MANILA -- Real estate giant Ayala Land Inc. (ALI) plans to spend P16 billion to build new malls over the next three years as it continues to build up its recurring income business, riding the country’s robust economic growth.

“We are expanding aggressively… We will be tripling our size in three years. By 2020, we will have at least 3.2 million in gross leasable area for Ayala malls,” AC Legarda, Senior Division Manager of ALI’s Commercial Business Group, said in an interview.

By the end of 2017, Legarda said the property firm expects to register a total of 1.8 million square meters (sqm) of gross leasable space in its malls segment.

She noted ALI planned to complete six shopping centers this year with a total leasable space of 198,000 square meters. These include the Ayala Malls in Vertis North in the Quezon City Central Business District; Marikina Heights; Cloverleaf in Balintawak, Quezon City; One Bonifacio High Street in Bonifacio Global City (BGC); Ayala Malls Feliz in Cainta; and Ayala Malls Southville in Las Pinas.

These are in addition to Ayala Malls The 30th which opened in January of this year

The company targets to launch 11 new shopping malls next year, bringing total expected GLA by the end of 2018 at two million square meters.

Expansion for next year includes Bacolod, Cebu, Makati and Bay Area in Paranaque.

“The economy is ready, we are very ripe, we are in our sweetest spot now. All the other brands would like to come in, the numbers are doing very well. And we see the market growing so we would like to grow with the market,” she added.

Legarda also attributed the growing business process outsourcing (BPO) market and the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) remittances driving the growth of retail spaces.

”We are very excited about the expansion, we would like to reach more markets. We are not only concentrating in Metro Manila, we are also doing a lot in the provincial areas,” she added.

Meanwhile, Uber has teamed up with the Ayala Malls The 30th, Ayala Malls’ newest community mall in the North, in providing uberHOP service to riders during peak hours. For a flat rate of P70, riders can conveniently access Ayala Malls The 30th to and from the business hubs of Makati and BGC. (PNA)