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Rise of the ‘pocket’ malls

Metro Manila is slowly running out of space. Our beloved metropolis has, to some degree of success, transitioned from a horizontal community to a vertical one. Highrise residences and offices are being built all over town, catering to the dwelling, employment and lifestyle needs of the region’s growing population.

The city is also home to some of the most monstrous shopping centers on Earth. SM Megamall in Mandaluyong boasts 500,000 square meters of retail space—the third largest in the world. After all, we, Filipinos, are notorious mall-goers. But again, the country’s political and economic epicenter is getting so congested. The solution: “pocket” malls.

This is a concept that’s gaining traction in Makati City, specifically within the high-density central business district, where a lot of vertical developments are happening.

Late last year, SM’s Jazz Mall opened. It serves as the retail component of the Jazz Residences mixed-use condominium project on Metropolitan Avenue. With only 14,000 square meters of retail space, the pocket mall is equipped to host around 36 stores. Among those are SM flagships, such as SM Hypermarket, SM Appliance Center, Watsons and the “Express” version of Ace Hardware. In line with the current demands of accessibility and convenience, the mall caters to the residents of its adjoining condominium building, as well as residents of nearby villages and office workers in the area.

A hop and skip away is The Shops at Alphaland Makati Place, a three-tower residential and city club complex on Ayala Avenue Extension. The retail area totals a little less than 20,000 square meters and houses Rustan’s Supermarket, National Book Store, Handyman, 7-Eleven, The Generics Pharmacy, and Sarabia Optical.

Meanwhile, on Kalayaan Avenue is the Century City Mall, the lifestyle hub of the Century City mixed-use development composed of several high-end residential and commercial projects and a medical center. The mall has a three-screen full-digital 5.1 Dolby Surround movie theater, plus a luxurious 7.1 Dolby Atmos Surround cinema with 60 reclining leather one-seaters, an events center and over 100 tenants, including Rustan’s Supermarket, Beauty Bar and Dimensione. The 17,000-square-meter space is well-utilized and integrated to serve its purpose as the one-stop shopping destination of the vertical community’s residents and those who live in the posh villages of Makati.

Of course, all of these pocket malls provide plenty of dining options and favorite hangout places like fast-food chains, coffeehouses, and tea rooms.

Source: Manila Standard Today | March 13, 2014


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