DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/ 15 Feb) — The Henry Sy-led SM Supermalls will construct five new malls in the next three years in Mindanao with a potential to generate 15,000 jobs, Oliver John Tiu, SM Supermalls vice president for operations-Mindanao, said.
Tiu told reporters during a business forum Tuesday that the new constructions will bring to nine its total number of malls in Mindanao by end of 2020.
SM Supermalls has 60 malls nationwide, four of them in Mindanao — two in Davao City (SM City Davao in Ecoland and SM Lanang Premier in Lanang) and one each in General Santos and Cagayan de Oro cities.
Tiu said the five malls they will construct will be an additional branch each in Davao City (Toril), and Cagayan de Oro. Toril; another in Cagayan de Oro; and one each in the cities of Zamboanga, Butuan and Tagum.
Tiu could not say how much will be poured in for the new developments but he estimated that each mall normally costs around P2 billion.
Mindanao’s first SM mall is SM City Davao, referred to by residents as “SM Ecoland.” It was inaugurated on November 17, 2001.
Tiu said a rosy outlook has been projected for Mindanao after the election of President Rodrigo Duterte who has repeatedly encouraged businessmen to locate in the island.
He also pointed to the increased purchasing power of the Mindanawons as another factor behind the plan to put up more SM malls here.
He said the firm saw a nine percent growth in 2016 in Mindanao, compared with the seven percent national growth target.
According to Bloomberg.co, the SM Supermalls’ holding company, the SM Prime Holdings, Inc., “develops, operates, and maintains shopping center spaces for rent, amusement centers, or cinema theaters in the Philippines and China. The company operates through four segments: Mall, Residential, Commercial, and Hotels and Convention Centers.”
Lynette Angala-Lopoz, SM City Davao mall manager, said SM Development Corp. (SMDC), the property development arm of SM Prime, will also build a four eight-storey condominiums with carpark buildings in Ecoland, this city by middle of this year.
Engr. Nick D. Santos, SM City Davao assistant mall manager, said they continue to do innovations for SM City, this being the first mall in Mindanao area and the 11th in the country.
“We have brought in a lot of improvements for SM City Davao by bringing in more brands here,” he said.
Lopoz said that they are hoping some 45 new tenants will open in this branch, including some global brands. (Antonio L. Colina IV/ MindaNews)