Company plans to open 44 more of the up-and-coming mall brand next year
Listed property developer DoubleDragon Properties Corporation plans to acquire 24 property sites for its CityMall retail centers and open all its malls currently under development in 2017, as it moves towards it goal of launching 100 CityMalls by 2020, the head of the company said in an interview last week.
DoubleDragon Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Edgar Sia II told reporters that the company is looking to secure the properties it needs to meet its goal of operating 100 CityMalls by 2020.
“Within two years, we aim to complete the 100 sites. Two years from now, all the hundred sites in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao will have been secured,” Sia said.
To date, DoubleDragon has acquired 54 sites for its CityMall locations, with 10 already operational, 29 in various stages of construction, and the remaining 15 in the planning and preparation stage.
Sia said that the firm aims to have the 54 properties completed and operational by the end of next year, but added that the opening schedules of the malls may vary depending on the tenants.
“We’ll also adjust our opening date based on the tenants’ schedule,” the chairman said.
Average occupancy of the 10 operating CityMalls is at 96 percent, according to Sia.
“So if we continue the same pace, we can be able to complete the 100 within two years,” Sia said.
Sia noted that on average, the company secures around two CityMall sites per month in the past two years. This translates to around 24 CityMall sites per year.
Asked if the company is already looking at potential CityMall sites, Sia noted that the firm is simultaneously searching for properties while building its CitMalls.
“It’s [potential sites]in areas that I’m quite familiar with, especially in the Visayas and Mindanao region,” Sia said.
The roll out of 100 CityMalls across the country by 2020 will create about 700,000 square meters of leasable retail space. Along with the completion of the 280,000-sqm DD Meridian Park in Bay City and the 47,000-sqm Jollibee Tower in Ortigas, this will contribute to the company’s goal of building one million square meters of leasable space target by 2020.
“So far, we’ve progressed quite okay in the past two years. Most of the difficult part has already passed our back. So we’re looking forward to the next two to three years to have an even more great exciting year,” the chairman said.
Sia emphasized that the first five years of a company is always the most difficult part.
“Just like raising a child, the infancy stage is the most challenging part, but also the most rewarding part. And most of the efforts in the two years will be our foundation for the next several years,” Sia said.
CityMalls is a community mall format located in provincial areas. It is 66 percent owned by DoubleDragon and 34 percent owned by SM Investments Corp. (SMIC).
Earlier this month, DoubleDragon announced that it is partnering with ABS-CBN Corporation for the roll out of cinemas in its CityMalls across the county.