Ayala, SM in Olongapo-Subic race
IT looks like the Zobels and the Sys are engaged in a quiet race to build their respective malls in the Subic-Olongapo corridor.
The Zobels’ Ayala Land was first to announce in October 2009, having secured a 50-year lease on a 7.5-hectare property, that it would build a mall-call center-hotel complex within the former US military facility.
Three months later, the Sys disclosed that they had convinced the Olongapo City Council to lease, also for 50 years, the City Hall-owned, but apparently money-losing, Olongapo City Mall.
Unlike the Ayala mall, the planned SM mall will be outside of Subic, a few blocks across the river from the naval base-turned-free port.
According to the grapevine, unlike the Ayalas who will build from the ground up, the Sys will simply retrofit and refurbish the Olongapo mall in time for Christmas next year.
The four-level mall will have the anchor SM Department Store, the SM Supermarket and three cinemas as well as parking for 366 cars.
The Ayala mall, on the other hand, will not be ready until the first or second quarter of 2012. It is not clear yet what the anchor store would be.
The Ayala mall will be built along the main Rizal Highway, past the Jollibee branch.
Among the casualties of the redevelopment: the first Korean restaurant in the base, the generically-named Subic Korean Restaurant, which is being asked to leave by October.
Subic Yacht Club as mini-Monaco
THE moribund Subic Yacht Club will shortly be turned into a mini-Monaco with gaming to be added to boost membership and hotel revenues.
According to the grapevine, a Japanese gaming company, Orient Pearl Entertainment and Management Inc. has reached an agreement with lead creditor Land Bank of the Philippines to initially acquire 25 percent of the club as a way to gain management control.
LandBank heads a consortium of local banks that foreclosed 40 percent of the club when its debt-financed construction floundered during the regional currency crisis.
Chaired by Toshio Shimada, Orient Pearl already operates six casino-hotels in the country, including the Majestic Networld Hotel at the corner of Roxas Blvd. and Buendia Ave. By Victor Agustin - Manila Standard