MANILA, Philippines — SM Prime Holdings is investing close to P1.4 billion to expand its shopping mall in Bacolod City, the capital of Negros Occidental.
In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange on Tuesday, SM Prime said the expansion would be done in two phases starting this year through 2014 and will involve the construction of an annex building, which will add 102,043 square meters of gross floor area (GFA) to the main SM City Bacolod mall.
This will bring total gross floor area in the Bacolod mall to 171,380 square meters . The annex will offer 81,204 square meters of gross leasable area and is expected to provide employment for an additional 2,000 people, the disclosure said.
SM Prime president Hans Sy said this expansion was SM Prime’s way of “paying tribute to the residents of Bacolod City and of nearby areas.”
“This expansion clearly manifests SM Prime’s steadfast commitment to assist in the further development and progress of the city through increased tax payments to the local government, as well as by providing residents an improved destination mall and a highly viable venue for business and commerce. Our continuing business expansion only affirms our commitment to provide for better retail facilities and services in cities and municipalities that are fast emerging from greater economic stability fueled by remittances from overseas workers and the growth in the business process outsourcing [BPO] sector,” Sy said.
The mall is located on Rizal Street in the Reclamation Area of Bacolod City. SM Prime first opened in Bacolod in March 2007, its third mall in the Visayas, in addition to existing SM City Cebu and SM City
SM City Bacolod originally had 71,759 square meters of gross floor area and was divided between two structures—Buildings A and B—anchored by SM Department Store and SM Supermarket. There are also
Bacolod-based tenants such as Deco’s La Paz Batchoy, Bob’s Restaurant, and Chicken Deli.
The Sys have already invested P1.6 billion in the existing mall in Bacolod which currently provides employment to 3,000 people.
Bacolod City is also referred to as the City of Smiles and is known for its MassKara Festival held every October. Bacolod City was cited for having the most business-friendly local government unit in the Visayas for 2006. The city is a major venue for commerce and finance in the province and hosts several notable BPO companies.
Bacolod enjoys a “hall of fame” status as the cleanest and greenest highly urbanized city in the Philippines.
Earlier this year, SM Prime opened SM City Olongapo in Zambales. For
the rest of 2012, SM Prime is scheduled to launch SM City Lanang in Davao City, SM City General Santos in South Cotabato, SM City Consolacion in Cebu, SM City San Fernando in Pampanga and SM Chongqing in China.
By the end of 2012, SM Prime expects to have 46 malls in the Philippines and five in China with an estimated combined gross floor area of 6.3 million square meters.