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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Ayala malls get P13-b ‘reinvention’

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Ayala Malls, a unit of real estate giant Ayala Land Inc. (ALI), is investing P13 billion for the redevelopment of four of its iconic malls in Metro Manila and Cebu in response to changing consumer preferences in the digital and post-pandemic era.

Leading the charge to transform the customer retail  experience with the redevelopment of ALI’s flagship malls this 2024, is ALI Director and Senior Vice President for Leasing and Ayala Malls President Mariana Beatriz Zobel de Ayala.

Bold ambition

Her strategy involves transforming Ayala Malls’ four  premier malls — Glorietta, Greenbelt, TriNoma, and Ayala Center Cebu (a total of about 400,000 square meters of gross leasable area) — to address the needs and  tastes of a new era. “Ayala Malls wants to redefine third spaces, to give customers exciting memorable  places where they can interact with each other and the brands they love,” explained Zobel. “This bold ambition is the heart  of the visionary reinvention of Ayala Malls.”

In a press briefing last week , Zobel  noted that “this is the first time in our history that we will embark on renovating at least four of our major flagship malls at once.” The P13 billion budget does not include Greenbelt 1 which will be completely rebuilt.

“Ayala Malls wants to redefine third spaces, to give customers exciting memorable places where they can interact with each other and the brands they love. This bold ambition is the heart of the visionary reinvention of Ayala Malls,” Zobel added.

Changes to stay relevant

Noting that some of these malls are already 30 years old, Ayala Malls Inc. Chief Operating Officer Paul Andrew Birkett said, “we are now at this revolutionary stage where we have to make changes in order to stay relevant.”

For this, ALI has tapped global experts, foreign architects and designers: Buchan of Australia for Glorietta and Ayala Center Cebu, Gensler of the US for Greenbelt, and CAN Design Ltd of Hong Kong for TriNoma.

The redevelopment will start this quarter for the four malls with TriNoma set to be the first to be completed in the last quarter of 2025 while Glorietta, Greenbelt 2, and Ayala Center Cebu to be finished in 2026. Greenbelt 1, which will be a new build, will be closed by April 2024 and will be completed

Exterior and interior features will be refreshed to reflect a modern and fresh aesthetic, intuitive wayfinding and circulation, and a more cohesive customer experience. 

Lush greeneries and open spaces—a signature Ayala Mall feature—will continue to be a key element, with outdoor parks and al fresco spaces seamlessly integrated into the mall dynamics.

Sustainability, a facet of the new design

“The redevelopment will unleash the full potential of the malls’ retail spaces, enhance areas for convergence and experiences, and create spaces that challenge Ayala Malls’ retailers to bring their best,” Zobel declared.

Sustainability is also an important facet of the new design, and will allow businesses to grow and flourish, while being more efficient in its operations with lower environmental impact.

The makeover will not just focus on aesthetics but will enrich the overall mall experience, Zobel said. Each Ayala Mall will be a remarkable space where customers can discover and enjoy unique and best-in-class experiences for retail, dining, entertainment, and leisure. 

There will be a reimagined mix of local and global brands that are specially curated for each mall’s market and communities, and new concepts for customers to discover. 

Re-setting priorities

Speaking to the Manila Standard, Zobel acknowledged that “much has changed for all of us – both during and before the pandemic.”

“We’ve seen habits changes, preferences evolve, and priorities re-set. With this, we feel it is an opportunity to usher in a new era for Ayala Malls – and a new experience for our customers,” she noted.

“What motivates us in all that we do is the opportunity to build spaces that people love,” she averred.

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