Homegrown retail company New City Commercial Corp. (NCCC) announced yesterday that it has acquired Victoria Plaza, the first mall in this part of the country.
NCCC chair Helen A. Lim led the signing of the agreement for the takeover of the mall.
“This is a historic and strategic acquisition for NCCC. As a local, we are very confident in the city’s participation in our country’s growing economy,” said Lim in a press statement.
Sharlene Faye A. Lim, NCCC Malls president, said that it is a “privilege for a homegrown company like ours to have the opportunity to develop this property that is very much a part of Davao’s culture. We will strive to preserve this history while rewriting it to respond to the future.”
The company, which did not mention the amount of payment for the mall as well as the entity where it bought the establishment, added that it will eventually take over the ownership of the mall before the end of the month and that by that time, it will present the plan for it.
The Lim family is also operating a new mall in the northeastern side of the city, rebuilding its mall that was burned in December 2017, as well as developing an eight-hectare project that would include a mall, a convention center as well as a residential part also in the northeastern part of the city.
The company founder, Chinese migrant Lim Tian Siu, started a small business in Cotabato City after the World War which sold, among others, fresh water eels. But the store was eventually burned, prompting Mr. Lim and his wife Ko Giok Look to move to the city to start a textile business in 1952.
His business was also burned to the ground, but his suppliers continued to trust him, prompting him to reestablish his business which eventually became a bigger department store. The growth eventually resulted in the morphing of the business into what it is now.
The group is also operating several malls and smaller department stores and convenience stores in some areas in Mindanao as well as another mall and a resort in Palawan. It is also behind some brands that locates in its mall and are selling hardware products, pharmaceuticals and pastries.
TIMES tried to contact the Philippine National Bank (PNB), the bank to which it was mortgaged and which eventually possessed it, but it did not reply.
Built in early 90s by the late businessman Robert Alan L. Limso through his Davao Sunrise Investment and Development Corp., the 81-square meter Victoria Plaza Mall, which carries a tagline “a plaza for all,” became the icon in the city when similar structures were not yet present. Limso died about 20 years after the mall was set up.
Limso, also known to be close to some politicians in the city including President Rodrigo R. Duterte as he served as a city councilor from 1981 until he resigned in 1986 after the transitory government of the late President Corazon C. Aquino, eventually mortgaged the mall to a bank. Because of his failure to pay, the bank eventually possessed the property, located in Bajada along J.P. Laurel Avenue.
At present, the mall houses its own grocery store, Park and Shop, its three-story department store, its furniture shop, some food locators in its food court and stalls for used ready-to-wear goods as well as knock-offs. The mall is also strategically located in an area known for restaurants.