It looks like your usual shopping mall—a four-story structure with a prominent facade. This one is owned by the city government.
“Nowhere in the region (Western Mindanao) or in the Philippines can we find a shopping and business mall that is owned and managed by a local government,” Mayor Samuel Co said. And this could be his legacy when his third and last term of office expires in 2013.
Located at the heart of the capital, City Commercial Center (C3) has escalators, elevators and a centralized air conditioning unit. It aims to house food chains, stores, stalls and government offices.
Robinson’s Supermarket and Handyman have been occupying part of the basement of C3 since December last year.
“They (Robinson’s) pay almost P800,000 a month as rent,” Co said. The amount goes to a trust account opened solely to pay for the P480 million borrowed from the Development Bank of the Philippines to fund C3’s construction.
“I do not want to pass on the burden to the next mayor,” the mayor said. “I need to make sure that this venture would be successful.”
The first and second floors, and half of the third floor are divided into spaces to be sold to business establishments. Later this month, Max’s Chicken, Red Ribbon and Bo’s Cafe will open their stores.
The other half of the third floor will have stalls to be rented out to tenants of the old building that once stood at the 6,266-square-meter lot.
“I know that they don’t have that much money so we will just rent out the spaces for them,” Co said.
All in all, C3 has 450 spaces.
On the top floor is the Regional Center, intended for government agencies. Recently, the 20th Mindanao Business Conference was held at the center’s convention hall. Next week, it will be the venue of the meeting of the League of Cities of the Philippines’ National Executive Board.
“The convention center will be rented out on an hourly basis,” Co said.