ARANETA CITY (ACI, Inc.) is setting the opening of its New Gateway Mall in Quezon City by the fourth quarter after it topped off the eight-story building yesterday.

In a ceremony at the project’s site in Cubao, ACI said it is around 60% done with the P3-billion project, which will extend the existing Gateway Mall along General Roxas Avenue.

“We should be ready to turn over the spaces for the tenants to do their own construction probably late July or early August. But the supermarket, our target is to turn it over by end-May,” ACI Management Consultant Rowell L. Recinto told reporters after the ceremony.

Together with the old mall, the New Gateway Mall will form the 190,000-square meter mixed-use complex with spaces for more than 400 shops, more than 100 restaurants and 18 cinemas. It will also have a supermarket taking up 3,700 square meters of the mall’s floor area.

“The difference with this mall is it is going to give our area the nightlife activity that we do not have,” Mr. Recinto said. “Our target mix here is a blend of the familiar with the introduction of the new. We will have your usual brands, but we are also trying to introduce new brands, new concepts, both in dining and fashion.”

Aside from commercial spaces, the mall will also have a 500-seater, air-conditioned chapel and a 700-square meter atrium for events. It is located directly beside the Smart-Araneta Coliseum — a common venue for sporting events and concerts — which Mr. Recinto said makes it a prime spot to cater to late night guests.

Moving forward, ACI is hoping to redevelop the rest of the spaces in the Araneta complex for commercial and office purposes. This includes the spaces currently taken up by Shopwise, Ali Mall, Farmer’s Plaza and Farmer’s Market.

“Shopwise is going to be mixed-use. We haven’t really decided what to do with the Farmer’s area. Madami pang [There’s still plenty of] opportunities, like Ali Mall. Farmer’s Plaza is an opportunity. The flower garden right in front of Farmer’s Market is also an opportunity. There’s still a lot of land here,” Mr. Recinto said.

ACI’s property in Quezon City sits at the center of transportation hubs linking the area to different business districts and residential communities. The New Gateway Mall will be within walking distance from bus, jeepney and utility vehicles (UV) express terminals and stations of both the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 and Light Rail Transit Line 2. — Denise A. Valdez