A more pedestrian-friendly environment is being pursued by Filinvest Alabang Inc.(FAI) as it continues to enhance the masterplan of its flagship Filinvest City in Southern Manila the company said in a statement over the weekend.
FAI said it is currently working on “a multi-billion project” to enhance the masterplan of the 244-hectare Filinvest City, which seeks to turn the mixed-used development into a “pedestrian haven”.
“We are enhancing Filinvest City so it will provide a superior pedestrian experience and more efficiently facilitate people movement while providing a healthier, more eco-friendly environment.” FAI Executive Vice President Catherine Ilagan said.
Ilagan noted that the project involves transforming over 20,000 square meters of open space in the city into landscaped nature parks and as well as the construction of a 1-kilometer integrated greenway which connects the entire development from the north to south and from east to west.
“As a rule, walking is not a very convenient option for Filipinos living in the metropolis. But we believe that given an engaging and comfortable environment, they will walk. Through this project and other related developments, we envision transforming Filinvest City into a pedestrian-friendly garden city at par with other world-class central business districts,” Ilagan noted.
At present, almost half of the greenway along Spectrum Midway Avenue in Filinvest City has been completed, according to Ilagan.
FAI noted that work on the north-south spine of the greenway system is underway. This consists of an expanded, landscaped median with pathways lined with trees, flowers and greens, lighted seating areas, and outdoor art pieces.
“Provisions for bike lanes are also part of the design. The parkway also includes lanes for light vehicles but overall its elements clearly indicate it is for people on foot and not for those driving cars,” FAI said.
Ilagan noted that the company is studying schemes that will require locators to provide bike parking.
“The vision is to create a city where owning a car will not be an imperative. Beyond easy strolling distances, we want to encourage residents to bike to the mall, to the hospital and the bus station,” Ilagan said.
Aside from the construction of the integrated greenway, masterplan enhancements also involve the construction of mega blocks or large-scale developments, and maximization of the land use of Festival Mall as the city center.
Part of this is the addition of a new wing for the mall, including a four-story Landmark department store. This is expected to add 150,000 square meters of gross floor area to the mall’s inventory and is set to be completed by year end.
Furthermore, Ilagan noted that FAI is currently constructing key projects to prime the city’s growth. Of these are high-end residential developments Botanika Nature Residences Tower I and Bristol at Parkway Place, and an office condominium project called Parkway Corporate Center, all of which are set to be completed in within the next three years.
Also, office tower developments by private investors such as the Polaris and Capella buildings are also set for completion in 2016 and 2017, respectively. The establishment of Far Eastern University in 2018 is also expected.
“All these activities are expected to support the sustained rise in property values in the city currently under redevelopment to meet the needs of the next few decades,” the company said.
Filinvest Alabang Inc. is the subsidiary of listed property developer Filinvest Land Inc.