Makati City is not just the business capital of the Philippines as it has also served as a hub for lifestyle and entertainment, and arts and culture throughout the years.
A big part of this change is thanks to Ayala Land Inc. (ALI), which launched the “Make it Happen, Make it Makati” campaign in 2012 with a six-year, P60-billion investment.
Committed in this effort, ALI once again invested an astounding P65 billion for more developments in the city in the next five years. This comprehensive plan to further develop a vibrant and versatile Makati City was launched on August 14 with a press briefing held at the Blackbird restaurant in Ayala Triangle Gardens.
According to Meean Dy, vice president and group head of ALI’s Strategic Landbank Management Group, the additional budget is set to improve the six key districts of Makati introduced in 2012.
These are the Mckinley Exchange, the transport hub, Ayala Center, the lifestyle cosmopolitan hub, Makati Central Business District, the premier business hub, Ayala Triangle Gardens, the urban oasis, City Gate, the young and creative hub, and Circuit Makati, the entertainment hub.
“There will always be a place to eat, to work, to live, and to relax—all within a short walk. This is what we aim to achieve,” Dy announced.
A place for the young
On the same day just before the press briefing, ALI broke ground at one of the new districts to be established in Makati City. Called City Gate, it will be located at the corner of Buendia and Ayala Avenues.
A mixed-use development envisioned to have a creative edge to cater to young professionals within the area, it will feature office towers, retail and the Seda Suites.
According to Dy, the Seda Suites will be the first hotel in the area. Moreover, it will house office spaces, which will include ALI’s head office, and suites on the higher floors. With a total of 312 rooms, the hotel is set to open in 2019.
The highlight of City Gate will be the Civic Space that ALI will vertically build via a series of terraces. This space will serve as the landing of an extended, elevated walkway that begins from the Mckinley Exchange located beside the MRT Ayala Station.
The Civic Space in City Gate is just one example of Ayala Land’s open spaces that offer relaxation and a change of scenery amid a highly urban city.
In an interview with The Manila Times, innovation and design group head Joel Luna shared the importance of open and civic spaces for the Ayala Land.
He explained, “We take pains to make sure there’s an open space in our developments. And it varies how much space we allot in different projects but most of the time, it’s at 40 to 50 percent.”
Another example is the Ayala Triangle Gardens (ATG), the iconic oasis at the heart of Ayala Center. Throughout the years, it has been known for its lush greeneries conducive to leisurely and healthy activities. ATG is also famous for its signature events, the Makati the Independence Day, and the Christmas Lights and Sound Show.
Over at Circuit Makati, the open space is allotted for active Filipinos. The sports facilities area opened in 2013 featuring a football turf, a skate park, and a kart racetrack.
The entertainment hub also boasts of an open events ground that now hosts the annual Wanderland Music Festival.
The new Mandarin
Besides the upcoming Seda Suites in City Gate, Ayala Land also made the important announcement of the new Mandarin Hotel set to rise at the Ayala Triangle Gardens.
According to Dy, the new five-star hotel will have 275-brand new rooms when it opens in 2020. She added that it will rise beside a new office tower boasting of 80,000 square meters, to be fully turned over by 2018.
To be located at the Northern Tip of ATG, the two new projects will break ground 20 years after the rise of Tower One and Exchange Plaza. To further improve the new area, additional dining and retail options will also be added.
“Once completed, this will give Makati denizens an Ayala Triangle that can be enjoyed both on weekdays and weekends, daytime or nighttime by families, friends and colleagues,” Dy enthused.
Summing up all the projects, Dy said, “In the next five years, [we will have]another 800,000-sqm of retail and office spaces, five new hotels, and another 3,700 residential units in the next five years in Makati, from Ayala Land. Every time I look at these numbers, I am astounded and at the same time humbled by the commitment of Ayala Land.
“But this is not just big numbers. These are bold projects that will change the landscape of Makati—a performing arts theater, a convention center, a five-star hotel, a triple-A office building, a new connection to the CBD, and new cityscapes,” Dy ended.