By Jenniffer B. Austria | Aug. 26, 2013 at 12:02am
Davao City — Shopping mall operator and developer SM Prime Holdings Inc. is building two more shopping centers in Mindanao to take advantage of the rapidly growing regional economy, a company executive said over the weekend.
SM Prime assistant vice president for Mindanao operations Debby Go said in an interview the two new shopping centers in the pipeline would rise in Butuan City and Cagayan de Oro City.
The Butuan shopping mall is slated for opening by 2014, to be followed by a new mall in Cagayan de Oro City, which would be the city’s second SM shopping center.
Go said the construction of the two newest retail centers had not yet started, as details including the gross leasable area and spending cost were being finalized.
The planned Butuan shopping mall will primarily cater to the Caraga region, which spans the provinces of Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur.
The second shopping center in Cagayan de Oro City is designed to attract the mass market, as it would be located in the downtown area.
SM currently has four shopping malls in Mindanao, including SM City Davao, which opened in 2011; SM Lanang Premiere, also located in Davao City which opened in 2012; SM City Cagayan de Oro, which opened in 2002; and SM City General Santos, which also opened in 2012, with 145,836 square meters of gross floor area.
The four existing malls accounted for 3 percent to 5 percent of SM Prime’s total revenues. The company said it planned to increase to double digit the revenue contribution of the four shopping malls over the short term.
The two existing shopping malls in Davao also offer office space for business process outsourcing, with SM City Davao having 2,300 square meters of gross lease area, while SM Lanang Premiere has 3,500 square meters of GLA, or 700 call center seats.
Tourism regional director Art Boncato Jr. said in an interview Davao was one of the fastest- growing regions in southern Philippines, accounting for 26.6 percent of the Mindanao economy last year.
Tourist arrivals in the region grew steadily over the past several years. Tourist arrivals reached 1.2 million in 2012, up 13 percent from 2011, while tourist arrivals in the first six months of 2013 rose 10 percent to 567,000.
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