Corporate News

SM plans building a mall in Tacloban

Posted on November 21, 2014

TACLOBAN CITY -- SM Prime Holdings, Inc. is scouting for a property here on which to build its first SM mall in Eastern Visayas region, its president said.

The SM Group established its footprint in the region with the opening yesterday of SaveMore, a three-level neighborhood grocery store with about 60 tenants.

Hans T. Sy, SM Prime president, said the opening of SaveMore would help them “see and understand the market better.”

“Tacloban is always really part of our plan. In fact, this is just the first step. We will be opening a real mall here. We’re just trying to consolidate all properties,” Mr. Sy told reporters.

He confirmed that they have been scouting for properties in the last three months.

“We have been doing survey, study, and negotiations for the last three months here. We’re confident that it will go well, but we’re trying to really acquire bigger lands with at least five hectares,” he said.

Mr. Sy said they were looking at an SM mall with a gross floor area of around 45,000 square meters and an estimated cost of P1 billion.

The opening of SaveMore Tacloban was delayed by about six months due to problems in logistics following the devastation caused by typhoon Yolanda in November last year.

“We overshot our budget because of the delay and logistics issues, but it did not discourage us,” Mr. Sy added.

The three-level outlet is located along Justice Romualdez Street, across Gaisano Capital. Construction of SaveMore Tacloban started in May 2013, but was suspended after the typhoon.

About 70% of the 60 tenants also opened yesterday. The rest will open before the year ends, Mr. Sy said. Tenants include Ace Hardware, SM Appliance, Watsons, restaurants, mobile phone shops.

“Right now, not all tenants are operating because everybody is having a hard time trying to come over. We always wanted to open the right tenants or those being the first in Tacloban,” Mr. Sy said. -- Sarwell Q. Meniano