Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac, Calasiao in Pangasinan and San Nicolas in Ilocos Norte.
Anchor tenants of Robinsons Place Malolos are Robinsons Supermarket, Robinsons Department Store, Handyman, Robinsons Appliance, South Star Drug and Robinsons Bank. Robinsons Movieworld will have four all-digital cinemas including a 3D cinema with a seating capacity of more than 1,000.
It will also offer a wide selection of restaurants and fastfood outlets, fashion boutiques, tech and service stores as well as health and beauty clinics.
Robinsons Place Malolos is the third Robinsons Mall to open this year, following Robinsons Place Butuan that opened late last month and Robinsons Town Mall Malabon that started operations last Wednesday.
For the October 2012 to June 2013 period of its fiscal year, RLC’s net income jumped 8.8 percent to P3.64 billion from P3.35 billion the previous year. Total real estate revenues surged 24.3 percent to P11.25 billion against P9.04 billion while hotel revenues gained 11.8 percent to P1.14 billion.
Aside from property, the Gokongwei family is also into retail (Robinsons Retail Holdings), budget airline (Cebu Pacific) and banking (Robinsons Bank Corp.), petrochemicals (JG Summit Petrochemicals Corp.), and snacks and beverage (Universal Robina Corp.).