The SM Group is open to building a common area for light rail passengers between its mall in Quezon City and Trinoma Mall owned by Ayala Land Inc. to resolve the dispute over the location of the project.
“The current status [is] we have certain agreement more or less where it would be [located]. It’s a real common area now … not exactly one station, but much much closer to each other,” SM Prime Holdings Inc. president Hans Sy told reporters.
Sy did not specify the location of the proposed common area. The two major shopping malls, both located along Edsa, are separated by North Ave.
“It’s a better solution for everyone. It’s good for them [Ayala], good for us. It’s like compromise. It goes to show how sincere we are in just one thing good for the country,” he said.
Sy, however, said he wanted to see a concrete plan from the government on the common station for Metro Rail Transit Line 3, Light Rail Transit Line 1 and the proposed MRT 7 before signing an agreement.
“We are trying to resolve it. We have more or less a general idea or agreement but I will not sign unless all the plans are done. As I said I want to see the plans done. If the plan is done, it is easier to sign,” he said.
Sy said the company was hoping to resolve the dispute over the location of the common station by June.
The Transportation Department earlier said it would pursue two common stations, one near SM North Edsa and the other beside Trinoma Mall. The Transportation Department’s new strategy of building two common stations aims to resolve a conflict with the SM Group.
SM Prime earlier secured a Supreme Court stay order, barring the department from transferring the location of the common station to Trinoma Mall.
The Transportation Department decided to relocate the common station to Trinoma from SM North, citing P1 billion worth of savings the government would realize from the transfer.
Under an earlier agreement between SM Prime and state-run Light Rail Transit Authority, the common station should be situated beside SM North Edsa. SM Prime already paid the government P200 million for the naming rights for the proposed station.
Metro Pacific Investments Corp. president and chief executive Jose Ma. Lim said his company had proposed to build an interim station between SM City and Trinoma to link MRT 3, LRT 1 and MRT7.
MPIC chairman Manuel Pangilinan earlier said the best solution to resolve the issue on common station was to build it somewhere between SM North Edsa and Trinoma shopping mall.
Pangilinan said the two common stations for MRT Line 3, LRT Line 1 and the proposed MRT Line 7 would be inefficient.
MPIC and Ayala Corp. lead the Light Rail Manila Consortium, which won the contract for the LRT 1 Cavite extension project, which includes designing the common station near Trinoma.