After 10-yr negotiation, SM Prime to build mall in Cabanatuan City Friday, July 6, 2012
GMA NEWS by MARC JAYSON CAYABYAB
After a decade-long negotiation, SM Prime Holdings Inc. is finally pushing through with its plan to build a mall in Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija.
The country’s largest mall developer has been eyeing to set up an SM City in Cabanatuan since 2002 but negotiations with the city government fell through reportedly due to stiff opposition from local mall operators.
SM Prime executive vice president Jeffrey Lim denied there was any opposition to the development in Cabanatuan.
Lim on Thursday told GMA News Online in an e-mail interview that negotiations were delayed because their initial plan to develop a property along Diversion Road in Cabanatuan was moving at a very slow pace.
“That’s why we just decided to put the project on hold until the market is there,” Lim said.
SM Prime then transferred its mall site to an 8.5-hectare commercial site along the National Highway in Barangay Hermogenes Concepcion, which became available in 2009, according to the company executive.
“This was more appropriate than the former property for a shopping mall type of development given its proximity to the city center and the infrastructure surrounding the area,” Lim noted.
The planned SM City Cabanatuan is a four-story building in a 1.8-hectare area. Some 2.4 hectares will be allocated for a transport terminal that includes a bus bay.
The six-month construction phase is expected to start this year.
A perspective of the project designed by architect Jose Siao Ling & Associates depicts the floor areas for the first three floors account for least 2.1 hectares, 1.8 hectares for the fourth floor, and 5,000 sqm for the roof deck.
Among the anchor tenants expected in the mall are SM Supermarket, SM Department Store, Jollibee, Chowking, Greenwich, Pizza Hut, KFC, and Mang Inasal, BDO, Watsons, Ace Hardware, National Bookstore, Ideal Vision, Bench and Penshoppe.
SM City Cabanatuan will include a cyberzone, food court, fashion boutiques, shoe stores, bookstores, jewelry stores, novelty stores, cinemas and parking slots for hundreds of vehicles.
Controlled by the family of mall magnate Henry Sy Sr., SM Prime has negotiated with the Macapagal family and Roderick Perdigon for the acquisition of other lots in the proposed mall site adjacent to the Wheeltek Motor Display Center and NE Superbodega. Other business establishments in the area are Goodyear, Nissan, Yamaha, Petron and RCM Car Display Center.
SM Prime also owns a 25-hectare property in Cabanatuan’s Barangay Santa Arcadia. — VS, GMA News