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In the early 1980s, Cagayan de Oro’s downtown or city proper was concentrated at Divisoria and Cogon Area.

By the late 1980s, urbanization started to pour into the outlying areas with Limketkai starting to develop its 30-hectare property a few kilometers northeast of Divisoria, Unipace Corp. of Stephen Gaisano constructing Gaisano City along the National Highway (CM Recto), and Hong See building his own Ororama Megacenter in Lapasan. This was the onset of the rapidly expanding commercial area of the city.

The 1990s saw the commercialization of Agora Market and the surrounding vicinity. Lapasan, considered a rural barangay has been re-classified as urban together with 16 other barangays.

Two decades later, the idle Floirendo lot is now Centrio Mall, Limketkai Center is now a full-pledged commercial business district, the old Coca-Cola Plant is now history and a new SM Mall will rise on the same spot of the famed bottling facility. New hotels have opened and the high rise condominium trend is now embracing Cagayan de Oro.

At the current rate, it’s not far fetched that Lapasan in the east (in photo) will now become part of the city’s “central” business district. And a lot of challenges ahead await the city’s officials in addressing land use, traffic and economic sustainability.

photo by Mike Sivintin

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