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ALI plans malls in LRT stations

By Neil Jerome C. Morales (The Philippine Star) | Updated July 3, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Property giant Ayala Land Inc. (ALI) stands to benefit from a P65-billion mass transit infrastructure project that will be awarded to conglomerates Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) and Ayala Corp. (AC).

The real estate arm of the Ayala conglomerate will introduce a retail concept in railway stations while additional Public-Private Partnership (PPP) projects will improve access to its properties, an official leading AC’s infrastructure businesses said.

“ALI is our retail partner, the leasing partner,” Noel Eli B. Kintanar, executive vice-president of AC Infrastructure, said in a briefing.

The assets up for redevelopment into commercial areas are part of the concession agreement for the P65-billion Light Rail Transit Line 1 (LRT1) Cavite extension project, Kintanar said.

Specifically, there are plans to put up shopping centers or district mall concepts in LRT-1 stations, he said.

Early last month, the Light Rail Manila Consortium formed by MPIC and AC offered to pay a P9.35-billion premium for the PPP mass transit project.

The LRT-1 Cavite extension project would increase the span of Line 1 to 32.4 kilometers from 20.7 km with a new south endpoint in Niog, Bacoor, Cavite. Approximately 10.5 km of the Cavite extension system would be elevated while 1.2 km would be at grade level.

The government, which will award the 32-year concession to the consortium this month, has set aside P30 billion to acquire up to 39 new light rail vehicles.

Kintanar said a retail concept could be put up in the seven-hectare LRT train depot in Zapote, same with the Trinoma shopping mall development of ALI beside the MRT depot in Quezon City.

AC is also looking at creating a new source of steady and inflation-adjusted cash flows, a hedge against business cycles, by targeting tollroad, railroad, airports and other transport-related projects, Kintanar said.

Aboitiz Land Inc. and AC, through joint venture Team Orion, topped the recent bidding for the P35.4 billion Cavite-Laguna Expressway. Team Orion submitted a concession payment of P11.659 billion for the PPP project and is currently awaiting the notice of award from the Department of Public Works and Highways.

AC Infrastructure is also the company behind the P2-billion Daang Hari South Luzon Expressway, the first PPP project awarded by the government, and the P1.72-billion Automated Fare Collection System for elevated railways in Metro Manila in partnership with MPIC.

“We hope in the medium term, [infrastructure projects] will be a significant contributor to AC,” Kintanar said.

AC is also into banking (Bank of the Philippine Islands), telecommunications (Globe Telecom Inc.), utilities (Manila Water) and electronics (Integrated Microelectronics Inc.). – With Lawrence Agcaoili

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