SM opens 5th mall in ChinaBy Doris C. Dumlao
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—Tycoon Henry Sy has boosted his portfolio of shopping malls in mainland China with the opening of SM City Chongqing in southwest China on Friday, the group’s fifth in Asia’s largest economy.
SM Prime Holdings Inc. disclosed on Thursday that SM City Chongqing, located in the Yubei district, has a gross floor area (GFA) of 149,080 square meters, 85 percent of which has already been awarded to various tenants. The new mall is a one-building structure with five levels.
The group’s four earlier shopping malls in China were located in Xiamen, SM City Jinjiang, SM City Chengdu and SM City Suzhou.
“We are very pleased to open our fifth mall in China, SM City Chongqing, as we provide mall-goers with a one-stop shopping, dining and leisure destination. We believe Chongqing is a significant market given the city’s huge population and its attractive growth prospects. As we learn more about the market and gain acceptance in China, we intend to penetrate other cities that show promising economic progress. After Chongqing, the pipeline includes the launching of Zibo and Tianjin in 2014,” SM Prime president Hans Sy said in a press statement.
SM Prime said that with its strategic location and transport accessibility, the new mall will serve a population of about 30 million residents in the city of Chongqing and offer a mix of local and international stores. The major tenants are Vanguard Supermarket, SM Department Store and Wanda Cinema. Junior tenants include Vero Moda, Only, Jack & Jones, Starbucks, Watsons and Kidswant.
The company described the exterior design of SM City Chongqing as featuring fish scale panels accentuated by lightings while its interior “has slanted glass panels that define lobbies that help create grand entrance ambiance.”
Chongqing has several economic and technological development zones and is a major railway hub. The city also boasts of cultural heritage and natural attractions, and is the starting point for the Yangtze River cruise, which explores the impressive scenery of China’s famous Three Gorges.
SM City Chongqing is the sixth SM mall to be opened by SM Prime this year after SM City Olongapo in Zambales, SM City Consolacion in Cebu, SM City San Fernando in Pampanga, SM City General Santos in South Cotabato and SM Lanang Premier in Davao. This completes its programmed expansions for 2012.
SM Prime now has a total of 51 SM malls in the Philippines and in China, with a combined gross floor area of 6.3 million sqm.