LOYAL shoppers at the iconic Unimart will be pleased to know their favorite and sentimental shopping haven will shortly have its new relocation site at the Greenhills Shopping Center. Property developer Ortigas & Co. said the new Unimart will be completed and opened by the middle of next year.
Cathy Casares-Ko, Ortigas & Co. general manager for Shopping Centers, said the new building will add around 100,000 square meters
(sq m) of retail and office spaces. “Once the new building is completed, the old Unimart will be torn down,” she added.
The construction of Unimart’s relocation site is part of the Phase 2 of Ortigas & Co.’s redevelopment of the 40-year-old shopping center. Ortigas has earmarked more than P20 billion for Greenhills Shopping Center’s redevelopment.
Casares-Ko said the company has allocated around P2 billion for the construction of a new Unimart building along Club Filipino Road.
Unimart Supermarket will occupy 12,000 sq m on the ground level of the structure. The new site will also have an additional 1,300 parking spaces.
For shoppers who love to remember the old Unimart, Casares-Ko said photos of the facility will be featured in a mural at the new site.
The Unimart and Greenhills Shopping Center opened in 1969. The Greenhills Shopping Center and the supermarket were popular not only to residents in the Greenhills community but also among other Metro Manila residents.
Under Ortigas & Co.’s redevelopment plan, Casares-Ko said Greenhills Shopping Center will also feature residential condominiums, as well as gardens and lagoons.
“We will introduce old elements of Greenhills in the redeveloped shopping center, taking into consideration the nostalgia of Filipinos for the good old days,” Casares-Ko shared.
Greenhills Shopping Center has more than 2,500 tenants who operate mostly small shops. Casares-Ko said this figure goes up during the holidays, when Filipinos normally increase spending and shop for gifts for their loved ones.
Over the years the iconic shopping center has become a mecca for consumers in search for quality but affordable goods. Through word of mouth, Greenhills Shopping Center has now become a tourist spot, where busloads of foreign visitors drop by to check out souvenir items.
The redevelopment of Greenhills Shopping Center, which kicked off in 2010, is expected to be completed by 2025.
Ortigas & Co. actively participated in the “Philippine Shopping Festival 2015” that ran from October 23 to November 8, where the country’s major retailers and mall operators joined forces in promoting the Philippines as the new shopping mecca in the Asia-Pacific region.
The unity shopping festival, an offshoot of the joint efforts of the Department of Tourism and the Philippine Retailers Association, enjoyed the all-out support and participation of the country’s 13 giant and small mall operators with branches nationwide.
PRA President Lorenzo C. Formoso, COO of Duty Free Philippines, said the Philippine Shopping Festival 2015, which happened coinciding with two big international events that the country hosted this year—the Asia Pacific Retailers Convention and Exhibition from October 28 to 30, and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Leaders’ Summit from November 17 to 20—is envisioned to become an annual event, featuring two weeks of great retail bargains and other promotional activities nationwide.