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Sy-led SM Prime expands footprint in Mindanao

SM PRIME Holdings, Inc. is opening a new mall in Zamboanga City where the coronavirus-related lockdown has been more relaxed since mid-August.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Sy-led property developer said it is opening SM City Mindpro at the end of this week — its first mall in Zamboanga City and seventh mall in Mindanao.

The building will have nearly 38,000 square meters of gross floor area, where more than 90% of the space-lease has already been awarded to tenants.

“The opening of SM City Mindpro in Zamboanga is a testament to the flourishing economic activities in Mindanao boosting the confidence of SM Prime to continue its expansion plans in the region,” SM Prime President Jeffrey C. Lim said in the statement.

“We are delighted to welcome our fellow Zamboangueños to this newest SM mall, and assure every one of safety protocols implemented in accordance to government guidelines.”

Unlike the lockdown in Metro Manila — where most of SM Prime’s existing mall footprint is located — Zamboanga City has been under a “modified general community quarantine” since mid-August. This is the most relaxed form of lockdown by the government that allows more economic activity.

“The easing of quarantine protocols in various areas in the country has led to the reopening of businesses that will help our economy bounce back quicker. We hope that through SM City Mindpro, which provides a center of convergence for economic, social and cultural activities, Zamboangueños will experience utmost convenience as they seek essential services as well as entertainment during these times,” Mr. Lim said.

SM Mindpro will have four levels and a carpark, with stores and facilities ranging from a department store, a supermarket, foreign retail brands, sports brands, health stores, hardware shops and a cinema, to name a few.

Earlier this month, SM Prime also opened a new mall in Agusan del Norte to tap the growing economic activity in the region.

SM Prime booked P18.3 billion from the operations of Philippine malls in January-to-September, down 57% from a year ago, due to temporary mall closures and low foot traffic.

Its attributable net income dropped 48% to P14.37 billion.

Shares in SM Prime at the stock exchange closed at P37.30 each on Wednesday, lower by P1.20 or 3.12% from the last session. — Denise A. Valdez

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