LEGAZPI CITY: Five new malls are set to open in Bicol region within the year. Three of these malls will rise in Naga City in Camarines Sur, while two will open in Legazpi City in Albay. The cities of Legazpi and Naga are tightly competing as the center of trade and commerce in the region.
Naga City Mayor John Bongat identified the three malls as the Gaisano, Robinson Place, and the Starmall shopping complex.
Gaisano Naga is located at the city commercial hub at Panganiban Drive, Robinson Place along the Roxas Avenue, and Starmall at Del Rosario section beside the Government Service Insurance System regional office.
In Legazpi City, local giant Liberty Commercial Center (LCC) has partnered with the Ayala group to infuse P1 billion to build the Legazpi Modern LCC mall located right at the very center of the city commercial district and facing the LCC Metro, the first mall in the city. The new mall is expected to be operational by the end of this year.
On the other hand, the Gregorian Mall is being constructed at the Penaranda Park facing the Albay Capitol and Legazpi City Hall beside the Albay Cathedral at the old Albay district, some 700 meters from the Legazpi airport.
Mayor Noel Rosal confirmed that LCC’s P1 billion in fresh investment was reinforced by its tie-up with the Ayala Group. The Tan family of Tabaco City, where the first LCC was built some 40 years ago, owns LCC.
The Tan family is known as the pioneer of malls in Albay. In late ’90s, LCC branched out in Legazpi City with its LCC Metro, followed by another mall in Naga City.
Albay Gov. Joey Salceda said new investments are now pouring in Albay with the expected 2016 opening of the P4 billion Bicol International Airport located in Daraga town overlooking the Mayon volcano.