MANILA - Harrison Plaza ceased commercial operations on the last day of 2019, as the SM Group - one of the Philippines' largest conglomerates - is set to begin to transform the capital city's first major mall into a mixed-use development.
SM Prime Holdings earlier entered a long-term joint development agreement with the Manila government to modernize the 7-hectare Harrison Plaza complex that has been lagging behind newer entertainment centers in the capital region for decades.
The Malate mall was built in 1976 and was thriving up to the early '90s as mallgoers flocked to its in-house skating rink, bowling center, and upscale stores.
The city government of Manila will continue to keep and "protect" its interests in the iconic shopping center that was bid out to private firms by the previous city administration, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno earlier said.
"We are looking into how we are going to protect the interest of the city government of Manila [since] we still have semblance of ownership in the area,” Moreno told reporters in a chance interview in August 2019.
"We will study it further on how it is going to be economically viable for the city government of Manila," he said.
ABS-CBN News tried to get a fresh statement from Moreno's office but has yet to receive a response.
- With reports from Johnson Manabat, ABS-CBN News