NOTE: THIS STORY WAS FIRST PUBLISHED IN THE BOHOL CHRONICLE’S SUNDAY PRINT EDITION.
Three of the country’s renowned mall operators are eyeing to commence construction works next year in the capital city of Tagbilaran as well as in some selected major towns here.
Shoemart (SM) and Robinsons malls are locating their malls in Tagbilaran City while Puregold is positioning their groceries in major municipalities.
SM Senior Vice President Bien Mateo breezed into town last Wednesday with a team to formally inspect the site of SM-Bohol. The construction of SM-Bohol was given a timeline of two years.
The location of SM-Bohol is at the back of Camp Bernido in Dao district which is barely less than a kilometer away from Island City Mall of Alturas Group.
Reports said the SM Group acquired a seven-hectare lot from businessman and former Deputy City Mayor Mario Uy.
The SM executives made courtesy calls with Gov. Aris Aumentado and Tagbilaran City Mayor Jane Yap.
Together with VP Mateo were Gino Borromeo, SM Supermalls Vice President for Corporate Strategy; Helene Go, SM Prime Legal; Gusi Balatbat, SM Prime Holdings and Ellyn Bondalo, BDO-Unibank Inc. Marketing Officer;
The entry of these mall operators from Manila followed after Gov. Aris Aumentado announced the welcoming business atmosphere in Bohol under his leadership.
Meanwhile, the Robinsons Group is finalizing this week the acquisition of a four-hectare lot to become the future site of Robinsons Mall. The negotiated lot is likewise in Dao district, this city. two blocks away Island City Mall.
If the two Manila groups will position themselves in the said areas, barangay Dao will become the “shopping mall” district of Tagbilaran.
The third big player showing interest to open in the province is Puregold.
Sources said the group is opening a huge grocery store renting a portion of City Square in downtown Tagbilaran. The area is between Alturas Mall and BQ Mall along the main highway of Carlos P. Garcia Ave., this city.
Puregold is reportedly targeting to open groceries (not department stores) in seven municipalities, namely Ubay, Talibon, Jagna, Carmen, Tubigon, Loay and Panglao.