SM PRIME Holdings, Inc. will be opening a new mall in Olongapo City this Friday as it continues its provincial expansion.

In a statement issued Wednesday, the listed property developer said SM City Olongapo Central will offer 72,000 square meters of gross floor area. About 85% of its leasable space has already been awarded to tenants.

“Olongapo City remains as one of the fastest growing cities in Central Luzon creating a wonderful synergy on economical and sustainable development,” SM Prime President Jeffrey C. Lim said in a statement.

“SM City Olongapo Central will not only enhance the beauty of this thriving city, and its province, but will also create more jobs and business opportunities to locals who aspire to grow with our company.”

Located along Rizal Avenue in Barangay East Tapinac — considered Olongapo’s primary business district — SM City Olongapo Central will stand four stories tall with shopping, dining, and entertainment options.

The mall will house staple SM brands such as SM Supermarket, The SM Store, Our Home, Watsons, Uniqlo, Surplus, Sport Central, SM Appliance Center, Ace Hardware, BDO Unibank, Inc. and China Banking Corp.

It will also include amenities such as a food hall, cyberzone, wellness zone, six digital cinemas, a convention center, over 700 parking slots, and a sports entertainment venue.

The new mall marks SM Prime’s second project in Zambales after SM City Olongapo Downtown, and its 73rd in the country. This will be added to the company’s total gross floor area of 9.3 million square meters, including its seven malls in China.

SM Prime is scheduled to open three more malls before the year ends, namely SM Center Dagupan, SM City Butuan, and SM Mindpro Citimall. It is set to spend P80 billion in capital expenditures this year — 39% of which are for malls — to pursue its provincial expansion.

The company has also lined up the opening of seven malls in 2020, namely SM City Roxas, SM Calamba Turbina, SM Tanza, SM San Fernando in La Union, SM Laoag, SM Zamboanga, and SM Malolos.

Shares in SM Prime dropped 0.43% or 15 centavos to close at P34.50 each at the stock exchange on Wednesday. — Arra B. Francia