By Perseus Echeminada and Richmond Mercurio (The Philippine Star) | Updated April 21, 2015 - 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines - Ayala Land Inc., the property development arm of the Ayala Group, has joined the action at the Pagcor Entertainment City in Parañaque with its plan to build a huge mall complex, a BPO center and a hotel within a nine-hectare property, according to documents filed with the Parañaque City government.
Ayala Land commercial business group head Jose Emmanuel Jalandoni said the project would have a mall, hotel and office components. He said construction is set to start this year and completion is eyed by the second half of 2018. According to Jalandoni, about P12 billion is the project cost of the planned mixed-use development.
Parañaque Mayor Edwin Olivarez, in a statement, said the decision of Ayala Land to invest in the southern city is a huge vote of confidence for the city, which in 2014 was adjudged the country’s most competitive city in terms of economic dynamism and is now dubbed the Mega City by the Bay.
“This is another affirmation of Parañaque’s emergence as a new economic and business hub,” he said. “We welcome with open arms Ayala Land’s investment which we estimate should create at least 10,000 new jobs for our people and help sustain the country’s robust economic growth,” he said
Olivarez said Ayala Land filed an application for a locational clearance with the city’s Local Zoning Board of Adjustments and Appeals for its Entertainment City project, which is entirely within the jurisdiction of Barangay Tambo in Parañaque.
The application was approved by the board last week, he added.
The mayor said Ayala Land’s decision is in response to the city’s “Invest in Parañaque” program, which is aimed at attracting more long-term investments that create stable jobs.
He said more businesses have expressed similar interest to locate in Parañaque in the coming months.
Melanie S. Malaya, head of the city’s Business Permits and Licensing Office and a member of the board, said Ayala Land’s specific application is for the construction of a mall along Macapagal Ave. which would be bigger than the nearby SM Mall of Asia complex. The MOA is listed as having 407,000 sqm in gross floor area.
The BPLO chief said the mall would become Parañaque’s biggest mall and is seen to compete head on with the Mall of Asia.
She said the Ayala Group has secured a 45-year lease for the 9.2-hectare property from the Wenceslao group, owner of the Aseana Business Park complex, for the project. The property is located right across the new City of Dreams Manila, a casino and hotel complex also owned by the SM Group in partnership with the Melco Crown group of Macau.
Ayala Land would also develop a BPO center and a 12-storey hotel with at least 325 rooms within the leased property, Malaya added.
The entry of the Ayala group at the Entertainment City effectively bringstogether all the country’s biggest property developers in the area, which already has two casino complexes in operation: The City of Dreams of the SMgroup and the Solaire Resorts and Casino of port mogul Enrique Razon.
Two other casinos are also set to built at the entertainment city : the Bay shore City Resorts Worlds of Travellers International group, a joint venture between Filipino tycoon Andrew Tan’s Alliance Global Group Inc. and the Genting group of Malaysian, and Japanese billionaire Kazuo Okada’s Manila Bay Resorts project.