Cebu City to have its own ‘SM Mall of Asia’ by 2015

AFTER inaugurating its lifestyle mall in Bonifacio Global City last week, SM Prime Holdings Inc. announced that it is set to open its next premier shopping center in Cebu by 2015, casually referring to the project as the Mall of Asia in the South.

Jeffrey Lim, SM Prime executive vice president and chief financial officer, told reporters its third shopping center in Cebu will be part of the Henry Sy-led firm’s mixed-use development called SM Seaside City at the reclaimed South Road Properties (SRP).

“At the same time, we have a big property which is half the size of the Mall of Asia. It can be the Mall of Asia in the south,” Lim said.

“If you look at the total, it should be P20-25 billion for the total project: malls, convention center, hotel,” he said.

The total of cost of the new shopping center may reach P5 billion, given its area of 400,000 square meters.

Cebu is ready to host a premier development “because it is a progressive and developed city,” Lim said. SM Prime operates two malls in Cebu located in Barangay Lamac in Consolacion and the Cebu Port Center in Barrio Mabolo.

In May 2011, SM Prime said the Cebu SRP shopping mall will be a four-level complex and will feature a five-theater Cineplex, an IMAX theatre, an 18-lane bowling center, an ice skating, and a roof garden, among others. It will be the fourth biggest among the company’s Philippine malls after SM Megamall, SM City North Edsa, and the Mall of Asia.

Last week, SM Aura Premier, the company’s 47th mall in the Philippines, began commercial operations with Hollywood fashion icon Sarah Jessica Parker gracing its opening.

SM Aura has a gross floor area of 234,892 square meters, incorporating office towers, a chapel, a convention center, and mini-coliseum supported by a retail podium.

However, the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), which owned the property where SM Aura Premier was constructed, said the Taguig mall was “illegally” built because excavation for the property was done “without permission,” adding that “a poorly built retaining wall is jeopardizing the lives of nearby residents.”

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