With train lines intersecting in Tutuban, Prime Orion to expand center
MANILA – Prime Orion is pursuing plans to expand leasable space in Tutuban Center as competition gets tighter in Manila's famous shopping district of Divisoria.
Yuen Po Seng, president and chief executive of Prime Orion, said around 40,000 square meters (sqm) of leasable space will be added to the complex in the next two to three years.
“With new development coming in, we will probably be having another 40,000 sqm leasable area in the next two to three years. This short term vision would maybe even double revenues we have in Tutuban itself...Right now, we have about 60,000 sqm leasable space,” Seng told ANC on Friday.
Seng said the expansion will allow the company to take advantage of the growing population in the area, which is the site for the proposed common station of the North-South commuter rail and the Light Rail Transit-Line 2 (LRT-2).
Tutuban gets about 1 million visitors every month, but the new railway line is expected to bring an additional 400,000 people per day.
"The DOTC has made some recent announcements that it is establishing the North-South commuter rail. What's exciting is that it will intersect with LRT-2 on Recto. And they are intersecting right where Tutuban is, so right where we are is going to be a major transfer station, the likes of Hong Kong and Japan where you have massive people criss-crossing. The consultants were saying that there could be as much as 400,000 people on a daily basis," Seng said.
He noted that 2014 may have been the “worst year” for Tutuban Center due to the rise of competitors such as the 168 Mall, 999 Mall and Lucky Chinatown Mall.
“We welcome all these new names, really, because it made the area much bigger. Although the pie has been much bigger, our share of it has shrunk a little bit. We think that maybe 2014 could be our worst year,” he said.
However, he is confident that Tutuban’s sales will bounce back this year and grow 10 percent, driven by the country’s economic growth that results to higher spending power.
“Looking forward, and looking at the numbers we have right now, we are coming back up again. Partly because the economy is doing much better, there's more spending power now for the people. So I’m really positive that we will see a much better year in 2015,” he said.
Aside from Tutuban Center, Prime Orion is also the listed firm behind Lepanto Ceramics, FLT Prime Insurance Corp, Orion Maxis, and Orion IT Solutions. -- Report from Michelle Ong, ANC