Business: SM Investing P2.5B in Bacolod Expansion
SM Prime Holdings Inc. is investing P2.5 billion in the expansion of SM City Bacolod mall that starts this year, Mayor Evelio Leonardia yesterday said.
Leonardia said SM Prime Holdings president Hans Sy and SM City Bacolod mall manager George Jardiolin met with him on November 27, 2011 to discuss and seek his approval of the planned expansion.
CITY PROGRESS EXHIBIT AT SM CITY EAST BRIDGE. Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia (middle) and Vice Mayor Jude Thaddeus Sayson (to his left) cut the ceremonial ribbon signifying the opening of the Progress of Bacolod City Exhibit at SM City East Bridge. Assisting them are SM City Mall Manager George Jardiolin (left), Filipino-Chinese leaders Andres Valencia (4th) and Fred Barcelona (5th), and MBCCI President Frank Carbon (6th).*
Leonardia shared this news to businessmen and the media at the opening of “Progreso sa Bacolod” exhibit at the mall’s east bridgeway, which will run until March 8.
Jardiolin, who welcomed the guests at the exhibit, said SM is now starting the expansion project, which involves a new three-storey department store adjacent to the Northwing of the mall.
The site of the current Department Store will be converted into another three-storey store to be able to accommodate 150 tenants more.
The new department store is expected to be completed this year, and the additional three-storey that will replace the present one will be completed next year, Jardiolin said. This billion-peso investment affirms SM Prime’s confidence in Bacolod in terms of economic growth and opportunities, he added.
Leonardia, for his part, agrees that SM certainly saw Bacolod’s robust economy that’s why the management invested their money here.
“SM surely knows that they will have a profitable investment here, and that their money will grow. They could have invested it elsewhere,” the mayor said.
The mayor thanked SM for contributing to the vibrant economy of Bacolod City.
He also thanked the business sector for propelling the economy, citing big investments that have sprung in the city recently.
“There must be gold mines in Bacolod,” he said in jest.
Jardiolin told the mayor that their mall enjoys a daily traffic of 90,000 people on days that the mall is on sale. Leonardia said that the “Progreso sa Bacolod” exhibit at SM is very timely because it is slated on the mall’s sales days, and a larger crowd gets to see the exhibit.
Also when “balikbayans” come back and see Bacolod, when they look at the pictures and the stories in the exhibit, they can say that the “phenomenal progress” attributed to the city has been validated.
The exhibit features 18 frames of photos and graphics telling the progress of the City of Bacolod under the administration of Leonardia, who has served the city for four terms-1995-1998, 2004-2007, 2007-2010, and 2010-2013.
In one frame is the Bacolod City Government Center that is the seat of the city government, and has become a major tourist landmark, a center for major activities of the city, and a favorite physical fitness, promenade and picnic area of friends and families.
Another frame shows the Sanggunian Panlungsod, under Vice Mayor Jude Thaddeus Sayson, which has been cited as the Best Performing City Sanggunian in 2009, 2010 and 2011.
There are also graphics depicting Bacolod City as a member of the Billionaire’s Club, Top 2 among the 10 Growth Centers of the Philippines, and Top 3 in Next-Wave Cities for Business Process Outsourcing.
The tourism of the city is depicted in one slide as a booming sector, and while in two more slides are shown the two major festivals of the city - the MassKara Festival and the BacoLaodiat Festival.* (DBDangcalan)