SM to expand Mall of Asia
MANILA—SM Prime Holdings has earmarked as much as P1.5 billion to redevelop Mall of Asia, which will expand its selling area by about a third and become the country’s first shopping mall with a football field on its roofdeck.
The upgrading of Mall of Asia is part of SM Prime’s medium-term expansion program.
In 2015, four to five malls will open, including a new complex in Tianjin, China, expanding the group’s gross leasable area by about 8 percent, the company’s chief financial officer Jeffrey Lim told reporters on the sidelines of the ING-Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines’ CFO of the Year awarding ceremony on Wednesday.
SM Prime recently opened its 50th shopping mall in the Philippines: the 41,481-square-meter SM Center Angono in Rizal, bringing its total floor area to 6.4 million square meters —the largest in the country — in a span of less than three decades.
Capital spending for the expansion of Mall of Asia amounting to P1.2 to P1.5 billion will be spread out over the next two years, Lim said. The expansion is not expected to affect the mall’s current operations.
“Mall of Asia is already a mature mall so when we redevelop we will be able to get the (mature) rental rate. It’s not greenfield,” Lim said.
Once this large shopping mall fronting Manila Bay is expanded, it will have about 530,000 square meters of retail area, surpassing Megamall’s 490,000 sqms. Mall of Asia is thus expected to be SM Prime’s largest shopping mall and the largest in the country in two years’ time.
To date, SM Mall of Asia is already among the 10 largest shopping malls in the world. Two other SM malls – Megamall and North Edsa – are on this roster of giant malls.
The expanded Mall of Asia is expected to open to the public by 2017. Apart from adding one new floor to expand leasable space in the currently two-level mall, SM Prime plans to construct a football field on the fourth level.
Asked whether SM Prime would make money from having the football stadium, Lim said, “It’s really [a matter of] providing a venue,” adding that once constructed, “there won’t be a lot of operating cost.”
Lim said the football component of Mall of Asia was an “afterthought.” The popularity of football in the country has increased in recent years.
Moving forward, Lim said, SM Prime would like to grow its gross leasable area “within the range” of 8 percent each year.
In China, alongside the opening of the Tianjin mall, SM Prime is now planning to undertake residential projects, the first of which will be beside the existing mall in Chengdu in Sichuan province.
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