• SM Prime pushes China residential project

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    PROPERTY conglomerate SM Prime Holdings Inc. is pushing ahead with its first residential project in China despite the economic problems now facing the world’s second largest economy.

    A company official said the problem in China is more about the stock market, not the retail market, adding that SM Prime would be able to withstand the problems that may be caused by the stock market crisis.

    The residential development in Chengdu, China is located next to the SM Chengdu Mall, SM Prime Executive Vice President Jeffrey C. Lim, told reporters, saying the company is now in the process of securing the construction the permit for the project.

    ”That is the property that we have right now, which has a residential component. Usually, in all of these developments, we had to do the shopping center component first before we go into residential so that we will have the anchor,” Lim said.

    The project will have four towers, but SMDC will start with one.

    Subsidiary SM Development Corporation (SMDC) is now working on the planning and design of the buildings in line with the expected levels of occupancy, Lim noted.

    “We are still trying to determine in terms of the occupancy level of the building that we will open,” he said.

    Lim noted that the condo units in Chengdu are bigger compared to the residential units in the Philippines.

    “It’s a bit bigger than the Philippines… Here, we’re looking at about 24 square meters. In China, we’re looking at a minimum of 40-50 square meters,” he said.

    SM Prime is operating several malls in China, particularly in Xiamen, Jinjiang, Suzhou, Chongqing and Zibo.

    In April, the company announced plans to expand its mall and residential projects in China.

    After Chengdu, the company intends to break ground in Xiamen and Jinjiang. All its residential projects will be adjacent to existing SM malls.

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