Zambo’s malls did not just sprout now— Celso PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 21 January 2016 13:17

The favorable business climate that prevailed in Zamboanga City in past years enticed investors to put up shopping malls in the city. The malls did not just sprout (or come out all of a sudden), explained 1st District Congressman Celso Lobregat in his State of the City Report (SOCR) last Jan. 12, 2015 at Centro Latino, Paseo del Mar.

It was during Lobregat’s term as City Mayor that saw the establishment of four malls, namely, Budgetwise, Yubenco-Putik, Southway Square, and Gateway Shoppers’ Center.

Budgetwise opened on May 2005 wherein Lobregat was invited to cut the ribbon. Also in the ceremonies were then Congressman Erbie Fabian representing the lone district of Zamboanga City and then Vice Mayor Beng Climaco. The Toh’s also established Mindpro on Dec. 7, 1996

Lobregat also led in the ribbon cutting ceremonies formally opening Southway Square on May 8, 2007. He recalled that when Edgar “Apeng” Lim was applying for building permit at City Hall, he reminded the businessman of the need for a parking space. To comply, the building plans were changed and that is the reason why Southway has an underground parking, according to Lobregat.

On May 21, 2008, Gateway Shoppers’ Center opened and again then Mayor Lobregat was part of the ribbon cutting ceremonies. Lobregat recalled that he reminded the Ang’s about the need to comply with the parking requirement which the investor did by acquiring a lot beside the mall and specifically annotated for the purpose.

Lobregat said two other malls opened only recently but construction work for the two malls started a couple of years ago during his watch at City Hall.   He cited as example Yubenco-Tetuan which formally opened on April 26, 2014. Lobregat remembered instructing City Planning Officer Jojo Sicat and City Engineer Luis Despalo to check and monitor the construction of proper drainage facilities considering that it is just beside the Zamboanga City High School-Main.

Another example is KCC MALL de ZAMBOANGA. It was on Oct. 10, 2012 that Lobregat joined KCC owner, Mr. Chan Sui Lam, in simple ground-breaking rites and as then City Mayor officially welcomed the entry of KCC to Zamboanga City.  Construction of the mall, touted to be the biggest in the region, began immediately after the ground-breaking. Completion of the construction work was delayed due to the September 2013 Zamboanga Siege.  KCC MALL de ZAMBOANGA officially opened on Dec. 10, 2015.

Congressman Lobregat said all these shopping malls came into Zamboanga City over a couple of years, and did not just sprout-out now. (Lea LM)