SM Prime Holdings Inc., one of Southeast Asia’s largest integrated development firms, wants to acquire Harrison Plaza from the local government of Manila.
Jeffrey Lim, chief finance officer of SM Prime, said they are presently negotiating with the City of Manila for the 10-hectare land.
Industry sources said talks between the city government and another interested developer bogged down, prompting the entry of SM Prime into the scene.
‘We are still in the process of negotiating. All parties must come to an agreement,” Lim said.
“It was offered first as part of a Swiss challenge for the property, but because the negotiation with the first party bogged down, SM is now the only one,” said another source who asked not to be named.
The 10-hectare property, one of the few remaining large tracks of government land in Manila, was acquired by the city government in 1970.
An existing long-term lease with the operator of Harrison Plaza mall will expire in 2021.
An SM Department Store is the main tenant of the commercial center which was quite popular in the 1970s to the 1980s.
SM Prime is also eyeing to reclaim 1,500 hectares of land for the municipality if Cordova in Cebu Province.
The deal, however, has yet to undergo the mandatory Swiss challenge.
SM Prime intends to double its net income to P32 billion by 2018 from P16 billion in 2014—the year the SM group consolidated its property businesses under SM Prime.
The company is earmarking P180 billion for capital spending in next three years to support its bottom line target.