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Villar Group goes into high-end malls

By Neil Jerome C. Morales (The Philippine Star) | Updated July 2, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Starmalls Inc., the listed commercial property development firm of the Villar family, is tapping the upscale and mass markets for its two new shopping mall brands.

In a briefing, Starmalls chairman Manuel B. Villar Jr. said the company has come up with shopping concepts Starmall Prima and Starmall Strip.

“Starmalls is determined to up the ante and raise the level of the mall experience for the Filipino by building higher quality malls with a more dynamic tenant mix, wider retail and service offerings, and interiors and exteriors inspired by the world’s more trend-setting commercial hubs,” he said.

Starmall Prima will offer a fresh take on mall design and function. It will also include an upgraded level of tenant mix.

The first Starmall Prima, a 55,000-square meter project, will be put up in Taguig.

Villar said Starmall Prima branches will also be put up in Sta. Rosa in Laguna and Molino in Cavite in the next two years.

Starmalls’ anchor branch along EDSA in Mandaluyong will eventually be converted to Starmall Prima, he said.

Starmalls is also introducing its community mall concept called Starmall Strip, similar to DoubleDragon Properties Corp.’s CityMall branches.

Villar said Starmall has identified close to 100 possible sites for Starmall Strips, which will be supported by communities developed by Vista Land & Lifescapes Inc., another Villar-led company.

Under the ongoing expansion program, Starmalls targets to open 22 shopping centers by 2017. The listed firm is opening Starmalls Daang Hari, Taguig and Sta. Rosa this year while 12 to 15 more shopping malls will be opened next year.

The company currently operates Starmall Alabang, Starmall EDSA-Shaw, Starmall Las PiƱas and Starmall Annex. Starmalls offers a one-stop family shop that caters to shopping, dining and recreation needs.

Thai mall developer Land & House, which owns an 11-percent stake in Starmalls, regularly sends officers to the Philippines to help in operations. Land & House owns the biggest home depot in Thailand.

In the first quarter this year, Starmalls earned 5.16 percent more at P128.94 million from P122.61 million a year ago as revenues climbed 25 percent to P453.88 million.

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