Cebu is booming

This “Queen City” in the Visayas continues to boom particularly tourism, property and retail.

Major real estate developers in Cebu are expanding several retail developments to cater to the growing demand for consumer goods.

These are primarily stand-alone supermarkets or neighborhood centers anchored by a supermarket, according to CBRE Philippines.

 Existing shopping malls are on expansion mode to increase mall patronage. Colonnade Shopping Mall, which has 6,000 square meters of gross leasable area, was reopened after undergoing major improvements amounting to P20 million.

 Retail developments launched during the second half of last year included J Centre situated along A. S. Fortuna. The three-storey mall has 70,000 square meters of gross leasable area and is anchored by a hypermarket.

 Last November, two SM Savemore Markets opened in Mandaue. Set to open in 2012 are SM Consolacion, which will have 40,000 square meters of gross leasable area, and Shopwise in Mambaling.

 Ongoing redevelopment of Ayala Center Cebu will bring in additional 36,300 square meters of gross leasable area upon completion in 2013.

 The retail sector thrives with the proliferation of mixed use office-retail buildings and residential condominium developments. Retail sales growth will be buoyed by the demand coming from residents and employees.

 CBRE noted that the stable domestic economy of Cebu has sustained consumer confidence.

 The growing retail spending is backed up by the unabated inflow of overseas remittances and rising income due to the growing outsourcing industry.

 The steadily increasing number of tourists visiting Cebu significantly contributed to retail sales growth.

 The existing broad consumer base prompted international brands to remain active in the leasing market.

 In the second half of 2011, Forever21 launched a branch in SM City Cebu. It is the first outlet of the US fashion brand outside Metro Manila. Krispy Kreme opened stores at the Ayala Center Cebu and Asiatown IT Park in October.

 Likewise, the leasing market is further strengthened by occupier demand coming from local retailers.

 CBRE said the 10.6-hectare retail development will be developed into a waterfront lifestyle strip that will offer a range of seaside leisure activities is intended to complement the residential-office-commercial space project of Filinvest.

 Filinvest Land, the retail component will offer a variety of retail, food, entertainment, and seaside leisure activities. The land development has started in October last year and its first phase will be completed by the third quarter of 2013.

 CBRE noted that Metro Cebu is maturing into the major retail hub of Southern Philippines and is capturing the opportunities that come from the economic drivers.

 With a population of 1.5 million and a total land area of 408 square kilometres, Metro Cebu can be likened to Singapore given its 694 square kilometer land area and 3.2 million resident nationals.

 With the right push and consistent support from both public and private sectors, Metro Cebu can become the newest retail destination in Asia, said CBRE.