8990 in talks with operators to run own chain of malls

Posted at 07/15/2014 7:35 AM

MANILA - Low-cost housing developer 8990 Holdings Inc. said it is in talks with several mall operators interested to run the company’s own chain of shopping malls.

The company initially plans to put up such malls in at least five developments, most of which are in a densely populated areas in Metro Manila.

Januario Jesus Atencio said the company has no plans to operate the malls since it has no experience in this business. Instead it wants to focus on putting up more low-cost housing projects in the country.

“We’re talking to all of them—the major players, the minor players and even the regional players,” Atencio said.

He said 8990, which develops low-cost housing projects, has already identified the sites for the four upcoming malls. One location is still under negotiation.

The identified sites are the developments in Ortigas Avenue Extension in Pasig, Yakal Street in Makati City, Filinvest City in Alabang, Muntinlupa, and Vitas, Tondo in Manila. The developments, said Atencio, are large enough and have a population density to sustain mall operation.

The 8990 executive said the malls will cater to the needs of the homeowners as well as the community surrounding the development.

“We’re looking at it as a one-stop shop for everything that will cater to the needs of, say, call center employees,” Atencio said, referring to a project that will have an office component targeted for the business process-outsourcing industry.

“What are those needs, we still don’t know. Our mall partner will do that for us because we don’t know how to operate a mall,” he said.

The 13-hectare Ortigas Avenue Extension property, for instance, will feature a mixed-use of mid-rise, low cost condominiums, with the mall in the center that will cater to the huge and growing working class in the area.

The company’s recently acquired an 8-hectare property in Vitas, Tondo, that can accept condominium buildings and a mall.

“The integration of a mall will be the new template for 8990’s vertical projects that will add significant value to our mass housing condo units, and still be within the price points that cater to the mass housing market,” Atencio said.

“We intend [to] develop our Ortigas property into a residential community of around 27,000 units to make an integrated mall feasible not only for the homeowners, but also for the shops, businesses, services and institutions that will locate there,” he said.

The company still has to announce its plans for the three other properties as it is still under several stages of discussions.

For more Businessmirror stories, go here.