BUTUAN CITY (MindaNews/26 Nov.) – Robinson Land Corporation (RLC) opened here their biggest and largest mall in Mindanao, on Monday morning.
With a total land area of 78,948.48 square meters, the mall boasts of a gross floor area of 40, 856.42 square meters with a gross leasable area of 26, 143.58 square meters good for over 200 tenants and a hotel.
Dorchee Salarza, operations manager pointed out that the mall will have the biggest occupancy in all of the branches in Mindanao.
“So far this is our biggest mall here in Mindanao, considering the size and the highest number of occupancy. All over the country, Robinson Land Corporation targets to open up five new mall branches this year. Next year more branches will be built all over Mindanao including in Tagum and in Iligan City,” said Salarza.
The mall, however, opened with only 36% of its tenants in operation and the major mall features such as the supermarket, department store and cinema were unable to catch up with the opening date.
“Actually this date is two weeks early than we anticipated. Supposedly we would open in December but we considered the need to be in full operation by December,” said Salarza.
The RLC official stressed that super typhoon Yolanda was also a major factor in the delay in the opening of several of the mall’s stores and facilities.
“We experienced delays in the shipment when Yolanda and Zoraida struck the country; the boats carrying our shipments were not able to leave their ports of origin,” she said.
She added they had to reduce the volume of their shipments in favor of humanitarian efforts for areas hit by the typhoon.
She said they opted to push with the opening as previously promised.
“We promised before that we would be opening on this date, November 25, and so we have to stand by our word. So far the reception of the people had been very overwhelming and the local government of the city has been very kind in lending their support. We target to have our department store section opened on November 29 and the supermarket to be opened on December 10,” she said.
A supervisor in one of the food outlets who asked not to be named said she was surprised that many people came for the opening.
“The number of people is so very overwhelming, and we are happy that we have opened today since our sales just skyrocketed. We are even having a hard time just trying to keep up with the number of people buying and with our deliveries,” the supervisor said.
The mall management said they will announce the grand opening in the first quarter of 2014 and hoped it would create a bigger impact on Butuan’s fiesta celebration on May 19. (Erwin Mascarinas/MindaNews)