Inside Othello, a new store concept by Joanna and Raul Francisco.

Power Plant in bloom!
WRY BREAD - Philip Cu-Unjieng (The Philippine Star) - February 18, 2018 - 12:00am

If you listen to the marketing analysts based in the US, the consensus would be that malls have seen their day, and are closing down in record numbers. Time magazine recently reported while there are still about 1,100 malls in the US, a quarter of them are at risk of closing over the next five years.

Thanks to online shopping, to urban congestion, and the rebirth of the smaller malls, personalized shops and stores, the big malls are no longer seen as the go-to location, that meeting place where practically all sectors of society will converge. But here in Manila, that dire forecast is still a long ways away.

Here, even the mid-sized neighborhood mall, such as Rockwell Land’s Power Plant Mall, gets its version of a makeover and “expands.” While Proscenium is waiting in the wings, a new expansion wing for the Power Plant has come into existence. And while still a work in progress, there’s much to be excited about. From the original leasable space of 41,000 sq. m., the expansion has created an additional 5,000 sq. m. From retail to food, there are forward-looking concepts that will help cement the Power Plant’s reputation as an upscale, trend-setting mall.

Harlan+Holden takes over the Rockwell Glass House.

Foodwise, there’s the third branch of Wholesome Table found on the second floor, a Din Tai Fung Xiao Long Bao Bar on the ground floor, and Harlan+Holden dine has taken over the Rockwell Glass House. And what got me even more excited was the soon-to-open Grid Food Market on the second floor. Its chefs and noted restaurateurs creating neat concepts within an expanded area, like a gourmet food court. So there’s Gaita Fores doing Italian street food, Elbert Cuenca with Japanese steaks, Bruce Ricketts going Mexican, and names like Nicco Santos, Txanton and the Rambla boys in the mix.

On the fashion front, Comme Ci has the Cura V girls behind the store. A mix of fashion and art can be found at Othello, a new store concept by Joanna and Raul Francisco. Signet exists for the sartorial gentleman, as does Assembly, which has a ladies’ section as well. Designers Patty Ang and Vania Romoff have shops on the second floor. The third floor has a host of service-oriented establishments and are definitely worth checking out.

Assembly and Signet, two bastions of men’s fashion at the expanded Power Plant wing.

On the fifth floor, there is a new chapel of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the soon-to-open Rockwell Events Place, which will roughly have two times the capacity the old Rockwell Tent had. The new chapel is Rockwell’s timely reply to the congested Sunday Masses that used to be held on the third floor, and would impede foot traffic as the ones attending Mass would spill over to the hallways. As for the Rockwell Events Place, we can look forward to this, as how many good memories we have are attached to the old Rockwell Tent.

Two additional cinemas have also come into play because of the expansion. And that’s just two more to add to the bevy of new reasons Power Plant is in bloom!

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