ALI to propose own Manila Bay reclamation project

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Property giant Ayala Land Inc. (ALI) is seeking the Pasay City government’s extension of the bid deadline for the Manila Bay reclamation project, which was originally proposed by SM Land Inc.

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If the Pasay City government approves ALI’s request, the unsolicited proposal of SM Land to reclaim 300 hectares from Manila Bay will be subjected to a “Swiss challenge.”

In a public notice published earlier this month, the Pasay City Public Private Partnership Selection Committee announced that SM Land submitted an unsolicited proposal to reclaim 300 hectares from Manila Bay located at the western part of Pasay City for P54.5 billion.

Now, ALI is asking the Pasay City government for at least 60 more working days to study and submit a competing bid to also reclaim 300 hectares from Manila Bay.

In a letter to Mayor Antonino Calixto of Pasay, ALI said that it learned of the unsolicited proposal from SM Land only last week, when it was published as required to notify the public.

According to ALI, the deadline to submit a counter proposal by November 4 was too short to develop a master plan; study its financial and environmental impact; and how to maximize the benefits of the project to Pasay City, the national government, and the public at large, among other things.

“This will confirm our interest to submit a counter-proposal . . . We are the Philippines’ leading real estate developer and we are committed to be a strong partner in nation building,” ALI said in its letter.

The published notice to the public requires competing bidders to have a minimum net worth of P50 billion.

Bidders must also have undertaken and completed a similar reclamation project with an area of not less than 120 hectares, preferably within the Manila Bay area.

There were speculations that ALI, being one of the largest real estate companies in the country, will possibly join the Swiss challange for the reclamation project.

Astro del Castillo, First Grade Finance managing director, earlier told The Manila Times that the SM Group will surely face competition for the project, indicating that ALI and the Andrew Tan-led Megaworld Corp. may be some of the developers that will be interested to join the bidding process.

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