By Aileen Garcia-Yap
Cebu Daily News
7:54 am | Wednesday, July 20th, 2011
After breaking ground 17 months ago, J Center Mall executives said they are on target to open their new mall this year in A.S. Fortuna Street, Mandaue City.
“We are very optimistic that we can open within this year as promised,” said Jerry Uy, corporate secretary of Everjust Realty Development Corp.
“We have reached 60 percent to 70 percent occupancy. Many tenants already confirmed to rent space.”
With Cebu’s real estate industry in high gear, he said the government has to keep up with developments.
“With that momentum, the government should be at par with the private sector developments and try to provide the basic support infrastructure to make sure that these developments grow and encourage more activities in their areas,” said Uy.
The mall occupies part of a 3.2 hectare five-year development project in Mandaue City .
He described the structure as 70 percent complete.
As of July 12, there were 71 confirmed tenants for J Center Mall which includes banks, food chains, specialty restaurants, spa and wellness centers, clothing and shoe brands, gift shops, jewelry shops, pharmacy, hardwares and accessories shops.
Uy said the mall has attracted premium brands, which are mostly based in Manila. The mall is positioned as an upper-class establishment.
Several banks will occupy the lower ground floor.
The upper ground floor has SM Hypermarket as its anchor along with other shops on the second floor and third floor, Uy said.
Based on the developer’s initial plan, the first phase which is the mall covers 92,000 square meters with 6,200 square meters for the anchor tenant SM Hypermarket
About a hectare of floor space will be made available for BPO (business process outsource) locators.
He said there were exploratory talks with at least three BPO companies since offices in Cebu are needing more space to expand.
The other phases of the project include constructing and maintaining a hotel and apartelle.
For the hotel, they plan to engage a third party to manage, Uy said.
The firm is considering a three-star business hotel brand but has not final choice yet.
“We see a business hotel as more appropriate for the area. A five-star brand will not do simply because the infrastructure we have is not yet enough to support such brands,” he said.
Uy said he mid-sized hotels that have recently opened in the area will add more business activity in the area.
“We have The Orchard Hotel and Allure which are midsized business hotels in the area so we are anticipating more exciting activities within the next five years,” he said.
J Center Mall is the first project of Everjust Realty Development Corp.
The firm signed a long-term lease contract with SM Prime Holdings for , SM’s Consolacion property set to start operations this year.
Justin Uy, president and chief executive officer, announced in last month’s launching of the mall that the company is interested to to develop a resort property and a hospital in Cebu.
He gave no other details though.