SM to build shopping mall in San Pablo

The country’s largest mall owner and operator said it will build another shopping center in Laguna late this year to early 2009 as part of its provincial expansion.

Jeffrey C. Lim, SM Prime Holdings Inc. executive vice-president, told The Manila Times that the company is securing permits to build an SM mall in San Pablo City, roughly 24 kilometers away from Calamba where the firm is developing another consume destination this year. San Pablo is also about 35 kilometers away from Lucena where the company is already operating the 78,655-square meter SM City Lucena in Quezon.

The firm’s first mall in Laguna, SM City Sta. Rosa, has 79,325 square meters of gross floor area and opened in February 2006.

Lim said construction for SM San Pablo may start late this year or may be pushed back to early 2009. The facility may be operational by late next year to 2010.

This year, the company will launch SM Baliwag, SM Marikina and SM Rosales, Pangasinan. Expansion of its existing malls like SM North and SM Megamall are ongoing to cater to a growing clientele in Metro Manila. SM Prime expects to have 33 malls nationwide by the end of this year.

Lim said the SM group may finalize the acquisition of the Henry Sy’s malls in China valued at P10.8 billion. These would be folded under SM Prime by second quarter this year.

Earlier, the SM executive said that the company will borrow P4 billion of the P6 billion allotted for this year’s capital expenditures while the balance would come from internally generated funds.