Greenhills
Greenhills logo
Greenhills Shopping Center.jpg
LocationGreenhills, San Juan, Metro Manila, Philippines
Coordinates14°36′06.26″N 121°02′59.42″E / 14.6017389°N 121.0498389°E / 14.6017389; 121.0498389Coordinates: 14°36′06.26″N 121°02′59.42″E / 14.6017389°N 121.0498389°E / 14.6017389; 121.0498389
OwnerOrtigas & Company[1][2]
Music Museum Group (management of Promenade & Theater Mall)
No. of stores and services2,000+ (2014)[3]
No. of floorsMain Mall: 2
Main Mall Expansion: 7 + 3 for basement carpark
Virra Mall: 4
Shoppesville: 3
Promenade: 2
Theater Mall: 2
Unimart: 2
Public transit accessBus interchange  11  Greenhills
Websitegreenhills.com.ph

Greenhills, formerly and still commonly known as the Greenhills Shopping Center, is a 16 hectares (0.16 km2) mixed-use shopping, residential and leisure development located in Greenhills, San Juan, Metro Manila, the Philippines.

Established by Ortigas and Company as the centerpiece shopping center of the Greenhills development in the 1970s, it is a mall complex containing more than 2,000 stores and is one of the oldest shopping malls in the country.[3]

History

The Greenhills Theatre Mall in 2012
The Greenhills Theatre Mall in 2012

Conception

In 1966, the plans for building the Greenhills Shopping Center began which followed a two-year study of community development projects in various parts around the world. The concept was presented by Filipino architect Juan Nakpil.[4]

1970s to 1980s

The Greenhills Shopping Center opened in the early 1970s and was among the first shopping centers to be established in the Philippines. The shopping complex housed shopping malls, the Virra Mall and Shoppesville, the Manilabank, PCIB (now BDO), Padilla, and Crossroads arcades, Greenhills Theater, Greenhills Bowling Alley, and a supermarket by the name of Unimart. All of these facilities were leased out to other companies except the theater. These companies in turn leased out space to small retailers.[5]

In the 1980s, Greenhills was a place to hang out during the weekends, especially for the youth who often frequented the Virra Mall, to shop, watch movies, dine, visit the video arcades and to go to hobby stores at Shoppesville. Music Hall and Annapolis Live is also frequented. Later tiangges or small stalls began to sprout in Greenhills. They started out in annual bazaars during the Christmas season and eventually increased in numbers and their operations became all-year-round.[6]

Redevelopment

Greenhills in 2008.
Greenhills in 2008.

Most of the lease were expired by 2002, and most of the companies which the facilities were leased to did not make any significant improvements or renovations since their lease contracts were about to expire. Greenhills lost tenants and visitors as other shopping centers opened in other parts of Metro Manila. Ortigas & Company, initially planned to sell the complex but decided against it and started to redevelop the complex themselves. A new management team was set up in late 2001 to facilitate the complex's redevelopment.[5][7]

Among the first redevelopments was the renovation of the Greenhills Theater into the Greenhills Theatre Mall. The Greenhills Theatre Mall was reopened to the public on January 27, 2002.[8] Previously the facility which houses two theaters, had fallen to near-disuse, occasionally opening only for special event of corporations and Christian fellowships.[9]

The Virra Mall was also renovated from January to December 2005.[10] The former Virra Mall, built in 1975 and sculptural design done by architect José María Zaragoza, was demolished in January 2005.[11]

Another redevelopment project composed of two phase costing around ₱25 billion was started in 2010. The first phase was completed in 2013, with the introduction of more parking and retail space, cinemas and The Viridian, a 53-storey residential condominium, with turnover to residents made in April 2016.[12] The new relocated Unimart, occupying the first two levels (including Anson's) of the new Greenhills Carpark Building built next to the one-storey Unimart site, opened on July 2, 2017.[13] The latter is now the site of the expansion of Greenhills' Main Mall.

The Annapolis carpark has been demolished to give way for the construction of The Connor, its 2nd residential tower in the complex. V-Mall's foodcourt has been closed and is now converted into a new zone with restaurants.

Expansion of main mall

A new 7-level (100,000 m2 (1,100,000 sq ft) GFA) integrated regional mall with a hybrid lifestyle and budget retail format, rising at the former Unimart building, will be built to accommodate 150 global brands in addition to 2,000 new tiangge stalls. The new mall will play host to six new cinemas (4 prestige + 2 regular) in addition to eight digital cinemas at Greenhills Promenade and Theater Mall and two new foodcourts (budget-friendly and upscale Food Hall). It will have 3 levels of basement parking with 1,300 slots.[14]

Another annex will be built at the former Greenhills Lifestyle Center wing, which is expected to open on late 2022. The three-storey mall will host 120 tenants along with new attractions and lifestyle options that will connect to the rest of the mall area.[15]

Visitors

Greenhills has been a destination for bargain hunters since the 1970s. In 2003, it was reported that around 90,000 people a day visited the shopping complex, who stayed a few hours to shop and eat. About 80 percent of these shoppers were from 15–39 years old, and over half belonged to the middle and higher class, particularly from socioeconomic class A, B, and C. More than half of the shoppers were women.[7]

Tenants

The tiangge area within Greenhills in 2017
The tiangge area within Greenhills in 2017

Around 2,000 entrepreneurs have stalls and shops within the complex's tiangge or flea market in 2003. On the same year, it is reported that an estimate of 90 percent of all South Sea pearls in the country go through Greenhills with a dedicated Pearl Center within the complex. Most of the pearl traders during this period comes from Marawi, Lanao del Sur in Mindanao. Among the other goods sold within the complex are furniture and clothing.[7]

Major retailers in the country, Bayo, Kamiseta, Bench, Ricky Reyes, Folded & Hung, Gift Gate, Odyssey, Alberto, Astro Vision, Plains & Prints and Celine started as small shops in Greenhills. In addition to this, major food players Jollibee, KFC, McDonald's, Mang Inasal and many other well known food franchise thrive in the area.[7]

Religious facilities

Chapel of the Holy Family, belonging to Latin Rite Catholics
Chapel of the Holy Family, belonging to Latin Rite Catholics

The complex houses Chapel of the Holy Family, a Roman Catholic chapel, and Masjid Greenhills, a Muslim musallah or prayer room.[2] Victory, an Born Again Christian church, also opened a branch at the fourth floor of Virra Mall.

Greenhills Masjid

A majority of the tenants at the Greenhills Shopping Center are Filipino Muslims of Maranao ethnicity, mainly as refugees of the Moro conflict in Mindanao.[16]

In 2004, Ortigas and Company opened the McKinley Building, a four-storey parking building on the west side of the shopping center. This was followed a year later by the opening of the Greenhills Masjid, a fully air-conditioned musalla on one floor of the building. The floor also includes a washing area and a Halal-certified restaurant serving Maranao cuisine. The masjid is able to accommodate up to 400 worshippers at a time.[17] This was welcomed by the Muslim merchants of the shopping center, who had previously used a dimly lit service alley between the Unimart supermarket and the old Virra Mall as their musalla.[18][2] During that year, 500 out of the 2000 merchants were reportedly Filipino Muslims.[17]

Construction controversy

The construction of the Greenhills Masjid initially drew controversy from residents and homeowner associations of the adjacent Greenhills subdivisions due to fears and allegations that the Masjid would "attract gangs and terrorists" and lower property values, with residents threatening to boycott the shopping center if the project continued.[18]

Ortigas Land chief operation officer Rex Drilon refuted the claims, assuring residents that the Muslim traders are "honest to goodness merchants eking out an honest living". He also denied that land values would drop due to the presence of the Muslim traders or the Greenhills Masjid, stating that property values of lots in the Greenhills area did not drop despite the 1997 Asian financial crisis.[18] Greenhills Shopping Center general manager Joey Santos also stated that they would never consider dropping the project as it did not violate any laws, while recognizing the Muslim traders as "contributors to the success of Greenhills".[2]

Religious activists praised the project as an example of "religious intolerance", while the Chapel of the Holy Family briefly suspended mass services during the Masjid's construction to show solidarity with the Muslim community. One of the homeowner associations had also written San Juan mayor JV Ejercito a letter demanding him to stop the project. However, the mayor instead lauded the project, calling it a "noble" gesture, and was reportedly irked at the "apparent religious intolerance".[2] The Masjid opened in 2005 without any opposition, with opposing residents accepting that "there was nothing that they could do about it".[2]

Incidents

References

  1. ^ "More Cinemas in Greenhills". Manila Standard. 16 September 2002. Retrieved 9 January 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d e f del Puerto, Luigi (1 February 2005). "Greenhills prayer room for Muslims now open". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 9 January 2016.
  3. ^ a b "About Us". Greenhills Shopping Center. Retrieved 9 January 2016.
  4. ^ "Ortigas & Company". 2016-10-28. Archived from the original on 2016-10-28. Retrieved 2021-07-30.
  5. ^ a b Arceo-Dumlao, Tina (3 August 2003). "Malls may abound, but innovations still a must". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 9 January 2016.
  6. ^ Daroy, Enrico (15 July 2005). "Value-for-money". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 9 January 2016.
  7. ^ a b c d Arceo-Dumlao, Tina (11 May 2003). "Competitive retailers grew up in the same place". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 9 January 2016.
  8. ^ "Stars, politicians grace grand opening of Greenhills Theater Mall". Philippine Daily Inquirer. 27 January 2002. Retrieved 9 January 2016.
  9. ^ Llamas, Cora (17 March 2002). "At last Greenhills Theater gets a facelift". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 9 January 2016.
  10. ^ "Surfing at the Carpark! Former Virra Mall tenants temporarily housed at Annapolis Carpark". Philippine Daily Inquirer. 4 June 2005. Retrieved 9 January 2016.
  11. ^ Villalon, Augusto (24 January 2005). "José María Zaragoza, unappreciated architect". Pride of Place. Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 9 January 2016.
  12. ^ "Greenhills redevelopment enters second phase". The Philippine Star. 26 August 2013. Retrieved 9 January 2016.
  13. ^ "First Look: The New Unimart at Greenhills Shopping Center".
  14. ^ "Ortigas & Co. ramps up Greenhills redev't with new P6.3-B mall » Manila Bulletin Business". Business.mb.com.ph. Retrieved 2020-03-02.
  15. ^ "Ortigas Malls announces groundbreaking of Greenhills Mall annex, set to open end-2022". Manila Bulletin. Retrieved 2022-07-03.
  16. ^ Yang, Cathy (September 14, 2018). "'Tiangge' stalls have place in revamped Greenhills: Ortigas and Co". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved August 11, 2022.
  17. ^ a b Soliven, Max (September 17, 2004). "The Ortigas 'mosque' in our Greenhills shopping center makes news in 'sin' city". The Philippine Star. Retrieved August 11, 2022.
  18. ^ a b c "Shopping mall "mosque" project riles elite Manila suburb". Agence France-Presse. October 15, 2004. Retrieved August 11, 2022.
  19. ^ Talabong, Rambo (2 March 2020). "Dozens held hostage at Greenhills mall, ex-guard armed with gun, grenades". Rappler. Retrieved 2020-03-02.
  20. ^ "Philippines records its first local case of coronavirus". CNN Philippines.