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DoubleDragon ramps up expansion in Phl, opens 45th mall in Surigao

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By Victoria “NIKE” De Dios

DoubleDragon Corporation continues its expansion not just for its hotel business, but also the mall operation.

Today, DoubleDragon opens CityMall-Surigao in Surigao City, Surigao del Norte and its 45th operational mall nationwide and officially making it the  No.4  largest mall developer and landlord in the country in terms of the number of operational malls.

Apart from that, DoubleDragon’s unique positioning as a community mall segment is currently the No.1 largest community mall developer and landlord in terms of the number of operating community malls in the Philippines.

The current CityMall’s GFA forms part of the 1.29 million square meters of fully built and completed GFA in DoubleDragon’s diversified portfolio exceeding its 1 million square meters total GFA target by 2020 set and announced during its IPO listing in the PSE last April 2014, at which point it had practically Zero leasable space.

CityMall-Surigao has a total GFA of 8,608 square meters that sits in a 1.05-hectare of prime commercial land. The then-vacant land right beside the Surigao City Integrated Land Transport Terminal was purchased for land banking way back 2015 and forms part of the string of over 100 prime land spread out across Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao that DoubleDragon acquired mostly from 2014 to 2016, when prime land prices was still mostly less than one-fourth of the land prices today.

CityMall-Surigao’s locator/tenant mix includes a full-size  MerryMart Grocery,  Jollibee, Chowking, Mang Inasal, Greenwich, Highlands Coffee, MerryMart   Pharmacy powered by Carlos  Superdrug,  ALLWin Department Store, Fun Nation, PrimeHub, Vazcon Salon, Potato  Corner, JM Shawarma, Party Toppers by Surigao Toopers, Keisha’s Jewelry, Master Siomai, Tori’s Buco, Redd’s Mango, RRJ, Petrol, Mr. Lee, Bobson, FreeLife, RELX  and Elixir  Store, Car-San  Auto,  Anchiko  Cakes & Pastry  Shop, DTI Go Negosyo, Chef Mike Japanese Cuisine booth, JYG Food Enterprises, Yesha’s Kwek Streetfood Cart, DO Marketing, Lemon District, Samantha’s Steamboat and Mister Donut.

After the opening of CityMall-Surigao today, 3 more CityMalls are slated to be completed in the fourth quarter of this year 2023 namely CityMall-Bay Laguna, CityMall-Palo Leyte, and CityMall-Antique. For next year 2024, a total of 4 more CityMalls are set to open namely CityMall-Gen Trias Cavite, CityMall-Guiwan Zamboanga, CityMall-Ormoc and CityMall-Ozamiz which would make DoubleDragon increase its operational mall portfolio to 52 by the end of 2024.

DoubleDragon’s current 45-mall network which are now all operational to date was constructed and opened from the first CityMall in 2015 to the 45th operating mall in a span of only 8 years as of July 28, 2023. The 45 mall openings in 8 years include the over two years of Covid19 pandemic.

The  CityMalls that were opened before the  Covid19  pandemic are now in batches,  undergoing a refresh makeover since early this year and to be completed by the end of this year in line with the goal of making the CityMalls in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao reach maturity level and attain the optimal above-industry rental yields by 2025.

CityMall’s occupancy level post-Covid19 pandemic has steadily increased and is expected to reach 100% by end of 2024, driven by the continued transition from traditional retail to modern retail in the countryside.

“Within the first three years of DoubleDragon’s IPO in the Philippine Stock  Exchange last April  2014,  we purposely and rapidly acquired the majority of the  Company’s landbank for CityMall when land prices in city centers of prime provincial cities were still low. Today, we have seen exponential value appreciation across the string of prime commercial properties which our DD  team is thankful to have acquired a string of hundreds of prime assets across the country early on,” said DoubleDragon chairman Edgar “Injap” Sia II.

“We see building structures for the recurring revenue business like fruit-bearing trees, where the buildings are like the tree, and the recurring income that eventually follows are like the fruits that keep coming for many decades. And while they produce the fruits year on year, the property like the bark of the tree also becomes more and more valuable,” added Mr. Sia

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