PHL’s Lucio Tan builds second mall in Guam

0
1176

 
THE THE TUMON BAY mall of Lucio Tan, one of the Philippines wealthiest Filipinos. (Photo from gu.junctionews.com)
 
By JO ERLINDA G. NEBRES

AGANA, Guam (PhilAmPress) – Top Filipino businessmen’s invasion of the United States territory Guam seems to be no end.
After former Health Secretary Alfredo Bengzon and his Medical City built a $240-million medical center in this Guam capital for Filipino Americans from the island and the US mainland, Taipan Lucio Tan  is now starting to build his second mall here, called the Tumon Bay Mall after its location, the top tourist spot Tumon Bay.
Already, Tan, who controls the Philippine Air Lines and the Philippine National Bank, among others, is operating his first mall in the US territory, called the Micronesia Mall.
In fact, the Lucio Tan group is now also expanding their first mall to add more space for the mall’s main tenant, the Macy’s department store.
The Micronesia Mall opened in 1988 with 300,000 square feet of space. The mall more than doubled its space a decade later to 750,000 square feet.
A report from columnist Vic Agustin stated the mall expansion and the construction of a second mall was the conglomerate’s preparation for the transfer of some 5,000 US Marines from the American military base in Okinawa island in Japan.

The Tumon Bay Mall,it was learned, was actually an unfinished shopping center and condominium project that the Tan group won in a public auction in December 2010 after its Korean-led investors defaulted.
The mall structure, a two-level, concrete-and-steel building with 20-foot-high ceilings on each floor, is  located along San Vitores Road across from Matapang Beach Park.
Tan-owned subsidiary Grandview bought the property, an unfinished shopping center and condominium project site, for $20.5 million at a public auction in December 2010, Guam Department of Land Management records show.
Seoul-based Shinhan Bank and other investors took a huge loss when the $60 million mortgage on the Tumon Bay Shopping Center and condominium project defaulted, government records showed.
Forbes magazine ranked Tan and his family the Philippines’ fourth- and the world’s 369th- richest in 2015, with a net worth of $3.7 billion from businesses that include cigarette and beer manufacturing and Philippine Airlines
Guam is a US territory which shares history with the Philippines. Both Guam and the Philippines were first “discovered” by Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan under the Spanish flag and colonized for over 300 years by the Spaniards.
As a Spanish colony, Guam was ruled from the Philippines and Mexico and was an important stopover of Manila galleon ships.
Both Guam and the Philippines were ceded by Spain to the United States in 1898 by virtue of the Treaty of Paris.
While the Philippines eventually gained its independence from the US, Guam remained a US territory until today and its residents are considered American nationals and those born here are automatically US citizens.
Being a US territory, Guam continues to have a representative in the US House of Representatives, although the Guam congressman, while they can file bills and resolutions and join in debates, could not vote in the chamber just like the Philippine Represenative when the Philippines was a US Colony for over 50 years.
Due to its shared history, Guam is home to many Filipinos and Filipino Americans. Latest US census showed that the Filipinos and FilAms constitute 26 percent of the territory’s population, which is the second biggest group in the island after the native Chamorros who compose 37 percent of the population.
Inter-marriages between Chamorros and Filipinos resulted to the election of officials of Guam like governor and territorial congressmen and senators of Filipino descent.
Bengzon’s
130-bed Guam Regional Medical City (GRMC) is the first Filipino-owned hospital in United States (US) territory. It officially opened early last year and Guam officials led the guests during its opening.
Majority owned and operated by The Medical City (TMC), GRMC is the latest addition to TMC’s growing network of hospitals and clinics in Pasig City, Clark Freeport and others, including the malls. Its latest addition is in Dagupan City in Pangasinan, the home province of Bengzon.

More than 600 guests from Guam, across Micronesia and from the Philippines graced the opening of the Medical City hospital in Guam.

TMC president and CEO Alfredo R.A. Bengzon and other members of TMC’s senior management, Guam Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo and Guam Governor Eddie Calvo were  present in the opening ceremony.
In his speech during the hospital opening, Bengzon spoke about the perseverance and faith it took them to overcome obstacles and realize their dream to build the hospital located in Dededo, Guam. He likewise emphasized the commitment it represents to the people of Guam.
“GRMC is a gift of TMC and the Filipino people to the people of Guam. I encourage the residents of Guam to embrace TMC’s service philosophy of Patient Partnership, one that moved the patient from the periphery to center stage, defining for him a role as equal and empowered patient in the pursuit of his health,” he said.
GRMC CEO Margaret Bengzon thanked all the people who worked hard to make the event possible.
“We must now look ahead and we need to get started on the real work, providing quality health care for the people of Guam,” she said.
Bordallo, meanwhile, noted the importance of having a new hospital in Guam, which, according to her, will save both the financial and emotional burden of having to seek off island medical care.
It was in 2010 that TMC announced that it would be part owner and full operator of the first private hospital in Guam. GRMC’s services will be aligned with TMC’s centers of excellence and the Region’s specific health profile, featuring wellness, cardiology, medical oncology, endocrinology, pulmonology, neurology and other medical and surgical subspecialties. (Jo Erlinda G. Nebres/PhilAmPress)

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here