SM City Baguio

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SM City Baguio
SM City Baguio Facade - Jan 22 2017.jpg
The facade of SM City Baguio last January of 2017 with the aftermath of Typhoon Lawin seen of its roof
LocationLuneta Hill, Upper Session Road, Baguio, Benguet, Philippines
Opening dateNovember 21, 2003
DeveloperSM Prime Holdings
ManagementSM Prime Holdings
ArchitectJose Siao Ling and Associates
No. of stores and services300+
No. of anchor tenants15
Total retail floor area107,841 m2 (1,160,790 sq ft)
No. of floors6, including the basement parking
Parking800 (2003)
WebsiteSM City Baguio Official Website
View of SM City Baguio from Burnham Park

SM City Baguio is an enclosed shopping mall in Baguio in the Philippines. At a floor area of 107,841 m2 (1,160,790 sq ft), it is the largest shopping mall in the whole North Luzon Region. The entire complex stands on a land area of 80,000 m2 (860,000 sq ft) on Luneta Hill on top of Session Road overlooking historic Burnham Park and opposite Baguio's City Hall which is situated on a northern hill.[1]

The mall was formally opened on November 21, 2003. It is also the first SM Supermall which does not use an air-conditioning system upon its completion. The mall is the only SM Mall, other than the SM Mall of Asia, that make use of natural lighting and which does not have an air conditioned common area.[2][3] The site of the mall was once occupied by the Pines Hotel, which burned down.


Acquisition of the lot[edit]

The lot at Luneta Hill where SM City Baguio stands was formerly occupied by Resort Hotel Corporation's Pines Hotel. In 1988, SM won an auction by the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) over the lot reportedly for only ₱2,000 per square meter. DBP earlier foreclosed the property in 1984 after the hotel building was burned down few years earlier. Resort Hotel defaulted in a ₱114 million loan with businessman Rodolfo Cuenca mortgaging using the Pines Hotel property, the Taal Vista and the Mindanao Hotel in Cagayan de Oro,[4]

Cuenca of Resort Hotel and John Gokongwei of Robinsons Investment Corporation sued the DBP in 1990 in a bid to block the sale of the lot to SM.In 1992, Councilor Frederico Mandapat filed a resolution, objecting the sale of the lot, noting the objection of the two companies. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources processed the sale. Mandapat asserted the city's claim over 2,000 square metres (22,000 sq ft) portion of the lot where a city library was originally put up by the city government.[4]

Launching and dormancy[edit]

A project to build an SM Supermall in Baguio was launched as early as 1995 by SM magnate Henry Sy and then President Fidel V. Ramos but such plans remain dormant until April 2001. Sy placed the Baguio plan on hold and focus on making business ventures in Cebu City. However it was reported in 2001, that Sy may be pursuing to build a hotel instead of a shopping mall. Sy's original plan was to build a hotel at the lot which Sy earlier bought, formerly occupied by the Pines Hotel and a separate shopping mall in an open lot owned by the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS). The two facilities would have been connected by a 50 metres (160 ft) covered overpass. Sy did not push through its bid to acquire the concerned lot owned by the GSIS.[5]

Construction and Opening[edit]

In 2001, construction of the lot commenced despite dispute regarding the status of the lot where SM City Baguio would later stand.[4]

A shopping mall was built on the lot formerly occupied by Pines Hotel instead of a hotel as earlier reported. On November 21, 2003, SM City Baguio was opened to the public.[6]

In 2012 the issue in SM City Baguio about the earth-balling of Pine Trees led British singer-songwriter Sting to move his Back to Bass Tour scheduled on December 9, 2012 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City to the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.

Sting had asked for the transfer after receiving a letter-addressed to a certain Alica, said to be his US representative written by Minnesota-based lawyer Cheryl L. Daytec-Yangot, a founding member of the National Union of People's Lawyer ( NUPL) in the Philippines and was one of the lead lawyers in two environmental cases filed against SM investment Corp. and SM Prime Holdings due to its plan to cut 182 fully grown trees to expand the SM Baguio Mall.

In the latter, Yangot stated that an online petition on Facebook is circulating, asking Sting to change his Manila concert venue, because the MOA Arena is owned by the SM group which Project Save 182 had sued because of the SM Baguio Expansion.

In October 2012, the Department of Foreign Affairs opened the 384-square-metre (4,130 sq ft) DFA Co Baguio, the first and only passport office in the Cordillera region at the mall's upper basement level.[7]

Architecture and design[edit]

Design International, a foreign-based firm served as design consultants, Jose Siao Ling and Associates were the architecture firm behind the mall. New Golden City serves as general contractors while DA Abcede and Associates with SM's own engineering group were also involved in the project. Its atrium is also for natural ventilation and the mall utilizes recycled water. The mall stands on a 79,763 square metres (858,560 sq ft) lot. Upon its opening, it six levels with 106,231 square metres (1,143,460 sq ft) of retail space and parking slots for 800 vehicles.[6]


  1. ^ Pedroso, Kate (2007-12-02). "Figure it out". Sunday Inquirer Magazine. Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 2009-01-12.
  2. ^ Salazar, Tessa (2007-12-02). "More to malls than just merchandise". Lifestyle. Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 2009-01-12.
  3. ^ Pulumbarit, Oliver (2008-04-11). "Chilling out in breezy Baguio". You: Super. Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 2009-01-12.
  4. ^ a b c Cabreza, Vincent (8 March 2004). "City stakes claim over SM Baguio lot". Philippine Daily Inquirer. PDI Northern Luzon Bureau. Retrieved 29 December 2015.
  5. ^ Cabreza, Vincent (25 July 2001). "SM to push through with Baguio project". Philippine Daily Inquirer. PDI Northern Luzon Bureau. Retrieved 29 December 2015.
  6. ^ a b "Taipan takes his mall design out of the box". Philippine Daily Inquirer. 30 November 2003. Retrieved 29 December 2015.
  7. ^ Padilla, Karen (30 September 2012). "DFA opens consular office at SM City Baguio on Oct 2". Baguio Midland Courier. Retrieved 24 March 2019.
Preceded by
SM City Lucena
16th SM Supermall
Succeeded by
SM City Marilao