The country’s biggest real estate companies are behind some of the largest and most ambitious properties in history. These properties have made a huge, positive impact on these companies’ long-term financial stability and repute, and, perhaps most important, transformed the economies of different cities and municipalities and even the country at large for the better. Below is a rundown of some of the landmark projects of the top local property developers in the Philippines.
Incorporated in 1989, Megaworld Corp. has developed a portfolio of mixed-used residential and commercial developments erected in key metropolitan areas nationwide. The instant standout in its portfolio is Eastwood City, an 18-hectare township project in Quezon City. The first cyberpark in the country, the Eastwood City Cyberpark, launched within the city in 1997, was made in response to a growing demand for office space with infrastructure capable of supporting information-technology-based operations. Just before the turn of the millennium, the park became a Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA)-designated special economic zone, a status that comes with several tax incentives. Eastwood City is now also home to more than a dozen high-rise condominium towers and hundreds of commercial and retail shops, including Eastwood Mall.
Several years later, Megaworld created another township, the Mediterranean lifestyle-inspired McKinley Hill in Taguig City. This is larger than Eastwood City, occupying approximately 50 hectares of land bank. The township’s residential zone has subdivision lots for low-density, single-detached homes, low-rise residential garden villas and condominiums; there are more than 30 residential towers and at least 400 residential lots in all. International schools, including Chinese International School, Korean International School and Enderun Colleges, and embassies like the British Embassy and the Korean Embassy, are all located in McKinley Hill. McKinley Hill also serves as home to multiple companies, many of which are in the information technology business, and to a variety of bars, restaurants and other shops.
A subsidiary of Megaworld, Suntrust Properties has made a name for itself building master-planned residential townships in Cavite and Laguna since 1997. Among its prominent projects in those provinces are the 21.8-hectare Sentosa in Calamba City, Laguna which is inspired by the Singaporean island Sentosa, and the Governor’s Hills in General Trias, Cavite, an 89-hectare residential development with great amenities. The company has recently forayed into constructing condominium communities in Metro Manila. One example is Adriatico Gardens, which rises above Adriatico St. in Manila, that offers studio-type and two-bedroom units. Another is the 6,122 square-meter Treetop Villas, in Mandaluyong City, which has three clusters containing a total of 651 living units.
The grandest project of Suntrust to date is Suntrust Ecotown, an industrial township in Tanza, Cavite, with an initial land area of 111.4 hectares (the total area will be expanded to around 350 hectares in the coming years). Tanza, a first-class municipality, is a strategic choice: the Ecotown is only under an hour away from the business districts of Makati and Ortigas and from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport and the port of Manila, among others. As an industrial township, it integrates residential, commercial and institutional developments within and adjoining a light-to-medium industrial zone. There were initially 129 industrial and commercial lots up for grabs, but now, less than a quarter remain available. The “Eco” in Ecotown is reflected in the effective use of land to provide denizens with generous open spaces and parks, sustainable use of renewable resources and responsible management of the overall environment.
SM Prime Holdings, Inc., part of the holding company SM Investments Corp. (SMIC), has become one of the largest developers of malls, residences, offices, hotels and convention centers in the Philippines. Since its incorporation in 1994, it has built 63 malls in and around Metro Manila and seven in China, with more than 18,000 tenants. The mall development business of SM Prime began with the opening of SM North EDSA, in Quezon City, which currently holds the title of being the biggest shopping mall in the Philippines, with a retail area of around 498,000 square meters. SM malls attract roughly 3.5 million average daily pedestrian visits.
SM Hotels and Conventions Corp. (SMHCC), another SMIC company, was established to address the vast potential of tourism in the country. It currently operates more than 1,500 rooms. Around 347 of these rooms are found in Conrad Manila, located in the SM Mall of Asia complex in Pasay City. This luxury hotel provides access to a variety of shopping, dining, recreational and local attractions. SMHCC also operates conventions centers and trade halls through the SMX Convention Center, which has become a popular choice for local and international events of different kinds, including town hall meetings, weddings, exhibits, concerts and large-scale institutional events.
Ayala Land, Inc., a subsidiary of Ayala Corporation, is a big name in office development. It develops different office building formats, all in accordance with world-class standards, like corporate headquarters that are ideal for homegrown and multinational companies and technopods that address the unique requirements of business process outsourcing firms. A prominent office project of Ayala Land is the 35-storey Tower One & Exchange Plaza, on Ayala Avenue, which is the corporate headquarters of various global financial institutions and key players in the Philippine economy. This development is surrounded by open spaces, greenery, a museum, shopping centers and hotels.
Ayala Land is also into master-planned, mixed-use, sustainable development. South Park District, the first large-scale, master-planned, mixed-use development of its subsidiary, Avida Land Corp., occupies approximately 6.6 hectares of land in Muntinlupa City. It is home to a residential condominiums and office buildings. One of the development’s key properties is Avida Towers Altura. The first tower of Altura was completed in December 2016, while the second tower is expected to be completed in June 2018. South Park District, located on National Road, enjoys close proximity to South Luzon Expressway, malls, schools, hospitals and churches.