• SM sets P10-B expansion for existing malls


    For the expansion of its five existing malls alone, the Henry Sy-led SM Group is allocating as much as P10 billion in line with the opening of the new segment of its existing mall in Ortigas, which is now the largest SM mall in the country.

    Hans Sy, president of SM Prime Holdings Inc., said on Tuesday in an interview with reporters during the launch of building D of SM Megamall that the SM Group is gearing up with the expansion of some existing SM malls.

    “It’s the economy that we are positive. We don’t wait for the economy to grow before we expand but we are looking positively at the economy. As we said, even doomsayers say it is sustainable or not. We are confident that it is sustainable,” he said.

    Specifically, the group is expanding its SM malls in North Edsa, Quezon City; Lipa, Batangas; Taytay, Rizal; Bacolod City, Negros Occidental; as well as the Mall of Asia (MOA) in Pasay City.

    Jeffrey Lim, president and chief operating officer of SM Development Corp., said that the expansion of these malls will be completed within the next two years, except for MOA, of which expansion will be completed in exactly the year 2016.

    The group is also looking to add an office building in each of its Taytay and North Edsa mall complex.

    “[For our business process outsourcing offices] right now, [the expansion is]minimal, but we are growing into that, one of the growth areas are in Taytay and North Edsa,” Sy said.

    “These are all new buildings, not on top of shopping malls,” he added.

    Lim specified that including the P1-billion to P2-billion expansion of MOA and the additional offices developments in its existing mall complex, the SM Group will spend as much as P10 billion.

    For the group’s mall portfolio in China, Sy said that it may fast-track the opening of its mall in Tianjin, China, within this year, which would be exclusive of the opening of its mall in Xibo, still in China.

    “Our main interest is still here in the Philippines. China is a growth story but our focus is still here,” Sy said.

    “We are targeting to open Tianjin this year. [We are] trying to accelerate [the construction],” he added.

    In total, the SM property group will be allotting around P36-billion capital expenditure for this year.

    “This year, we will be spending around P36 billion,” Lim said, specifying that 70 to 75 percent of this amount will go to shopping malls.

    “We are still trying to acquire more properties. We will definitely try to look for land banking,” he added.

    On Tuesday, the 86,000-square meter new wing of SM Megamall called Mega Fashion Hall opened.

    “This is the first Fashion Hall. We wanted to show the upgraded look [of Megamall],” Sy said.

    “This is a new concept we are really trying to introduce, it’s the inspirational side. A lot of our big malls, we will separate a part
    for this concept, even existing malls,” he added.

    According to Steven Tan, SM Supermalls vice president for operations, 90 percent of the Mega Fashion Hall will allocated for international retail brands, such as famous Swedish clothing brand H&M, among others.
    “After this opening, Megamall will be the biggest mall in the country,” Tan said.


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