BACOLOD CITY -- Projects of property giants such as Ayala Land Inc., Megaworld Corp. and Double Dragon Properties Corp. in this city reflect the major developers’ confidence in Bacolod’s stature as a rising retail hub in the Visayas region.

This was stated by global retail estate services company Colliers International Philippines which reported Friday that Bacolod’s current overall vacancy rate of below two percent is projected to increase once retail outlets located within the Ayala Land Inc. and Megaworld Corp. townships are completed.

It said that township developments, mainly smaller retail formats such as neighborhood and district malls, continue to dominate and will eventually redefine retail landscape of Bacolod.

Colliers’ data showed that Ayala mall in Bacolod is a 70,000-square meter development inside the Capitol Central Township along Gatuslao Street.

Slated to be completed next year, it is seen to provide more dining, shopping, and entertainment options.

Colliers also mentioned Megaworld's Northill Town Center along Bacolod-Silay Airport Access Road, also to be unveiled in 2018, as a retail development offering around 70,000 square meters of leasable space.

Megaworld’s other development, Upper East Township, is situated on the eastern side of Bacolod.

"We see the city's retail sector being driven by its burgeoning business process outsourcing sector," said Joey Roi Bondoc, research manager of Colliers International Philippines.

The rising wages of call center agents and medical information transcriptionists are driving the purchasing power of the population.

Colliers added that the predominantly-millennial workforce coupled with local and foreign tourists continue to drive the city’s retail sector.

“Given this trend, we recommend that retailers tap into the city's thriving food and beverage and fast fashion segments. Mall operators should curate their retail concepts and tenant mixes,” it added.(PNA)