By Zinnia B. Dela PeÑa (The Philippine Star) Updated November 08, 2010 12:00 AM
MANILA, Philippines - Ayala Land Inc. (ALI) expects to complete the initial phase of the P20-billion major facelift of the Ayala Center by 2012, adding into the flagship commercial complex three new residential towers, two office buildings, 655 new hotel rooms as well as a revolutionary bus rapid transit system that will traverse the entire stretch of the central business district.
At the grand launch of Ayala Center’s redevelopment plan, ALI chairman Fernando Zobel de Ayala said the group will continue to build its reputation as a world-class developer by the transforming the Makati financial district into a truly modern, fully integrated and progressive urban enclave.
The masterplan focuses on the development of more retail shops to boost retail space by 45,000 square meters; new restaurants; creation of two new gateway projects - MCBD North and South - to improve connectivity to the rest of the metro; and an enhanced traffic and pedestrian scheme that will encourage more people to walk rather than bring their cars.
Antonino T. Aquino, president and chief executive officer of ALI, said the planned redevelopment of Ayala Center is in line with the company’s overall growth and sustainability strategy and is by far the company’s largest investment in a specific area.
He said six new buildings will rise - Holiday Inn, the second tower of residential condominium Park Terraces, two business process outsourcing buildings, and the Raffles Hotel and Residences.
Anna Bautista-Dy, vice-president of ALI’s Strategic Landbank Management Group, said the bus rapid transit system is the first of its kind in the country that will combine the speed and efficiency of a railway transit with the cost reduction of buses. The ultimate goal, she said, is to connect to the existing MRT line on Edsa.
Also included in the ongoing redevelopment is the Palm Promenade that will have outdoor cafes and tree-lined walkways along Pasay Road.
Dy said the opening of 655 new hotel rooms will expand the group’s hotel portfolio in Makati to 3,000.