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How new business districts are changing Manila's landscape

How new business districts are changing Manila's landscape

Posted at 03/08/2013 5:44 PM | Updated as of 03/11/2013 8:59 AM

MANILA, Philippines - In the past, there were only two central business districts in the Philippine capital - Makati and Ortigas.

Recently, Bonifacio Global City has emerged as as prominent business district, while smaller business districts have been popping up around the metropolis.

Now several upcoming developments are expected to further change the landscape of Metro Manila.

Lyla Fronda, Jones Lang LaSalle associate director for markets, noted that from two business districts in the 1990s, now there are more than 20 emerging districts that have sprung up in the capital.

The emerging business districts, which have a combined 1,300 hectares of developed land, include Eastwood City, Araneta Cyberpark, UP Techno Hub, Rockwell Center and Filinvest Corporate City.

"The main drivers of Philippine property market in the past few years have always been and still are the BPO sector, tourism sector and OFW remittances.
The office market has evolved greatly in the last few years, and will continue to evolve in lock step with the BPO industry," she said in a press briefing earlier this week.

Among the new projects announced were Ayala Land Inc.'s (ALI) Circuit Makati and Arca South. Circuit Makati, formerly the Sta. Ana racetrack, is being developed as an "entertainment hub" with a theater, event grounds as well as residential condominiums and malls.

Arca South, formerly known as the Food Terminal Inc. property, is also being developed by Ayala Land into a mixed-use development. ALI sees 10 to 20 buildings in the area, but with a height of only 9 storeys due to its proximity to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

"Interesting to note, Ayala said they will build a below ground type of highway and this will be 1 kilometer to maximize space in the area," Fronda said of Arca South.

At the Bonifacio Global City, there are two upcoming mixed-use developments by Megaworld Corp. and Federal Land.

Megaworld's Uptown Bonifacio is a 15.4 hectare mixed-use development located in the northern area of BGC.  The property developer is allocating P65-billion for the project, which will have up to 18 towers, offering a total potential development of 500,000 square meters of residential space, 400,000 square meters of office space and 90,000 square meters of retail space.

Federal Land's Veritown Fort, a 10-hectare project, will house the Grand Hyatt Manila, Grand Hyatt Manila Residences, as well as other residential projects.

New malls, more brands

Jones Lang LaSalle's Fronda also noted that there are a lot of existing shopping malls that are currently underdoing refurbishments, such as Greenhills Shopping Center and Tiendesitas.

There are also new malls opening this year, such as Century City in Makati and Fairview Terraces in Quezon City.

"Century City is expected to be open this year... It is expected to compete directly with Power Plant Mall," she said.

Fairview Terraces, which will have total gross floor area of 114,000 square meters, will have BPO buildings, malls and restaurants.

International retailers are also flocking to the Philippines. American Eagle Outfitters, Cotton On and Uniqlo are international brands that recently opened stores in Manila.

Fronda said there are more global brands opening here soon, such as Miss Selfridge and Stuart Weitzman.