(SPOT.ph) SM Cubao quietly changed its name to SM Araneta City this October, reflecting the longstanding partnership of two families that shaped how Filipinos shopped and dined out in the last half century.
One of the original standalone SM Department Stores that paved the way for the Supermalls that line EDSA from north to south today, SM Cubao was the go-to spot to buy new clothes and shoes for school openings and Christmas. As a bonus, there was Fiesta Carnival (now Shopwise) across the street for amusement rides for that perfect family weekend in the city.
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The Cubao department store was also rare for SM since it was a lessee, rather than a lessor, thanks to the partnership between the late shopping mall tycoon Henry Sy and businessman Jorge Araneta, husband of Binibining Pilipinas matriarch Stella Marquez de Araneta.
The name SM Araneta City is aligned with the rebrand of the former Araneta Center as the "city of firsts". It also has new developments coming up including the extension of Gateway Mall and a ibis hotel.
“We are happy that SM, itself an institution in Philippine retail, is part of the memorable and colorful history that shaped Araneta City. They are one of our very first partners in business and they have been a valuable part of our identity through the years,” Antonio Mardo, senior vice president for operations of Araneta City, was quoted on the Philippine Daily Inquirer's Biz Buzz column.
The 2000s saw the steady transformation of Araneta Center into Araneta City, getting new commercial spaces, BPO offices, hotels and malls at the center while retaining the district's edgy charm on its fringes where you have Cubao Expo.
“With SM Cubao’s rebranding to SM Araneta City, the transformation of Araneta from a pioneering commercial center to a modern mixed-use development takes on new heights. We look forward to completing our transformation and achieving our redevelopment plans with all our business partners in the near future," Mardo said.