MANILA- SM Prime Holdings’ P5.7-billion upscale civic center in Taguig City officially opened its doors to the public yesterday.
SM Prime president Hans Sy said the company’s latest “high-end lifestyle destination” project reflects their confidence in the retail market and in the country’s thriving economy.
The project, which is equipped with state-of-the art facilities, is also a glimpse of what SM Seaside City in Cebu would be like.
“The opening of SM Aura Premier is an opportunity for the company to showcase to the public our latest innovation in property development,” said Sy.
The 47th SM mall in the country is an integrated development. SM Aura Premier incorporates office towers, a chapel, a convention center, and mini-coliseum, supported by a retail podium.
The new mall spans a total gross floor area (GFA) of 234,892 square meters. It is the first SM Mall to open in Taguig’s booming central business district.
According to SM Prime, this new facility is seen to “transform Taguig’s town center into a landmark and prestigious address, showcasing the best in building design and environmental sustainability, with superior engineering, cutting-edge technology and modern facilities for conventions, exhibits and other community events.”
SM Aura Premier aims to be one of the first civic centers in the country to be certified Gold under the US Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program, an internationally-recognized green building program.
“We support Taguig’s bid to be a world-class city as SM Aura is an innovative concept with its fashion, dining, entertainment, business and lifestyle selections and ground-breaking architecture and first-rate design that will appeal to other cities that want to showcase their best for the world to see,” said Sy in a disclosure.
SM Aura’s name is derived from two elements: gold, which has the chemical symbol AU, and radium. The company said putting them together means “luxury and elegance emanates from within.”
The civic center was designed by Miami-based architectural firm Arquitectonica.
To provide a world-class shopping experience, SM brought in new foreign brands that are first to open outlets in the Philippines, like Suiteblanco, Stefanel, BB Dakota, J Lindberg, and Farah Vintage, among others. New dining outlets also opened at the new mall like Paul Boulangerie, NBA Cafe, and Todd English Food Hall.
Other amenities at the civic center are the 1,000-seat event hall named Samsung Hall that will serve as a venue for concerts, stage performances, plays, and product launches. SM also constructed a San Pedro Calungsod chapel, which can seat approximately 250 people and a convention center that has three main function rooms and eight meeting rooms.
On track in Cebu
Like SM Aura, Sy said the retail component at SM Seaside in Cebu will also house upscale foreign brands. Sy said the mall development at SRP is on track and is targeted for opening by 2015.
SM Seaside at the SRP is a P14-billion investment of the Sy family in Cebu.
Aside from fueling growth in the retail industry, SM Prime is also taking advances in terms of environment sustainability.
“SM Prime, through SM Aura, has a remarkable opportunity to lead the shift to sustainability in buildings. SM Aura has set a higher standard with high performance technologies that use less energy, consume less water, and leave a smaller footprint on the city’s resources,” Sy said.
With the addition of SM Aura Premier, SM Prime malls now have a combined GFA of 5.9 million square meters.
By year-end, SM Prime will have 48 malls in the Philippines and five in China with an estimated combined GFA of 6.9 million sq.m.
SM Prime posted a 15 percent increase in consolidated net income for the first three months in 2013, amounting to P2.79 billion from P2.43 billion in the same period last year. Its revenues reached P7.83 billion from P7.03 billion, up by 11 percent year-on-year.
“SM Prime’s performance for the first three months of the year sets an optimistic tone for 2013. We expect to sustain this growth trend for the next quarter as consumer spending gets a boost from election spending. Moreover, we will push through with our expansion plans given the positive economic outlook,” said Sy.
Over the next three years, SM Prime will spend approximately P88 billion to drive its expansion plans in the Philippines and China.