AS it becomes a new home to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), the newly-opened SPArk Commercial Center in Minglanilla is poised to ignite the travel retail and tourism in the south of Cebu, a top official said.

SPark, a joint project of Primary Properties Corp. (PPC) and the Municipality of Minglanilla, is envisioned as a destination for MSMEs and domestic and foreign tourists, said PPC president William Christopher Liu, Jr.

“This center will beef up the enterprise community of Minganilla. This will become an avenue to showcase the best products of Cebu, as it promotes ‘One Town, One Product’ and will take part of Suroy-Suroy Sugbo itineraries,” said Liu, during SPark’s grand opening held over the weekend.

SPark Commercial Center is located in Poblacion Ward 1.

“SPark will bring people closer together, as it becomes a one-stop shop , which in the long run, would lessen traffic of people going to the city, as everything they need is here already,” Liu added.

The two-storey commercial building, which can house up to 200 tenants, forms part of the three-hectare, mixed-use development that PPC and Minglanilla will complete in the next five years.

SPArk, according to Liu, will give MSMEs access to a larger market where they can launch their retail business or supplement existing businesses in a prime, high-foot traffic location with little investment.

The commercial center will also complement the existing wet market of Minglanilla, as it offers a wide array of dry goods. It will also feature tourist spot miniatures, thematic exhibits at the activity area and gallery center for school tours at the viewing deck.

Aside from showcasing products made in Cebu, SPark also allocated a portion of the center to house “SPark Government Services” where a number of national government agencies such as Social Security System, PhilHealth, National Bureau of Investigation, Land Transportation Office, and Government System Insurance Services can partner with the local government to bring these frontline services closer to the public.

SPArk is the biggest public-private partnership (PPP) undertaken by PPC so far. After completing the commercial component of the master-planned development, PPC will build medical facilities, education and skills training institutions, sports and recreation centers and business process outsourcing offices in the future, Liu said.

Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III lauded the PPP project between Minglanilla and PPC, saying the partnership is “material evidence of participatory, inclusive and sustainable development by leveraging resources through PPP.”

“Our vision for Cebu is simple. It is ambitious, but simple. We want every Cebuano to achieve equal opportunity for a better life. This can only be achieved through engaging all the stakeholders, public and private sectors, in providing opportunities for Cebuanos,” said Davide in a statement.

He has high hopes that the partnership will encourage equitable, participatory, and sustainable progress in the countryside.