GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 10 Aug) – SM City General Santos, the 45th mall in the country of the Sy-led SM Prime Holdings, Inc., opened its doors to the public today.
SM Prime President Hans T. Sy graced the blessing of the 95,764-square meter, three-level mall on Thursday afternoon with a crowd of a few hundred that include the tenants, local government officials and business leaders.
City Mayor Darlene Antonino Custodio and South Cotabato First District Rep. Pedro Acharon Jr. joined Sy in cutting the ribbon to officially mark the launching of the grand opening day.
Sarangani Rep. Emmanuel Pacquiao and his wife Jinkee arrived after the mass presided by several priests from the Diocese of Marbel.
SM City General Santos is SM Prime’s first mall in SOCCSKSARGEN or Region 12, which groups the provinces of South Cotabato, North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and Sarangani and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato.
It occupies almost a block of San Miguel Street corner Santiago Boulevard here, dubbed as the “Tuna Capital of the Philippines.”
“We warmly welcome our valued customers to SM City General Santos, our first mall in the province of South Cotabato. With its thriving economy, General Santos provides an ideal venue for SM Malls as we see a huge potential for growth in the city,” Sy said in a statement.
SM City General Santos is already 80 percent occupied by various tenants, according to the statement.
The three-level shopping mall’s anchor tenants are SM Department Store and SM Supermarket. Other mall tenants include Watsons, Ace Hardware, Toy Kingdom, Breadtalk, Congo Grille, Classic Savory, Max’s, Tong Yang, Bench and Gymboree, among others.
SM City General Santos’ amenities include a food court, four cinemas with a combined seating capacity of 1,400 and parking slots for 1,500 vehicles.
General Santos, popularly called GenSan, is a highly urbanized first class city and the center of commerce and logistics of SOCCSKSARGEN. The city hosts a seaport and an airport.
SM City General Santos brings the total number of SM Prime malls to 45 all over the country, with a combined gross floor area (GFA) of 5.4 million square meters (sqms). It is the fourth SM mall to be opened this year, after SM City Olongapo in Zambales, SM City Consolacion in Cebu, and SM City San Fernando in Pampanga.
For the rest of 2012, SM Prime is scheduled to open SM City Lanang in Davao City and SM Chongqing in China.
By the end of this year, SM Prime will have 46 malls in the Philippines and five in China with an estimated combined GFA of 6.3 million sqms.
SM City General Santos opened after about two years of construction, bringing to four the major malls in the city. The others are KCC Mall of GenSan, Gaisano Mall and Robinsons Place General Santos. (Bong S. Sarmiento / MindaNews)