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Double Dragon plans 100 CityMalls

Listed Philippine property developer Double Dragon plans to build a network of 100 neighbourhood style shopping malls across the Philippines by 2020.

The  company has already opened eight CityMall centres and secured 53 sites to date. The new centres will range anywhere between 5000 sqm and 10,000 sqm.

Last week DoubleDragon announced it was issuing P15 billion in retail bonds to fund the development of its projects next year.

“The majority of the proceeds will be deployed in our projects within 2017 as by 2018, we expect to already have substantial rental revenues from our provincial community mall chain, CityMalls and our Metro Manila office projects such as Double Dragon Plaza in DD Meridian Park and Jollibee Tower in Ortigas CBD, both of which are expected to be completed within 2018,” Sia said.

Listed back in April 2014, Double Dragon Properties, has increased its stock value 29-fold since then – it’s risen 140 per cent this year alone.

CEO Edgar “Injap” Sia, 39, from Visayas, co-founded Double Dragon with Jollibee founder Tan Caktiong, who bought a controlling interest in Sia’s fast food chain Mang Inasal in 2010, acquiring the 30 per cent balance last April. Each deal was valued at 5 billion pesos.

In 2012, the two businessmen acquired an Iloilo-based property developer, turning it into Double Dragon and setting a course for a nationwide property group. Before the float, Sia accepted an offer from SM Investments to acquire a 34 per cent stake in City Mall Commercial Centers, which runs CityMalls on Double Dragon’s behalf. That gives fast food entity Jollibee a ready entry into regional markets – and SM Investments an interest in retail property outside the main cities in which it dominates with its larger-sized malls. As part of the broader SM group, CityMalls has a large, ready-made pool of potential tenants every time it opens a new facility- across food, hardware, health & beauty, grocery retailing and fashion, among other categories.

About 70 of the 100 malls planned initially will be built in the Visayas and Mindanao. The next scheduled to open – in October – will be at Cotabato in Mindanao, west of Davao and a location where neither Robinsons or SM have yet opened shopping centres.

One of those is at the 116ha Northtown residential complex being developed by Alsons Development and Investment in the northeastern part of Davao.

Sia said the mall, expected to be completed by the end of 2017, will anchor the residential development, serving residents and locals.

“We can clearly see the vision behind Northtown to soon become one of the most vibrant areas in Davao City,” he said.

CityMalls are positioned in the market as one-stop shops for daily purchases – not destinations to spend a day shopping, watching movies and eating with family or friends. Sia does not aim to compete with larger regional malls, the likes of which SM is rolling out across urban areas nationwide.

Sia is also considering opportunities outside the Philippines long-term, as well as more locations at home.

“Once we complete [100 malls], our presence will be powerful, and the confidence in our company will be higher,” he said in a recent interview.

*Image: Louisechelle

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