By LEN VELASCO, Reporter

Below is the full text of the news article by Len Velasco of Business Week Mindanao:

THE biggest mall in Mindanao is soon to rise in Cagayan de Oro. Ayala Land Inc. (ALI) said they will start the construction of the P4.5 billion Ayala Mall and Business Center at the heart of the bustling Cagayan de Oro’s business district this year.

The new shopping mall, which will be constructed in its newly-acquired property at Claro M. Recto Avenue (fronting Gaisano Mall), will be ALI’s biggest mall in Mindanao, much bigger than Davao City’s P3 billion Ayala Mall set to be completed by 2012.

Cagayan de Oro city mayor Constantino Jaraula said this is the biggest investment of the company on the island of Mindanao.

“Once completed, this Ayala Mall, the biggest in Mindanao, would make the city the major shopping destination and further boost Cagayan de Oro as a haven for investment,” Jaraula said.

Cagayan de Oro is home to the country’s biggest malls. SM City has established its P1 billing mall at the uptown Upper Balulang; world class Limketkai shopping complex is continuing its expansion with more malls, hotels, and business establishments under construction; Ororama Mega Store is undergoing renovation after it was struck by fire last year; among others.

Aside from more investment opportunities it may ring, it will also provide job for thousands of jobless residents of the city and neighboring provinces, Jaraula said.

The city government has already given the company a go signal to start the construction phase of the project even as their papers are yet to be completed.

In 2006, Ayala Land Inc. also launched Alegria Hills, the 53-hectare high end residential subdivision that lies 240 meters above sea level and approximately eight kilometers from the city proper. It is the first phase of a master planned 200-hectare property that straddles Brgys. Indahag, Macasandig and Camaman-an.

The project is a joint undertaking of ALI and joint development partners Manny Boniao and Ricardo Murillo. Started by the Boniao couple as a land banking project in 1993, they were joined by Mr. Murillo 20 years ago when he also became convinced of the development potential of the property.

Mr. Boniao cited the city government’s South Diversion Road and Emmanuel Pelaez bridge as concrete evidence of the city government’s all-out support for the project.

“Although this initiative was already in the drawing boards of previous administrations, it was former Mayor Vicente Emano who actually implemented it

as a strong show of support for investors,” Mr. Boniao said.

Jaraula said that Ayala’s move indicates the company’s confidence in the city’s vibrant economy.

Other ALI high-end residential projects include Ayala Alabang, Dasmarinas Village, Forbes Park Makati, Ayala Westgrove Heights, Ayala Greenfield Estates,

Amara, Ayala North Point, The Residences at Greenbelt, One Serendra and Anvaya Cove.

from Business Week Mindanao

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