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P1.5B mall soon to rise in Albay

SM CITY LEGAZPI. Legazpi Mayor Noel Rosal, Albay Gov. Al Francis Bichara, along with offIcials of Sm Prime Holdings lead the groundbreaking rites for the proposed SM City in Legazpi City, the second SM mall to rise in Bicol. Story on page 8. MAR S. ARGUELLES

By Mar S. Arguelles LEGAZPI CITY --- Officials of SM Prime Holding and the City government of Legazpi broke ground yesterday (Feb 22) for the proposed construction of the P1.5B SM City Legazpi, the second SM City Mall to be built in Bicol. Annie Garcia, President of SM Super Mall said yesterday’s event marked the start of construction works for the planned three-storey commercial complex to rise in Barangay Bitano, at the city’s business district. City Mayor Noel Rosal said a Public Private Partnership (PPP) between the SM and the city government gave rise to the building of a super SM Complex in a 5.8-hectare lot in this premier city. Garcia in an interview said the mall would occupy an 84,000 square meters of land area to showcase the SM brand in the mall and retail market. It is expected to be completed and opened for business by the second quarter of 2018, Garcia said. Garcia cited why it built another SM Super Mall in this city saying “Legazpi has shown the best of both worlds: It is a top destination tourist paradise and a buzzling business center with the same prospective that the SM brand of shopping will bring to Bicol.” She said the mall would be typhoon resilient edifice that can withstand strong typhoons. The mall would also offer hundreds of stalls that would feature local and high-end merchandisers such as shoes, bags, clothing apparels, appliances, hardware’s bookstore, restaurants, coffee shops, Garcia said. Aside from the stores, the complex would house six state-of-the art cinema houses She added there would be a spacious multi- level parking area that can accommodate at least 800 units of motor vehicles. “We will follow the local ordinance wherein we would be hiring local personnel to jump start the project,” Garcia said. In this region, we will strive alongside with you to be the best employers of choice in nurturing the community and serve as a catalyst for growth,” Garcia told the guests during the groundbreaking rites.said. She expected that thousands of prospective customers a day would visit and shop at the SM-Legazpi where it would offer people and families a unique feature of shopping while having fun. Rosal as he welcomed the start of the SM joint venture said that “with the SM in our midst, we can help decongest Metro Manila this is way and provide opportunities and employment to those in the provinces.” “We will again put in the map that Legazpi would be a trading hub not only in Bicol but maybe in the entire southern Luzon,” Rosal claimed. He said the city is a center of trade in Bicol because Legazpi is in the strategic area where 4 million people from the provinces of Sorsogon, Catanduanes, Masbate including Samar and Leyte provinces do their shopping, Rosal claims. “Huwag tayong matakot if we want to be known we have to be aggressive, if we want opportunities to come in that would be for everyone, let not our intentions separate us and our discussion divide us, nobody gets there without everybody getting there dapat sama-sama tayo,” Rosal said. He believes that “We just don’t see things happen but rather we make thing happen.” The city would remain a top tourism destination in the country’s tourism road map because of the Majestic Mayon Volcano, its resorts, hotels and restaurants. With the upcoming SM City, Legazpi will have hosted at least seven major malls, which are: Ayala Mall, LCC Mall, Metro Pacific Gaisano Mall, Embarcadero, Yashano, and Gregorian Mall.

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