Cebu developer keen on constructing pocket shopping centers

By JADE LOPEZ, Reporter

NOT to compete with the presence of mall giants here, a Cebu-based developer is keen on developing a “pocket mall” to address the need for affordable commercial spaces in Cebu.

Banilad Town Center, Inc. (BTC) mall administrator Kyle Kokseng said that Cebu’s retail sector sees a demand for “pocket shopping malls” or, neighborhood malls.

“We need a mall that is not too big that it becomes expensive nor too small that visitors would not likely come,” Kokseng said in an interview.

He said the pocket mall may be a similar development with that of BTC, a neighborhood mall located in Barangay Banilad, which is a 1.5-hectare development that houses approximately 50 shops including food outlets, garments, gym, office supplies, supermarket, among others.

BTC officially opened on 2005 and it gained a reputation of being the first mall-location of some well-known brands, such as pizza chain Yellow Cab, Gloria Jeans, Go Nuts Donuts, iStore, among others.

The mall largely serves the A and B markets, strategically located near high-end subdivisions such as Maria Luisa, Sto. Niño Village, and Doña Rita, among others.

Kokseng identified potential areas in Cebu for the pocket-mall project would be in Talisay City as commercial developments in the area have increased.

However, Kokseng said this plan will have to wait for another two to three years.

At present, Kokseng said the company’s thrust is in trying to “revive” the interest of mall-goers following the construction of the Banilad-Talamban flyover that significantly decline visitor traffic to the mall.
“During the one-year construction of the flyover, it provided huge inconvenience for visitors,” he said.

He noted, however, that BTC is now enjoying 90 percent occupancy rate, with consumer traffic ranging from 40 percent to 50 percent, he said.

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