SM Mall of Asia
SM Mall of Asia
SM Mall of Asia
SM Mall of Asia, also abbreviated as SM MOA, is a shopping mall in Bay City, Pasay, Philippines, near the SM Central Business Park, the Manila Bay, and the southern end of Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA).
Owned and developed by SM Prime Holdings, the largest mall chain owner and developer in the Philippines, it has a land area of 42 hectares, a gross floor area of approximately 406,962 square meters (4.38050×106 sq ft), and attracts a daily average foot traffic of about 200,000 people.
It is currently the 4th largest shopping mall in the Philippines and the 11th in the world. When it opened in 2006 it was the largest shopping mall in the Philippines until SM City North EDSA was redeveloped in 2008, and was relegated to third place by the expansion of SM Megamall from 2011 until November 27, 2015 when SM Seaside City Cebu opened to the public.
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).
The SM Mall of Asia’s design team includes Arquitectonica, design architect; 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.
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 Philippine tri-athlete Leo Oracion reached the treacherous mountain’s summit.
Mall of Asia consists of four buildings interconnected by walkways; the Main Mall, the Entertainment Mall, and the North and South Parking Buildings.
The Main Mall includes shopping and dining establishments and the food court. The Entertainment Mall is a two-story complex, most of which is open-air, and faces Manila Bay. Both have concierge desks.
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 The SM Store, while the mall’s supermarket, the SM Hypermarket is located at the North Parking Building.
Since its opening in 2006, visitors to the mall have been welcomed by large steel framed globe on a roundabout at the southern tip of Epifanio de los Santos Avenue. In 2009, the globe was turned into Globamaze, an LED display.
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 use 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. Two new digital theaters were opened at the north side of the entertainment mall, for a total of eight theaters.
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 programs 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. Until 2015, Teleperformance took over that space. Currently, It has been replaced by the mall anchor Cyberzone for IT-related shops, one of the biggest since SM North EDSA.
OneE-com Center (known as SM Corporate Center) provides for the office and workspace requirements of prospective IT-related locator companies and to support office and backroom operations of business process outsourcing. The first building, OneE-comCenter, began March 8, 2006. The building was completed in the first week of October 2007. Its first occupant, Fitness First opened its doors on October 12, 2007. The office started to fill in January 2008.
The 105,857 square meter, 10 story OneE-comCenter 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.
The building is connected by a second level pedestrian bridgeway to the mall’s North Parking Building.
The Two E-com Center is the second phase of the four BPO towers in the Mall of Asia complex. It has a gross floor area of 107,862 square meters and consists of two towers – 15 story office building with retail areas at Ground and 4th Floor Level. The parking areas are located at the 2nd and 3rd-floor level. The TwoE-com Center is designed by the world-renowned firm Arquitectonica.
Completed in 2015, the 15-storey BPO building, similar to Two E-Com Center, is attached atop a four-storey podium, again named Prism Plaza. The newest building in the complex is primarily occupied by Telstra, with other support offices occupying the building.
The Mall of Asia concert grounds, also called the Mall of Asia parking grounds when there is no event, are public spaces located west of the E-com Center buildings that are used to hold mass gatherings, primarily concerts. When there is no event, the venue is used as a parking lot to accommodate employees of the E-com Center buildings, as well as mall guests. The concert grounds comprise two complex blocks: one that can accommodate about 30,000 persons, and another that will bring the capacity to about 80,000.
The venue was the site of the Close-Up Forever Summer concert tragedy that occurred in May 2016.
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.
The Mall of Asia Eye is a 55-meter (180 ft) tall Ferris wheel which opened to the public at the SM Mall of Asia complex on December 18, 2011. It has 36 air-conditioned gondolas, each able to carry up to six persons, giving a maximum capacity of 216 passengers.
Mall of Asia Arena
The Mall of Asia Arena is an indoor arena within the SM Mall of Asia complex which has a seating capacity of 16,000 and a full house capacity of 20,000, which opened to the public on June 16, 2012. The arena is the alternative venue of the Philippine Basketball Association and the main venue of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines.
Exploreum Science 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 Company (LEC) Worldwide 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.
In 2014 Nido Fortified Science Discovery Center was rebranded to The Exploreum, Which features 118 new interactive exhibits and over 100 non-interactive exhibits in eight major interactive galleries namely the Natural World, Human Adventure, Zoom, Connect, Cyberville, Space Camp, the Living Earth, and Science Park.
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 used as an alternate with the nearby state-run Philippine International Convention Center and World Trade Center Metro Manila located in the CCP Complex.
The 46,647-square meter building is composed of three floors and a 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.
Mall expansion and redevelopments
A new 2-level expansion will be built at the top of the main mall which is now currently undergoing construction and will set to fully complete by 2019, with the first phase of the expansion fully opening in 2017 (although half of the first phase has opened in September 2016). The expansion wings will connect to the mall carpark buildings.
The new expansion will feature an iconic rooftop track and football field with grandstand, botanical gardens, and parks at the mall’s 4th level roofdeck plus all-new shops and restaurants at the mall’s third, and fourth levels. It will be built in phases. The first phase will feature the new Olympic-sized Ice Skating Rink and a Food Hall (replacing the old Foodcourt) on the 3rd Floor along with more new shops and restaurants.
The new expansion will be accompanied by major changes in the mall layout and tenant mix. For instance, the ice skating rink will be moved on the 3rd floor of the mall. On 2015, the ice skating rink in the main mall was closed to make way for the expansion works. The ice skating rink was temporarily moved to a modular building built in the parking area across SMX Convention Center. The food court which is on top of the rink was also closed for the expansion works. Anchor shops Toy Kingdom and Kultura relocated to the south side of the main mall while SM Appliance relocated to the entertainment mall occupying the former space of Timezone (the latter moved two blocks left occupying the former east entrance of SM Bowling)
In light of the preparations for the new expansion, two new parking floors in the two parking buildings were constructed with a solar rooftop. In order to ensure seamless access to carpark areas, escalators serving parking levels 2-5 and three new passenger elevators serving parking levels 2-8 were opened in the North Parking Building. Two new sets of escalators were opened in the South Parking Building connecting the 3-storey The SM Store to the upper parking levels up to the sixth level.
A new wing connecting The Galeon Museum and the north side of Entertainment Mall was opened which features restaurants in the ground floor and the new Cinemas 7 and 8 in the 2nd floor.
The estimated Gross Floor Area would be 650,000 to 700,000 square meters, upon full completion.
The Galeón museum
Soft Opening in August 8, 2017, The Galeón is a dome-shaped museum that will feature the history of the Galleon Trade, which in 250 years, the Philippines and Mexico played major roles during the period. The main attraction will be the Galleon ship which is used for trading.
A new retail podium housed in the first two levels of Conrad Hotel, although indirectly connected to SM Mall of Asia, added more shops and restaurants, mostly on the upscale side. There are three new Director’s Club Cinemas that operate in the new development.
A 20-seater tram serves within mall grounds providing transport to shoppers.
Adjacent to the convention center, the MetroStar Ferry Terminal ferry service cuts travel time to Cavite City from 90 minutes by road to less than 30 minutes. The terminal also serves 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 ₱135 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.
Incidents and accidents
- March 7, 2008: A signage of logo of a massage center caught on fire, no one hurt during the incident, mall operations continue.
- July 13, 2011: A man jumped to his death from the sixth level of a car park of the south wing.
- September 15, 2013: A ceiling part of the south wing collapsed which slightly injures a 11-year old boy.
- December 19, 2013: A suspect at a cellphone store hurts a saleslady using a wired cable mouse, and stole P50,000 of cash.
- March 30, 2014: A holdup and shootout occurred when the Martilyo Gang, a local criminal group specializing in robbing stores by smashing and stealing valuables using hammers, robbed a jewelry store using pipe wrenches instaed of hammers in the department store on the first floor. One suspect was arrested during the incident.
- October 10, 2014: SM By the Bay’s ferris wheel, MOA Eye, caught on fire at around 10:00am. No one was hurt as the ride was not yet open for the day when the fire started at the motor room. 
- May 22, 2016: Five people died after taking alleged illegal drugs during a rave dance party organized by Close-Up entitled Forever Summer, which was headlined by Belgian DJ duo Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike at the concert grounds.