THE historic upscale neighborhood of New Manila is enjoying a renaissance with the completion sometime this year of the third high-end residential project of developer Mañosa Properties.
Campanilla Lane, an exclusive development of 18 condominium units and four villas, is the third project in the area by the Mañosa firm, which was founded by Francisco “Bobby” Mañosa, the architect responsible for, among other landmarks, the Coconut Palace and San Miguel Corporation’s headquarters.
New Manila, which lies just west of the Quezon’s City Cubao district, was in the years after World War II an affluent residential area marked by its stately mansions, one of which was home to former president Manuel Quezon and his family.
Doña Magdalena Hemady, a wealthy Lebanese who envisioned building an exclusive neighborhood and dubbed it Hacienda Magdalena, first developed it in the 1930s. “Lots along the main avenues Victoria, Broadway, Gilmore, and Pacific were cut in no less than 2,000 square meters per corner, with side streets labeled New York–style from 1st up to 13th,” online property listing firm Lamudi Philippines explained. Many of the original residents were wealthy families escaping the chaos of Manila during World War II.
In the 1950s, New Manila was sometimes referred to as the “Hollywood of the Philippines,” with one of the country’s first major film studios, Sampaguita Pictures, establishing itself in the neighborhood, and rival studio LVN building a studio in nearby Cubao. In the years after, however, New Manila gradually lost its prominence and began to deteriorate as it was overtaken by other cities, notably Makati.
Lamudi Philippines said in a statement that New Manila is “one of the most searched neighborhoods online in the Lamudi website.” The area has seen development of new residential property in the past few years, a mix of both high-end and mid-range projects.
“With development gradually spreading out of the traditional business districts of Metro Manila, a lot of places and old neighborhoods in the capital are starting to get noticed as well,” Lamudi said.
Mid-range developments that have been completed in the district in recent years include SMDC’s Princeton Residences, located along Aurora Boulevard on the edge of New Manila and completed in 2015; and Avida Land’s Avida Towers New Manila, which is located along Bonny Serrano Ave. and was completed between 2008 and 2013.
Higher on the property spectrum is Mañosa Properties’ Campanilla Lane, the third project in the area by the firm following Lantana Lane, which was finished in October 2012, and Ylang Lane, completed in August 2013.
The project contains just 22 residential units – 18 luxury apartments in two buildings, and four villas. According to the developer, the design was inspired by the traditional Filipino bahay kubo but updated with modern architecture and contemporary sustainable features.
“We’ve maximized natural ventilation and lighting in the designs and the community will have rainwater harvesting to use for their plants,” said Dino Mañosa, company co-founder with his father Francisco, said in an earlier interview, pointing out some of the environmentally friendly features.
The younger Mañosa explained that the basic design proposition the firm follows is “to ‘create communities that we want to live in.”
To preserve the natural setting of the property, the six-building development was designed around the existing trees, and as much of the original landscape as possible was preserved in planning the outdoor common area, which includes a swimming pool and space for gatherings.
Inside, traditional design touches are combined with modern materials. Solid carbonized strand-woven bamboo is used for flooring for its durability and scratch resistance, while the balcony flooring is composed of a fire retardant and termite proof wood plastic composite. Other design features include modular kitchen cabinets, modular closets, and interesting native-inspired accents such as hand-woven ceiling coverings and doors with coco inlay, a special Mañosa design.
The developer also pointed out that it offers homeowners Professional Community Management, a property guidance and care service that helps homeowners preserve and keep each home in peak condition.
As of February, the entire community was virtually sold out, but there are still a couple of current listings for units. The developer’s website highlights the three-bedroom units in Building One, which has only one unit on each of its six floors. The residences, which are approximately 260 square meters in area, also include a den, a powder room, and a maid’s room.