With its scenic view and cooler climate, Tagaytay City attracts people who wish to escape Manila’s frenzied vibe. Thus going to a mall might just be the last thing on their mind.
But that is changing with Fora Mall, retail giant Filinvest Development Corporation’s (FDC) latest mixed use development, located along Emilio Aguinaldo Highway in Cavite. FDC’s new Lifemall concept calls for its retail developments to be the center of life and hub of activity where it is located, much like the town plaza, or the city’s marketplace to make the locals feel at home, and the tourists more welcome.
“Fora is a township, it is a lifemall, a place to meet both people’s needs, as well as, fuel their passion. It’s with this in mind that we built Fora around a park and a forest,” says Josephine Gotianun-Yap, FDC president and chief executive officer.
Located at the heart of the Rotunda junction, the five-hectare, Php4 billion mixed-use development will be composed of three main districts – the commercial block which is Fora Mall, two eight-story condominiums, and two 10-storey condotels with a shared infinity pool, trade hall, and meeting rooms, to be operated by Filinvest Hotels Inc. through the Quest Hotel brand, aimed to cater to the growing needs of the MICE market in the area. Complementing Fora is a convention center.
Changing the retail landscape of Tagaytay City, FDC introduces the lifemall concept in Fora which is the brand DNA of Festival Mall in Alabang. Other Filinvest Lifemalls include Il Corso in Cebu, and Main Square in Bacoor, Cavite.
“It’s more than just a retail center. A Lifemall enhances the recreational lifestyles of the people who live and work nearby,” explains Joy Polloso, Filinvest senior vice president for commercial centers and retail management.
Polloso added that Filinvest painstakingly create innovative concepts to please local shoppers. In fact, among these, Fora features local restaurants such as Lady Christine’s Baby Back Ribs, Trifoglio Ristorante, and KTZ Hot Pot . Fora also brings global brands like Uniqlo closer to Tagaytay residents, as well as fashion staples like Levi’s, Giordano, Wrangler, Penshoppe, For Me, Regatta, on Fora’s retail floors. To strengthen an indulging basic shopping, one can find the presence of Ace Hardware, Abenson, Work Station, La Sedia , DIY, Japan Homes among others.
“A visit to Fora will not be complete if one does not seek to drop by at one of the top favorite bulalohan located near the amphitheater area,” beams Pinky Asuzano, leasing manager and general manager of Fora Mall.
Care for the environment is an advocacy of FDC. For instance, in Festival Mall in Alabang, a natural river and a promontory surrounds the property. Fora Mall, on the other hand, may not have a view of the Taal Lake and Taal Volcano but its masterplanners make sure that nature still interplays with mallgoers with its forest garden, built around the amphitheater to make it an ideal location for special events like weddings and parties.
For Fora Mall, Filinvest has partnered with another “provincial” retail giant , Vicsal Development Corporation (VICSAL), operator of Gaisano department stores and supermarkets which is operating a 5,000-square-meter supermarket at the ground floor level of Fora, operating 24/7. Metro Gaisano saw the need to operate 24 hours to serve not only the needs of mall goers but locals and small entrepreneurs from Cavite and the Batangas province.
“We work with the best partners to meet our guests’ shopping needs that is why we brought in the 24/7 Super Metro Hypermarket,” says Gotianun-Yap. “Soon Fora will open Ace Hardware and Abenson to answer the needs of the growing number of homebuilders investing in Tagaytay. We will also be joined by Uniqlo with its first store in Tagaytay along with other well known local and foreign fashion brands to give our clients a complete shopping destination.”
Complimenting Fora are four state-of-the-art digital cinemas with over 200 reclinable seats with Dolby Digital surround sound system. The cinemas have been a most welcome treat for people in Tagaytay as the nearest theater is a good 45 minute-ride away from the city.
“Fora’s thrust is to provide the best choices and interesting mix for its shoppers,” states Asuzano.