THE ALCANTARA group’s Alsons Development and Investment Corp. (Alsons Dev) has formally opened its Poblacion Market Central, an expanded and modern replacement for Davao City’s iconic Aldevinco shopping center that was closed earlier this year.
Cecile Dominguez-Yujuico, president of Conrado and Ladislawa Foundation, Inc., the social development arm of the Alcantara Group, said Poblacion’s merchants are third-generation entrepreneurs whose grandparents started their entrepreneurial journey at Aldevinco.
“We are grateful that we can continue as their partners in showcasing the best of Davao and Mindanao here in Poblacion,” Ms. Yujuico said during the launching ceremony on Aug. 15.
The new market, she said, stands for the company’s commitment “to building a destination that supports the creative and entrepreneurial spirit of the next generation of Davaoenos.”
Poblacion, located in the city’s downtown area, is positioned as a lifestyle destination offering Aldevinco favorites such as handicrafts, textiles and other local goods plus artworks, food, and occasional events.
“Through Poblacion, we want everyone to know that ‘shopping’ isn’t limited to just browsing and buying items; we have enhanced and elevated this through other experiences like dining, art appreciation, monthly themed events, and having essential services — like banks — within an arm’s reach,” Ms. Yujuico said.
Alsons Dev had a soft opening of Poblacion last year with the transfer of some of Aldevinco’s long-standing tenants in temporary spaces and events such as the Mindanao Art Fair in October 2021 and month-long Christmas Bazaar.
There are currently more than 70 merchants, with more opening in the fourth quarter.
“From food to sculptures, batiks and textiles, and handicrafts, Poblacion has something for every one of our guests — whether you are a Davaoeño or a visitor to the city — who have varying shopping preferences, while also celebrating Mindanaoan culture and traditions,” Ms. Yujuico said.
Poblacion’s food hall is called Kukun, short for Kusina at Kultura ng Dabaw, meaning Davao’s kitchen and culture.
The market also features a massive mural by Mindanaoan contemporary artist Kublai Millan at the atrium area.
Alsons Dev opened Aldevinco in 1965, considered Davao’s first commercial shopping center. The company was also a pioneering real estate developer in the city with several residential projects.
More recently, it partnered with DoubleDragon Properties Corp.’s CentralHub Industry Centers, Inc. for an industrial warehouse complex near seaports in the region. — Maya M. Padillo
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The article was originally published in Business World.