THE urban redevelopment of the 82-year-old Rizal Memorial Sports Complex (RSMC) is expected to drive business growth in the City of Manila and make it competitive with the rest of the National Capital Region, a local business group said.
In a statement on Tuesday, the group of businessman Enrique Razon said the preservation and the redevelopment of RMSC will provide a new revenue stream for Manila as well as create thousands of jobs.
“With this urban renewal, Manila is expected to quickly catch up with other cities in the National Capital Region that have quickly grown and modernized,” the group said.
RSMC was originally built in 1934 but was destroyed during World War II. It was reconstructed in 1953 and renovated in 2011.
“Since that time, the RMSC has not undergone any structural and facilities improvements or upgrading, rendering it virtually unsuitable and unsafe not only for training athletes, but especially for holding not only local but also international games,” the group said.
At present, RSMC is managed by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSP) while the property is owned by the City of Manila.
“The City has had no income from RMSC for years now, leaving the city with no funds to modernize facilities,” the Razon group said.
It added that the sports complex stands derelict as no group, both private and government, has offered to re-develop the RSMC.
However, the Razon group said that it has been offering to re-develop and revitalize the RMSC through a preservation and urban renewal project.
“Fully cognizant that RMSC is a sports landmark and of the close association that Filipinos have for sports, the Razon Group, in its preservation plan, will maintain as well as fortify the RMSC façade,” the business group said.
Despite preserving the facade of the sports complex, part of the proposed preservation plan of the Razon Group involves the development of modern offices and commercial areas, which will be run by smart technologies and will feature modern amenities and green open spaces.
“The business areas are expected to compensate for the expensive and meticulous process of restoring and preserving the RMSC façade,” the group said.
Billionaire Enrique Razon chairs the International Container Terminal Services (ICTSI), the country’s largest port operator, which also operates through subsidiaries in eastern Europe, Africa and the Americas.