Saturday, March 14, 2015

Felcris Centrale - Davao City's Latest Leisure, Shopping and Business Hub

Most places acquire its own vibe through time. Felcris Centrale, Davao City's latest leisure-shopping center, will surely have that in the next six months or so. For now, several spaces have yet to be occupied. It's like a soft opening with minimal commercial buzz; in fact, the main supermarket has been bunched up in one huge hallway alongside apparels, toys, cosmetics, and at the corner are refreshment stalls. This gives the place a sense of haphazardness, this despite tall ceilings, great illumination and airconditioned interiors.

The exterior is a different story altogether. Employing a color palette that's rather conservative, albeit in immaculate white, the whole leisure and commercial complex promises something exciting, what with its Palafox-designed piazza-inspired courtyard with V-contoured posts and trellis-like sheds. The place looks gargantuan if you're passing along Quimpo so there's a sense of deception here because when you're inside the mall, it actually feels very limited.

Inside its glistening hallways, the atrium (if you can call it that) feels small and cramped - or intimate and sophisticated, depending on your state of mind. There's no cinema here nor a food court; two elements that, in my mind, constitute an effective formula to a successful shopping complex. After all, Filipinos love 1) eating, and 2) watching movies. The 12-story building that rises in the center will be developed into a resort-hotel and a 10-floor office space. A portion of this space will become home to some BPO's and call centers. Interior walkways shall showcase fruits, flowering plants and handicrafts of Davao.

A Bingo Center is going to open in the next few months. There's a dental clinic inside, a Banco de Oro branch, Chimes home furnishings, Plains and Print, a jewelry shop, Ideal Vision, VMV (whatever that is), DCCS, and a Figaro in the middle of the main shopping atrium. There are elevators and a rather limited parking space at the basement level.

Felcris Centrale stands on a 5.9 hectare prime lot in Barangay Bucana, along Quimpo Boulevard just across the city's LTO. The commercial property development is said to cost PhP1 billion, though once the whole complex is completed, it's expected to fetch PhP5 billion. A 3-tower, 38-story residential complex is expected to start construction soon. This shall house a convention hall and a fitness center. Felcris has been a shopping icon in Davao City, founded by the Yap Family. 

Mayor Rody Duterte helps inaugurate Felcris Centrale.
Brothers Felipe and Cresencio Yap (thus the "Felcris"name) began a small retail store selling textiles in Anda Street on September 19, 1969. The company prospered and ventured into a spate of expansions. 

In November 1976, Felcris Supermarket, Inc. was incorporated and Felcris Supermarket (Ramon Magsaysay) became the first established supermarket in Davao City. They also own the popular Mindanao-chain, Davao Central Convenience store and the Central Warehouse Club.

While roaming the place, I chanced upon a woman who was loudly talking on her phone, seemingly disappointed with her visit. "There's nothing here," she smirked, "Don't bother coming over. I'll meet you elsewhere." There's a price to pay for phoning loudly in public as though you own the place. Please, people, don't assume that others are interested in your affairs. Moderate your noise.

There's no doubt in mind though. The place will turn this rather dreary, noisy, unattractive area around. As I've earlier mentioned, places need time to acquire a vibe. Flowers need the same to bloom.

This is the Eye in the Sky!

Traffic along Quimpo Boulevard.


Ramakrishnan said...

Another splendid steel cement & concrete structure to dot the skyline ! The interiors are sparkling and shining !The goods on display are colorful and attractive.

eye in the sky said...

Malls are important for many Pinoys because they're a diversion. In fact, there's a mall mentality here, thus the so many malls all over Metro Manila alone, and throughout the country. For a 3rd country like ours, there's a social statement somewhere that pertains to why we have a lot of it here. I believe it isn't solely about commerce.

Sherry Ellis said...

It looks like a very clean, airy mall.

eye in the sky said...

It is. Much of the space was turned into an open air "park". Most businessmen would turn it into space that could occupy a shop. This one wasn't. :)