SixSenses Resort is only a stone’s throw away from SM Mall of Asia (MOA). It is literally a block away from one of Asia’s largest shopping mall. More than just a mall, the SM Mall Of Asia is a tourist destination that has raised the standard of shopping, leisure and entertainment in the Philippines.
SM Mall of Asia (MOA) is a shopping mall owned and developed by SM Prime Holdings, the largest mall developer and owner in the Philippines. SM Mall of Asia is the 2nd largest mall in the Philippines after SM City North EDSA, 3rd largest shopping mall in Asia and the 4th largest shopping mall in the world. It has a land area of 42 hectares and has a gross floor area of an approximate 390,193 m² (4.2 million square feet) and 407,101 m² of total area.
The mall is located in Bay City, Pasay City, Philippines near the SM Central Business Park, the Manila Bay and the southern end of EDSA (Epifanio de los Santos Avenue). The mall attracts a daily average foot traffic of about 200,000 people. SM Mall of Asia’s reign from being the largest shopping mall in the Philippines from 2006 was lost when SM City North EDSA had its redevelopment in 2008 pushing Mall of Asia to 2nd place.
Location and Vicinity
The Mall of Asia was constructed within a reclaimed area. It is built on 19.5 hectares of reclaimed land and has a gross floor area of 390,193 square meters. The mall is located at the southmost tip of Epifanio de los Santos Avenue. A roundabout was constructed in the front of the mall with a huge bronze globe similar to that of the Universal Studios Theme Parks and the Unisphere in Flushing Meadows Park in New York City. On November 18, 2009, the globe was turned into an LED Globe also known as GlobAmaze. The first and only full global video display in Asia with its high resolution and full display graphics made possible by the LED’s 26,300 pieces of point lights. This cutting edge LED technology is among other things, weather-proof, has superior brightness, and a long lifetime.
The SM Mall of Asia mall grounds consists of four buildings interconnected by walkways; the Main Mall, the Entertainment Mall, and the North and South Carpark Buildings.
The Main Mall includes shopping and dining establishments and the food court. The Entertainment Mall is a two-story complex, majority of which is open-air, and facing the Manila Bay.
The mall’s 5,000 parking spaces are divided across two, six-story parking buildings conveniently designated the North and South parking buildings. The South Parking building houses the mall’s official SM Department Store, while the mall’s supermarket, the SM Hypermarket is located at the North Parking building.
One of the mall’s somewhat-unique features is a 20-seater tram traveling around the mall grounds to ferry shoppers around.
Concierge desks are located in the Main Mall and the Entertainment Mall.
The mall includes branches of all of the standard anchor stores found in most of the SM Supermalls. The first-ever branch of Taste Asia, one of the SM Supermalls’ food court brands, is located right outside the mall’s supermarket, the sprawling SM Hypermarket.
One of the mall’s main attractions is the first ever IMAX theater in the country, along with a Director’s Club Theater for intimate screenings (30 La-Z-Boy seats), a Premiere Cinema, and the CenterStage Cinema which can used for live musical concerts and theatrical performances. The San Miguel-Coca-Cola IMAX Theatre is one of the world’s biggest IMAX screens in 3D including 2D screenings.
In addition to the mall’s special theaters, it also has six regular two-tiered movie theaters similar to the ones found in almost every SM Supermall.
The mall features the Philippines’s first Olympic-sized ice skating rink. At 61 by 30 meters, the rink is described as the biggest of its kind in Southeast Asia. It can accommodate both recreational and competitive figure skating, as well as ice hockey. Along with plain access and skate rentals, the rink’s operators also offer training progams in both figure skating and ice hockey. Several ice skating competitions have been held at the mall’s ice skating rink, the most prestigious yet having been Skate Asia 2007. It was also the first time that the Philippines had hosted any international ice skating event.
The mall’s open-air Music Hall directly facing the sea has also held several events, contests and concerts.
The mall also provides office space. Dell International Services, a subsidiary of Dell, Inc. once occupied a 13,470.5-square meter area at the second floor of the north parking building of the mall. At present, Teleperformance has taken over that space.
The mall is the centerpiece project of SM Prime at the SM Central Business Park, where five one-story buildings serve as the company’s corporate offices (the sixth building being occupied by TeleTech Holdings, Inc. as their flagship site in the country). Construction began in mid-2002 right after the completion of a contemporary medical school, dining strip and residential complex at Macapagal Boulevard, adjacent to the SM Central Business Park.
The SM Mall of Asia’s design team includes Arquitectonica, design Architect; Robert Carag Ong and Associates, architect of record; GHT Services, project manager, and Hilmarc’s Construction Corp. (for the South Parking Building, Main Mall, and Entertainment Mall) and Monolith Construction Development Corp. (for the North Parking Building), general contractors.
The mall would have opened before Christmas Day of 2005 but had been delayed due to hitches in the delivery of construction materials. Frequent rains in the last quarter of 2005 also delayed the turnover of mall space to tenants. SM Prime decided to move the opening date to March 3, 2006.
On February 27, 2006, local newspaper Manila Standard Today, reported that a team of Pasay City engineers found huge cracks underneath the structure, which was causing the structure to vibrate. When questioned about the inspection, the Pasay City Engineering Department denied making any statement regarding defects in the Mall of Asia. Engineer Edwin Javaluyas, Pasay City engineering officer, in his letter to SM Prime Holdings Inc., said he never stated that the city hall’s engineering department inspected the Mall of Asia on February 23, 2006.
SM Prime however decided to move the opening to May 21 of that year. Jeffrey Lim, corporate information officer of SM Prime Holdings, emphasized that a rescheduling of the mall’s opening was made to give the company an opportunity to allow more tenants to open shops and denied that the change was due to structural defects. Also known as “The Largest Mall in Asia” and “The 4th Largest Mall in the World” On May 20, 2006, the mall was officially inaugurated by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo with a special screening of Everest in the San Miguel Coca-Cola IMAX Theater. The movie was shown three days after tri-athlete Leo Oracion reached the treacherous mountain’s summit. SM Bay City Arena which is under construction will be the newest addition to the attractions at the mall where large events like concerts, circus, ice shows, sports and entertainment events can be held. It is located at the side of the mall church and will compete with the 50 year-old Araneta Coliseum located at Cubao, Quezon City. SM Prime declares to replace every old SM Sign to a New One
An esplanade was constructed at the back of the mall where it served as the observation center for the First World Pyro Olympics in December 2005.
The second World Pyro Olympics were held at the SM Mall of Asia’s boardwalk area in early January, 2007.
The Esplanade was also the venue for Lovapalooza 2, wherein more than 5,300 couples kissed for 10 seconds on February 10, 2007, breaking Hungary’s 4,445 in the Guinness World Records.
Also, an events venue named One Esplanade was constructed here. One Esplanade is usually used for product launches, parties, and other events.
There is also a strip mall owned by Mr. Henry Sy and Mr. Mariano Nocom, called the San Miguel by the Bay at the Esplanade. The strip mall has retail shops and restaurants and is an extension of the retail facilities of the SM Mall of Asia. It was opened on November 2007.
Nido Fortified Science Discovery Center
On October 13, 2007, the P313-million SM Science Discovery Center, the first of its kind in the world, was opened. SM Prime Holdings has partnered with US-based Leisure Entertainment Consultancy (LEC) for the SDC, it features a digital planetarium and a wide range of technology and science-themed exhibits.
In 2009, it was renamed into Nido Fortified Science Discovery Center after being bought by Nestlé Philippines.
Life Clock – Allows visitors to send e-mails to the future addressed to friends or themselves.
ImagePort – Focuses on all things that deal with the lens – from manual to digital cameras capturing the latest gadgets and the future of digital imaging.
SMART Media City – Allows visitors to play installed computer games and GestureTek (a full-body motion-controlled game system).
Transportation Nation – Features the history and future of transportation and displays transportation methods such as SINAG, Wheelsurf, and Segway PT. This is also the exhibit with a flight simulator.
Grossology – Features the grossness education.
Spaceship Earth – Previously, it featured exhibits on the environment. After Nestlé bought the museum, it was turned into a motion-game venue.
Virtual Reef – Focuses on marine or underwater life. It features Mr. T, a talking cartoon titan fish who explains how to save coral reefs.
City Science – Features replicas of some of the tallest skyscrapers in the world, a replica of PBCom Tower, and an interactive earthquake experience.
Robot Inc. – Features robots both fictional and non-fictional, displaying their origins and other information about them.
Digistar Planetarium – A 15-meter planetarium which has a 3-D “screen” on top of the seats.
LEGO Mindstorms Robotics Center – Features LEGO Mindstorms robot designs. Addition entrance fees apply in this exhibit.
SMX Convention Center
The SMX Convention Center (formerly Maitrade Expo and Convention Center) (Project Name: MAITrade) is the Philippines’ largest privately run exhibition and convention center. The 46,647-square meter building will have three floors and basement parking with a total leasable area of 19,800 square meters featuring large exhibition areas and function rooms. The convention center can fit approximately 6,000 people.
The groundbreaking was held on March 23, 2006. The P900 million project, was completed and inaugurated on November 5, 2007. It is set to compete with the nearby state-run Philippine International Convention Center and World Trade Center Manila.
The 46,647-square meter building will have three floors and basement parking with a total leasable area of 19,800 square meters. The Architect, Arch. Jose Siao Ling, designed the structure maximizing the use of space, giving exhibitors flexibility and options in terms of their specific area requirements. The exhibition area at the ground level will have a floor area of 9,000-square meters, which can be divided into four halls. Commercial shops will be located along the perimeter. A bridgeway on the second level will connect SMX Convention Center to the mall’s south parking building. The third level will have a total floor area of 8,730 square meters, which can be divided into six halls for functions and conventions, along with nine meeting rooms.
One E-com Center
One E-com Center (known as SM Corporate Center) To provide for the office and workspace requirements of prospective IT-related locator companies and for support office and backroom operations of business process outsourcing. The first building, One E-com Center, began March 8, 2006. The building was completed on the first week of October 2007. Its first occupant, Fitness First opened its doors on October 12, 2007. Office started to fill on January 2008.
The 105,857 square meter, 10 storey One E-com Center was designed by international firm Arquitectonica and Architect Felix Lim. The building itself will have a total of 71,934 square meters available for lease. Seven floors will be allotted for office space, and the ground floor for commercial use. The average floor plate will be 9,000 square meters. There will be two and a half levels for parking with 600 slots. Tenants on the fourth floor will enjoy the convenience of parking their cars on the same floor as their offices. Offices on all floors can look out into a courtyard in the middle of the whole structure.
More than its design features, tenants of One E-com Center will also enjoy tax incentives as it is completes its registration with the Philippine Export Zone Authority (PEZA). Its strategic location and proximity to the airport will ensure a strong market response for One E-com Center. The building is connected by a second level pedestrian bridgeway to the mall’s north parking building.
Adjacent to the convention center, MetroStar Ferry Terminal, a ferry terminal has been completed to service passengers who wish to travel to peninsular Cavite City. The ferry service will cut travel time to Cavite City from 90 minutes by road to less than 30 minutes. The terminal will also serve as a passenger port for tourists who will travel to SM’s tourism estate, the Hamilo Coast, in Nasugbu, Batangas. On September 24, 2007, Philippine Export-Import Credit Agency (PhilEXIM) inaugurated the P135-million ferry project (between Cavite City and SM Mall of Asia). PhilEXIM President Virgilio R. Angelo stated that it guaranteed the loan of Metrostar Ferry, Inc. (Metrostar) for the government’s Manila Bay Transport Project. Angelo stated that the ferry service would also open in the Cavite City-Luneta Boardwalk-Del Pan Bridge waterway. 20,000 riders are expected to benefit (cost of P60-70, 6:30 am until 7:00 pm).
San Miguel by the Bay
Manila mayor Alfredo Lim ordered the demolition of structures along the shorelines of Manila Bay, Manila known as Baywalk. It was one of the flagship projects of his predecessor Lito Atienza. The demolition coincides with the construction of a dining strip and open park at the back of the mall called San Miguel by the Bay. Patrons of the deserted Baywalk quickly flocked the new feature of the Mall of Asia complex, which is also along the shorelines of Manila Bay in Pasay City.
The dining strip also features a small seafood market (known as Dampa) where patrons can buy fresh seafood and request to cook them in Paluto stalls.
Mall of Asia Arena
A multipurpose Arena set to be open in May 19, 2012, with a capacity of 20,000 people. It will be rival to the 51 year old Araneta Coliseum.
Two E-com Center
The second phase of the four BDO towers in Mall of Asia complex. Designed by the world-renowned firm Arquitectonica. It is expected to open in 4th quarter of 2011.
The MOA Eye (Mall of Asia Eye) is a 55-metre (180 ft) tall Ferris wheel which opened to the public on Dec. 18, 2011, at the SM Mall of Asia complex. The tallest Ferris wheel in the Philippines, it has 36 air-conditioned gondolas, each able to carry up to six persons, giving a maximum capacity of 216 passengers. The duration of the ride is between 10 and 15 minutes.