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SM to start constructing mall in Puerto Princesa in 2014 - mayor

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PUERTO PRINCESA CITY - SM Prime Holdings Incorporated (SMPHI), the owner of the giant SM shopping chain in the Philippines, is set to begin next year the construction of its new mall right in the heart of Palawan's capital.

Mayor Lucilo Bayron told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) Saturday during a hosted Christmas party for members of the local press that SMPHI has communicated with his office, signifying intention to set off the construction a “city mall” in Puerto Princesa by second quarter of 2014.

“If earlier the plan was to construct only a Hypermarket, this time they said it’s going to be a city mall,” Bayron told the PNA in an exclusive interview.

The mall will be constructed on a large property block just a stone’s throw away from the Old City Public Market along busy Miguel Malvar Street, and the People’s Amphitheater in Mendoza Park along Jose Rizal Avenue.

“SM is coming to Puerto Princesa, and next year it’s one of the biggest investments we’re going to welcome,” the mayor said.

Bayron said the city government is looking forward to the construction of the new mall as it will provide many jobs to residents of Puerto Princesa.

“Our agreement with them is a big share of their workforce should come from the city. This is for construction, and for their operation,” he said, adding their agreement is for 60 percent of the required labor force.

The company that operates the malls was started by Henry Sy Sr. in 1958 as Shoemart, with a store in Manila.

In the 1960s Shoemart expanded its shoe store chain. It is one of the pioneers in the new urban centers in Makati and Cubao. By the 1970s, Shoemart was a full-line department store, shifting its name from Shoemart to SM.

In the 1980s, the company diversified and ventured into the supermarket and home appliance store business, then finally opening the first "Supermall" store in 1985 in Quezon City called SM City North EDSA.

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