Opposing claims on lot hinder CityMall project

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Wednesday, June 18, 2014


THE mall envisioned by publicly listed company DoubleDragon Properties Corp. (DD) on N. Bacalso Ave., Cebu City cannot push through because the lot being considered by DD is the subject of a suit.

Ludo & Luym Foundation Inc. vice chairman and president Kelly Luym and company lawyer Negley Tabucanon-Villanueva said the 1.1-hectare lot beside Elizabeth Mall on N. Bacalso Ave. has been under the custody of the Court of Appeals since 2011.

The property is subject to the opposing claims of Ludo & Luym Development Corp. (LudoDev) and Dunes and Eagle Land Development Corp.

In a June 9 disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, DD said its subsidiary, CityMall Commercial Centers Inc., signed a 30-year lease with Dunes and Eagle over the property, which will be the site of its Grand CityMall project.

But during a press conference yesterday morning, Villanueva alleged that the lease agreement is “illegal” because of the pending court case.

Desist

“We are hoping that they (DD) would desist from pursuing the lease,” he said.

Ludo & Luym sent a letter to DD on Monday informing the latter of the property's status.

DD owns 66 percent of CityMall Commercial Centers. The remaining 34 percent is owned by SM Investments Corp. DD is a joint venture of Jollibee Foods Corp. and Injap Investments.

Villanueva said more than half of LudoDev’s properties, worth P2 billion as of 2004, were transferred to stockholders David Lu and Douglas Luym on June 1, 2012 as their supposed liquidating dividend in LudoDev. Among the properties transferred, Villanueva said, was the 1.1-hectare property leased to Double Dragon.

“This transfer was illegal because David and Douglas only own 2.51 percent of the outstanding shares of LudoDev and since all properties of LudoDev had been placed under custodia legis, any transfer or conveyance needs the approval of the Court of Appeals,” said Kelly in a statement.

Transfer

The president of Dunes and Eagle Land Development Corp is Eusebio Tanco, Kelly’s
brother-in law.

Kelly and other stockholders of LudoDev filed a motion before the CA to nullify the transfer of the disputed property to Dunes and Eagle Land Development Corp. and are waiting for the resolution.

Kelly said that if DD pushes through with the project, it will be considered as a “builder in bad faith” and may be subjected to court procedures.

Kelly and stockholders Victor L. LuYm, Maria Elvira Kaye G. LuYm, Ludo and LuYm Foundation Inc., and Crane Holdings Corporation own 33.22 percent shares in LudoDev.
Villanueva said there was no response from DD as of press time.

CityMall Commercial Centers is building a mall in Consolacion, Cebu. It plans to complete five malls this year and another 20 by 2015 in different parts of the country. By 2020, it aims to open 100 City Malls and book a P1-billion net profit by 2016 and P4.8 billion by 2020.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 19, 2014.

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