SM DEVELOPMENT Corp. (SMDC) is keeping in step with the Sy group’s mall expansion into the provinces, as it plans to add 25,000 to 30,000 residential units in projects outside Metro Manila in the coming years.

The property development business of country’s richest man Henry Sy, Sr. said it has been propping up its land bank in Bulacan, Cavite, as well as in the Visayas and Mindanao regions.

SMDC looks to launch the projects as soon as permits are processed.

“So if you can see, we’re coming out of Metro Manila already. We have acquired a lot of property in Bulacan and Cavite area. We also have plans to launch in Iloilo, Bacolod, Cebu, where our malls are,” SMDC Executive Vice-President Jose Mari H. Banzon told reporters after the launch of its Cavite project called Green 2 Residences in Makati last week.

SMDC had initially projected to add 15,000 to 18,000 units, but said they could launch more as provincial projects will have a different price point.

“We are already moving towards the provinces and secondary cities so that mas marami siya, kasi mas maliit yung price point niya. So that the 15-18,000 will no longer apply, because in terms of value we need to launch siguro, it can reach 25,000 to 30,000 in the next few years,” Mr. Banzon explained.

While the price points will change, Mr. Banzon said these projects will still target the same market, half of which comes from overseas Filipino workers.

SMDC has so far launched four residential properties this year, including Green 2 Residences, a P3-billion condominium tower which marks their entry into Cavite. The residential building seeks to cater to the 20,000-strong student population coming from three major schools in the area.

Toward the fourth quarter, SMDC has four more projects in the pipeline.

“Ongoing na siya. If we can process the permits we will launch as soon as possible sa south, sa Visayas at Mindanao,” Mr. Banzon said.

SMDC’s push toward the provinces follows the SM group’s plan to put up more shopping malls outside Metro Manila. This strategy has benefited the company as provincial malls boosted earnings of SM Prime Holdings, Inc. by 15% in the first half of 2017 to P7.79 billion, on the back of a 10% increase in revenues to P43.25 billion.

For SMDC alone, revenues climbed 5% in the first semester to P13.91 billion, after delivering a 22% jump in reservation sales to P27.55 billion. — Arra B. Francia