Bacolod City Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez confirmed that SM Prime Holding Inc. has acquired 50% of the 40-hectare old Bacolod airport property along Araneta Street.
The purchase was made after the Philippine National Bank bidded out 50% of the old airport that used to be owned by the Philippine Airlines, Benitez said in a press conference held on April 3.
Benitez said he expressed his intention for a joint development program with SM Prime to turn the old Bacolod airport into a new growth center in the southern part of the city.
If materialized, the plan is to bring balance to the city’s development, as most developments are currently concentrated in the north.
The details of the development are still being discussed, but this move is expected to create new opportunities and attract more investors in the southern part of Bacolod City.
While SM Prime has acquired 50% of the old airport, the other half is still owned by the government. The city government has requested the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines for authority to develop the section of the old airport owned by the national government.
Sources said that the mayor eyes the remaining lots under the national government as a future site of the city’s mass housing program.