The ‘mini cities’ of Manila

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Fun fact: Did you know that much of the area that is now known as the city of Makati was once a hacienda called ‘San Pedro de Macati’? The hacienda was owned by the Zóbel de Ayala family, and included the Nielson Airport, the Philippines’ primary airport in the 1930s.

It does not take much imagination to see how much the country’s real estate landscape has evolved since then, with the rise of developments like Bonifacio Global City and McKinley Hill. As the Philippines grows wealthier, the real estate industry only becomes hungrier for new types of property to develop.

The rise of the township, or the mixed-use development, serves as an example. Here are a few of the most notable ones in Manila.

Ayala Center

Perhaps one of the most prominent mixed-use developments in the metro, the Ayala Center is a recreational, shopping, dining, and entertainment development located in the heart of Makati. The property includes hotels and several malls, including Ayala’s Glorietta and Greenbelt malls, all of which offer options for shopping, dining, gaming arcades, and cinemas. The Ayala Museum is also an attraction, with displays and exhibits on Philippine history and art.

The Ayala Center development originally started as separate shopping arcades and Greenbelt Park in 1988, before an expansion was launched to cover more than 50 hectares of facilities. It is located in the middle of Ayala Avenue, Epifanio de los Santos Avenue, Arnaiz Avenue, Paseo de Roxas and Legazpi Street.

Araneta Center

Considered as one of the central hubs of northern Metro Manila, the Araneta Center hosts numerous shopping establishments, hotels, office complexes, and the Araneta Center-Cubao MRT and LRT stations. Among the highlights of the area are Farmers Plaza, Gateway Mall, SM Cubao, the Aurora and Gateway Towers.

Acting as a centerpiece of the property is the Smart Araneta Coliseum, one of the largest multi-purpose indoor arenas in Asia. The Kia Theatre, set to be the country’s leading performing arts venue, Novotel Manila, a deluxe business hotel connected to Gateway Mall, are also situated within the center.

Eastwood City

Eastwood City, a 17-hectare development located in the Bagumbayan area of Quezon City, hosts multiple luxury residential condominium towers, the BPO-targeted office complex, malls, a hotel, a supermarket, and a police and fire station. The property was launched in 1997.

The most significant feature of the complex is Eastwood City Cyberpark, a BPO-targeted office complex which include the 20-storey Global One Center and the 10-storey 1880 Eastwood Avenue. The cyberpark is listed as an approved IT Center by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority, making export-oriented companies located therein eligible for temporary tax holiday, permanent reduced rate of corporate income tax, and other incentives.

Rockwell Center

Among the high-end mixed-use areas in Metro Manila is the Rockwell Center. First developed in 1998, the property has been expanding since 2012, with architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill drawing out the design. Features of the Rockwell Center include corporate office buildings, residential condominiums, a law and business school. The jewel of property is the Power Plant Mall, an upscale four-level shopping and dining complex at the heart of Rockwell Center.

The Proscenium at Rockwell will expand on the property with four new residential towers, office tower, and shopping areas, creating residential, retail, office, amenity and cultural spaces suited for the live-work-play lifestyle. — Bjorn Biel M. Beltran

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