THE Araneta Group is spending P6.5 billion for the expansion of its Gateway shopping mall in Cubao, Quezon City, and for the 300-room hotel in one of the country’s first mixed-use properties.
Antonio T. Mardo, Araneta Center Inc.’s senior vice president for operations, said the group will spend about P5 billion for the Gateway Mall 2, which is slightly bigger than the first one, and P1.5 billion for the Ibis Styles Hotel.
The expanded mall, which will have a gross floor area of 120,000 square meters (sq m), will have eight levels above ground that will house many big-box retailers, nine cinemas, a 3,500-sq-m gourmet food hall that Mardo said will be “very unique” and a 500-seater chapel at the top floor.
“We have already signed up some retailers. We were surprised there’s a major interest of both from food and beverage [firms] and retail stores in the country. It will complement the first Gateway mall because we found out our first mall is quite small. We need more space to accommodate more retail operators,” Mardo said at the sidelines of the groundbreaking ceremony on Tuesday.
Connected to the new mall is the hotel, the first Ibis brand in the country, also to be operated by the Accor Group, the same operator of Novotel Araneta.
The new mall is slated to open in 2020, the same year Araneta Coliseum will celebrate its 60th year.
The project is part of the 35-hectare Araneta Center’s redevelopment, which started with the completion of Gateway Mall 1 in 2004. The said mall has around 100,000 sq m of gross floor area.
Portions of the township now has some condominiums and office buildings for the business-process outsourcing (BPO) sector.
The said redevelopment is mainly anchored on the iconic coliseum, which will have malls and offices built around it.
Mardo said Gateway Mall 3 is already in the conceptual stage, but it involves expansion that connects its BPO buildings.