SM Mall GenSan opening looms, local economy seen to perk up

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/26 June) —The opening of the Sy-led SM Mall branch in this city, the “Tuna Capital of the Philippines,” is expected to further invigorate the local economy, a city hall official said on Tuesday.

The local government unit is bullish the entry of SM Mall will attract more investors to the city, the economic hub of Region 12, Avelmar Manansala, city hall media affairs officer, said.

“It will have a positive impact as more jobs will be generated, it will be good for Region 12,” he said.

Manansala said they have information that SM General Santos will have its grand opening on August 10, with the day before scheduled for the blessing of the shopping store.

Sought for comment, a company source said they will announce the opening date in due time, adding they can’t yet divulge the list of tenants.

Manansala said that local fruit and vegetable producers would benefit from the operation of the SM Mall as they have been tapped as suppliers.

The entry of SM in the city was likewise seen to attract more investors.

Recently, executives from Ayala Land, Inc. were in town for an “exploratory visit” and paid a courtesy call to Mayor Darlene Antonino-Custodio, Manansala said.

In Mindanao, Ayala Land operates the Abreeza Mall in Davao City.

The mayor told the Ayala executives that local mall players are also becoming aggressive with the entry of big Manila-based mall operators in the city, he said.

Currently, local mall operator KCC is building Veranza, an expansion of the KCC Mall of GenSan, and is reportedly set to open later this year.

The Gaisano Mall here has likewise renovated and expanded its shopping store.

In late 2009, Robinsons Place General Santos, reportedly with an investment of P2 billion, opened its doors to the public.

From the outside, the view of the SM Mall here, which sits in an eight-hectare property leased from the Salazar family, is almost complete.

Last September, the city government suspended construction works when a portion of the car park building collapsed, which left four workers injured. (Bong Sarmiento/MindaNews)