Tuesday, 13 March 2012 14:43
TIANJIN - SM Group, the Philippines' largest mall operator, has started the construction of its largest mall in China's northern port city of Tianjin, local authorities said.
With an area larger than 74 football fields, the SM Tianjin Shopping Center is expected to become the world's largest freestanding shopping center in terms of commercial space upon its completion by the end of 2013, said a statement from the government of the Tianjin Binhai New Area.
SM invested 3 billion yuan (476 million U.S. dollars) in the new mall -- the company's largest investment in China to date, said the statement.
Construction started on Saturday. The mall will feature three oval-shaped buildings, which are linked together by a ring-like structure, and will have a total floor area of 530,000 square meters, it said.
Tianjin is only about 30 minutes by high-speed train, and roughly one-and-a-half hours by car, from Beijing.
SM Group was founded by Henry Sy, 87, a China-born immigrant listed by Forbes magazine last year as the Philippines' richest man. The group has 46 malls in the Philippines and China, three of which are among the world's 10 largest malls.
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