With an established shopping mall culture and a property sector that continues to rise, Philippine retail real estate is expected to thrive in 2017 and beyond
Whether visited for retail therapy, to escape the heat of the outdoors, or simply to spend time with friends and family, shopping malls and other commercial spaces continue to be one of the most frequented places in the various cities and municipalities of the Philippines.
While a number of new retail and lifestyle centers have opened this year, the country’s mall culture will certainly continue to thrive in 2017, as a number of developers are also giving rise to new and innovative retail real estate projects, and subsequently expanding the viability of the market for investors, retailers, and other business owners.
Based on data from global estate consulting firm Colliers International Philippines, Ayala Land has the most retail real estate projects in the pipeline as 2016 draws to a close. After recently entering Bicol Region this past April with the opening of Ayala Malls Legazpi, Ayala Land will soon open Vertis Mall, a new high-end retail center being marketed as the Greenbelt of Quezon City. The development is projected to give the company a gross leasable area (GLA) of 47,000 sqm.
Ayala Land is also set to open The 30th, a shopping center with a GLA of 28,000 sqm, in Pasig, not too far from competitors SM Megamall and Robinsons Galleria. The company is also scheduled to open the remaining portion of BHS Central in Pasay City, as well as work toward the completion of the South Park District Mall in Alabang, which is deemed to be just as big as Vertis Mall. Its most ambitious project, however, is the highly anticipated new mall within the 100-hectare Entertainment City of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR) in Parañaque.
Not too far away from SM’s Mall of Asia in Pasay is Federal Land’s upcoming new shopping destination, Blue Wave Mall. An addition to Federal Land’s already established Blue Bay Walk, Blue Wave Mall, is set to provide the property arm of GT Capital Holdings a GLA of 34,000 sqm. It is due to open before the end of 2016.
Federal Land is also currently building its Big Apple Mall that will serve as the central commercial complex of Veritown Fort, a project by the developer being marketed as “a one-of-a-kind New York–inspired community” at the northern section of Bonifacio Global City.
SM Prime Holdings
SM Prime only has a few retail real estate projects in the pipeline for the year’s end, starting with the projected opening of Cherry SM Congressional in Quezon City. The project stemmed from SM Prime’s acquisition of Cherry Foodarama in 2015, with Cherry SM Shaw in Mandaluyong officially opening earlier this year. The Henry Sy–owned company is also set to open SM East Ortigas before the end of 2016, which will have SM Prime ending the year with 60 malls in the Philippines.
In 2017, the company will be seen to expand further outside Metro Manila. The new SM supermalls set to open next year include SM CDO2 Premier in Cagayan de Oro (174,399 sqm), SM City Puerto Princesa in Palawan (65,073 sqm), SM City Urdaneta in Pangasinan (46,570 sqm), SM Center Ormoc in Leyte (28,408 sqm), SM City Tuguegarao in Cagayan (25,890 sqm), and Cherry SM Antipolo (22,777 sqm).
Double Dragon Properties
Having already opened eight CityMall centers and secured 53 sites for future development, last September, Double Dragon announced its plans to build a network of 100 neighborhood-style shopping malls across the Philippines by 2020. The announcement was followed by the opening of a CityMall in Cotabato, a location west of Davao City. It was the first major mall in this district.
Next in the developer’s pipeline is a CityMall at the 116-hectare Northtown residential complex being developed by Alsons Development and Investment in the northeastern part of Davao. It has also been reported that 70 out of the 100 malls initially planned by Double Dragon will be built in different areas in Visayas and Mindanao.
In 2015, at the 4th Asia Pacific Real Estate Investment Summit held in Parañaque, Robinsons Land made it known that it had plans to open 10 new provincial malls in the two years that followed. Two of these 10 planned malls have so far come to fruition, with the Gokongwei-owned company opening the 4.7-hectare Robinsons Galleria Cebu complex in December of 2015, and then the 64,000-sqm Robinsons Place Tagum in Tagum City, Davao del Norte, in early 2016.
In July, Robinsons Land also announced the completion of its mall expansion in San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte, opening a new lifestyle wing and business process outsourcing (BPO) offices in Robinsons Place Ilocos. The company is scheduled to open five new malls in 2017: in Ormoc City, Leyte; Tuguegarao, Cagayan; Naga City; Valencia, Bukidnon; and Kabankalan, Negros Oriental. Robinsons Land has also been reported to have lined up future mall developments in Cabanatuan City; Calbayog, Samar; Abucay in Tacloban City; and Pavia, Iloilo.
In 2015, Andrew Tan’s Megaworld Corp. announced plans to open multiple shopping malls in the foreseeable future—21 by the year 2020 to be exact. Since the announcement, Megaworld has opened new malls and commercial centers in its various integrated townships, particularly Uptown Bonifacio (Uptown Mall) and McKinley Hill (Venice Grand Canal Mall) in Fort Bonifacio, Mactan Newtown (Plaza Magellan) in Lapu-Lapu City, and Twin Lakes between Tagaytay and Laurel, Batangas.
The developer is reportedly scheduled to open two more shopping centers before the end of 2016: Festive Walk Mall in Iloilo Business Park and Southwoods Mall, which is in the developer’s Southwood City township in Biñan, Laguna. Another vast integrated township is scheduled to be launched before the end of 2016, bringing the company’s number of townships across the country to 22.
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