SM inks P20-billion Cebu project

1/15/10 - CEBU CITY – After three years of negotiations, SM Prime Holdings Inc. finally inked a deal with the Cebu City Government last Thursday for the purchase of 30 hectares of prime lot for a mixed use development project at the South Road Properties (SRP) amounting to P20 billion.
SM Prime Holdings President Hans Sy turned over to Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña the initial payment of P406 million, bringing its total investment in the project to P670 million to date.
“This is the start for us to roll up our sleeves and deliver a project that all Cebuanos will be proud of. It will be a development that will draw not just people from the Visayas and Mindanao but also from Luzon,” Sy said.
He said the signing of the memorandum of agreement with the city government officially signified SM’s commitment to develop the area within eight years.
Sy proudly unveiled the master plan for the property that includes allocating 250,000 square meters for a shopping mall that is expected to be one of the 10 largest malls in the world once completed.
The entire 30 hectares will be an integrated facility that will host two hotels, a huge convention center occupying about 20,000 square meters, high-rise residential and commercial condominiums, a university and a hospital.
Sy told the media that construction of the mall will be its priority project, with groundbreaking targeted “before the start of the rainy season” this year.
“We are looking at duplicating in Cebu what we have done in Manila,” he said, noting that the company’s property at the SRP, which boasts of a sea view, is one of the best locations they have purchased.
Osmeña lauded the project, saying the SM development in SRP is “not just another real estate program but a mechanism to transform the City as a leading commercial destination in the country.”
Simultaneously, while SM Prime is working on the SRP project, Sy announced it will also start construction on SM’s third shopping mall here, located in the northern part of Cebu.
Sy, however, refused to elaborate on the northern Cebu mall project since negotiations with its partner are still ongoing, although he said SM will spend about P1 billion for the mall.
The P21 billion that SM will be investing in Cebu excludes the company’s outlay on the soon to open Radisson Hotel for which it invested P2.8 billion.
The Radisson Blu Hotel, which sits right next to the SM City Cebu in the North Reclamation Area, will “definitely open in June,” said Sy.
"It was larger than we thought. It has 400 bedrooms and it is one project that will make Cebuanos proud,” he added.
The hotel is already 95 percent complete and the turnover of operations is scheduled in March, when staff training will begin and run for about two to three months.
According to Sy, Cebu’s well-managed economy is one of the reasons why the company is investing in big ticket projects in the city.
(Manila Bulletin)

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