If you were one of those who watched Willie Revillame during the past few years, even on a casual basis, there was no way you would not have known that mall he was always advertising. You know, the one that bears his name, the Wil Tower Mall, which actually opened last September 2013.
Technically, the mall is not exactly his as this mall was brought about by a joint venture between him and real estate firm Vista Land, which is owned by Revillame’s longtime friend and patron, former Senator Manny Villar. Another thing is that it is not just strictly a shopping mall but a commercial and residential complex of 42 floors and residential towers with the shopping mall as its base.
Promotional materials on this project dubbed it as “the next big thing” and that it aims to take luxury shopping and living to a new level. At the time that I am writing this, the residential aspect of the project is yet to be completed. Even if the mall is now open, there are still only a few tenants operating in the mall as of press time. Nevertheless, that should not prevent one to make some observations about this place as a whole. Which is what the Urban Roamer precisely did recently.
First things first, the mall does live up to the hype about it being a luxury shopping haven. Despite it bearing the name of a celebrity who is more associated with the “masa” crowd, (the Filipino masses, that is) the ambience, interiors, and amenities does give establishments like The Podium a run for their money.
One of the striking features of the mall was the restaurant/dining venue at the lower ground floor which showcases a widescreen LED display, not to mention an intimate ambience to boot.
While the mall is named after Revillame, you won’t see the mall littered with much of his memorabilia, except for a couple of sports cars that he owned, a mountain bike, golf set, as well as some expensive ladies’ bags which I think were given to him as gifts by friends and even some audience members who watched him live.
That being said, there are some factors going against the viability of this mall, even if we do not take into account the few tenants at this time. I’m referring here to the mall’s location itself. You see, the Wil Tower Mall is not located near any main thoroughfare that public transportation ply through. It is not even a short walk to/from the nearest public transport option available. While I am no business or property guru, the mall’s poor accessibility via public transport is a major offense, even if the mall is being targeted towards the rich folks who have their own vehicles.
Then again, perhaps the mall is catered more to another market, the possible residents and tenants of the yet-to-be-completed residential towers and perhaps the employees and visitors of its neighbor across the street, Philippine media giant ABS-CBN, which incidentally was Revillame’s former network. In fact, it is said that a connecting bridge is being planned to link the mall/residential towers to the ABS-CBN complex. Maybe we can add here the residents of Barangay South Triangle where this property is located, but the population may not be that much of a factor.
It remains to be seen whether this venture will be as a big hit as Revillame’s career before or a major dud as his recent career has been. For the meantime, let’s wait and see until the project is fully completed to see how well it will do in a metropolis that is beginning to suffer from shopping mall fatigue.
Acknowledgements as well to Vista Land
© The Urban Roamer