MANILA, Philippines – SM Prime Holdings president Hans Sy personally reached out to a complainant who has earlier sought for a temporary restraining order (TRO) from a local court in General Santos City, the site of the biggest shopping mall yet to open in Mindanao.
On August 9, Sy reportedly paid a certain Roberto Perales a personal visit after learning that his family, whose compound is located beside the generator and cooling tower of SM City General Santos mall.
Sy reportedly apologized for the inconvenience the shopping mall has been giving them and asked that SM be given 3 three months to fix the problem.
Cora Guidote, the spokesperson for the company’s parent firm, SM Investments Corp., confirmed to Rappler by phone that Sy indeed reached out to Perales “to get his point of view” and to ensure that the new mall “would not be a cause of friction” in the community.
“He (Sy) said that SM is still looking at it and will see how we can improve,” Guidote added.
At the time of the visit, the court has already denied Perales’ request for a TRO, the SM official stressed. “All the permits were complied with. There were no mis-steps [by SM] that’s why the complaint was denied.”
Perales earlier filed a complaint and sought a TRO against SM citing the loud noise and the strong vibration whenever the generators and cooling tower of the SM mall are running.
Their residences are separated only by the northern fence of the mall that sits in the 8-hectare property owned by the Salazar family. SM is reportedly leasing the land from the Salazars for 25 years with option to renew for another 25 years.
Perales said he was forced to go to the court after he was reportedly ignored by SM engineers and contractors while the mall complex was still under construction.
Sy reportedly gave the engineer-contractors of the SM General Santos mall a dressing down for failing to address the complaint.
Guidote, however, denied a report that Sy fired 4 engineers in a meeting with the engineering department. “That’s not true. No one was fired,” she said.
4th SM mall
On Friday, August 10, Sy led the public opening of its 45th shopping mall in the Philippines and its first in the province of South Cotabato.
The 3-level mall, located in General Santos City, has a gross floor area (GFA) of 95,764 square meters and is already 80% occupied. It houses 4 cinemas with a combined seating capacity of 1,400 and parking slots for 1,500 vehicles.
“We warmly welcome our valued customers to SM City Gen. Santos, our first mall in the province of South Cotabato. With its thriving economy, GenSan provides an ideal venue for SM malls as we see a huge potential for growth in the city,” Sy said in a prepared statement.
General Santos is called the “Tuna Capital of the Philippines” and a highly urbanized first-class city.
SM City General Santos is the 45th mall in the SM group’s nationwide mall network, which now have an aggregate GFA of 5.4 million sqm. It is the 4th SM mall to be opened this year, after SM City Olongapo in Zambales, SM City Consolacion in Cebu and SM City San Fernando in Pampanga.
Before end-2012, SM Prime is scheduled to open SM City Lanang in Davao City and SM Chongqing in China.
By the end of the year, SM Prime will have 46 malls in the Philippines and five in China, with an estimated combined GFA of 6.3 million sqm. – Rappler.com
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