July 14, 2019

PH First Modern Shopping Mall Harrison Plaza Faces Rumored Closure

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  • With stalls selling various merchandise, a roster of known fast-food chains, and a spacious center where families stroll around, Harrison Plaza truly emits numerous nostalgic memories.

    Its pathways and alleys still hold some of Filipinos’ vivid childhood memories. Indeed, it is a place filled with remembrance but has been completely forgotten as time passed by.

    And now that rumors—once again—sparked calling for its demolition in the future, one can’t help but question oneself: Is now the right time to bid Harrison Plaza goodbye?

    IMAGE Judgefloro via Wikimedia Commons 

    Opened in 1976, Harrison Plaza is the first modern shopping mall in the Philippines. Considered as a mall stuck in the past, it featured a cinema, amusement rides, Jai alai fronton site, and a hotel in its early years.

    It also housed the country’s major department store chains like SM Department Store and Rustan’s. The mall, situated along Harrison Avenue in the district of Malate, is even home to the old-fashioned McDonald’s and Jollibee still sporting the 90’s vibe.

    However, the then crowded mall failed to keep up with the changing times hence facing closure rumors.

    Three years ago, it was first reported that SM Prime Holdings Inc., a major property developer, has committed to invest at least Php 40 billion to save the mall from its downturn.

    IMAGE Judgefloro via Wikimedia Commons 

    The report said SM plans of a proper redevelopment in the area, putting up business process outsourcing offices and residential towers in the complex. The firm is also reportedly partnering with the Manila City government, aiming to turn the seven-hectare property into a mixed-use development.

    In April last year, a report said that SM Prime Holdings chairperson Henry Sy Jr. was finalizing a deal to buy out the Martel family’s, owners of the said mall, contract with the local government of Manila.

    “It’s a very good area. This can be a massive project,” Sy was quoted. “We could build a new shopping center with (residential) condominium above it.”

    “Once we finish (discussions) with the Martels, we will start with it right away. Right now, demand for (residential condominium) units is so much, so I have to keep on replenishing land because we’re running out of land,” Sy added.

    According to SM, the Martels only have a few years left to manage the Harrison Plaza complex. Sy said that the mall’s redevelopment project depends on the circumstances of the Martel’s contract, which is set to expire by 2020 or 2022.

    In its poor situation, with tiangges battling for customers and wide parking spaces waiting for cars, it seems the two-story Harrison Plaza only awaits the right time to turn itself into a flashy, new shopping center.


    Source: theurbanroamer.comnews.abs-cbn.combusiness.inquirer.net
    Featured image from Wikimedia Commons. 

               
               
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