GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/24 July) – The Sy-led SM City mall branch in this city, the “Tuna Capital of the Philippines,” will finally open for business on August 10.
The blessing – only for top company officials, tenants and selected guests – will be on August 9, a company source said.
Giant tarpaulins announcing the opening date has been posted in various places in the city as well as in neighboring towns of South Cotabato and Sarangani provinces.
SM City General Santos, which has been under construction for about two years, is expected to further invigorate the local economy, said Avelmar O. Manansala, city hall media affairs officer.
The local government unit is bullish the entry of SM City will attract more investors in the city, the economic hub of Region 12, he added.
“It will have a positive impact as more jobs will be generated. It will be good for Region 12,” he said.
Manansala said that local fruit and vegetable producers would benefit from the operation of the SM mall as they have been tapped as suppliers.
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, according to Manansala.
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 S. Sarmiento / MindaNews)