Ayala Cebu’s P2.8B expansion to help boost local economy
AYALA Center Cebu’s P2.8 billion expansion had its “soft” opening yesterday with a commitment to reinvigorate the local economy with upscale retail choices.
It’s “time to move forward” from the adverse effects of recent calamities, and restart economic activity in the region beginning with Cebu City, said Antonino Aquino, president of Ayala Land Inc. and chairman of Cebu Holdings Inc., in his welcome remarks.
A Mass was celebrated by Archbishop Emeritus Ricardo Cardinal Vidal at the lobby of the new four-level structure, whose modern design is topped with a roof deck garden, fountain and restaurants that embody the project’s tag line “Flair beyond compare.”
About 150 additional shops will open in the new year anchored by international brands like Zara, Mango, Gap, Toys R Us and Muji.
Aquino said various Ayala companies have done relief operations in Cebu, Negros, and Palawan where supertyphoon Yolanda left a trail of damage, including Bohol where an earthquake struck October 15.
He said the Ayala Center Cebu expansion, which coincides with the 25th year of CHI’s operation, is the company’s way to contribute to the “permanent” rehabilitation of the economy.
More than 36,000 square meters of leasable space was added to the mall.
The planned expansion will complete the circular design of the mall which also serves as the centerpiece of the mixed-use development within the masterplan of Cebu Business Park. Scheduled to be completed in 2013, the four-level structure will add more than 36,000 square meters of leasable space at the mall.
“The new expansion completes the circular design of the Ayala Center Cebu with four levels of retail and 844 new parking slots,” said Clavel Tongco, Ayala Malls head of operations for Visayas and Mindanao.
Phase 2 expansion broke ground in January 2011 and will be anchored by Rustan’s Fresh and Rustan’s Department Store.
About 40 percent of the 155 stores in the new wing are foreign brands.
“Over 40 are first-in-Cebu outlets like Fred Perry, HE by Mango, Philip Stein, Claires, British India, Onitsuka Tiger, Superdry, Bow+Wow, Yakpak, Evernew, Alessi, Yosi Samra, Terra Agua, Sunglass Hut and Petit Bateau,” said Tongco.
It also has homegrown brands like Idea Italia, Fudge, The Suite Room, Digital Village, Rainbow Tots, Classic Hifi, Projekt and Ulli’s Streets of Asia.
Rowena Tomeldan, head of operations and commercial business group of Ayala, said all tenants in the expanded wing will be fully operational by the first quarter of 2014.
“The main anchor Rustans will be open by April. We now have 46 stores that opened in the area,” she said.
With 155 new outlets, the total number of mall tenants is 605 outlets.
“We average foot traffic of 80,000 to 100,000 everyday and we expect it to increase by at least 36,000” Tongco said.
The BPI Cebu Corporate Center was recently launched across the Metro Ayala entrance.
The 20-story building will have 18 floors with units for business enterprises and office space.
A total of 130 units are for sale at P8.5 million to P42 million each, said Allan B. Ong, Ayala Land Sales, Inc. sales director for Visayas and Mindanao.
The smallest unit measures 68 square meters.
“We target to complete the building in three years,” Ong said.
With the completion of Ayala Center Cebu, company officials are already designing a second mall to rise in Cebu IT Park. CHI chairman Aquino said they will make announcements about this soon.
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.