Oct 302013

MANILA, Philippines – Property giant Ayala Land Inc. (ALI) is keen on stamping a major footprint in Pasay City through the creation of a new business district.

The real estate firm has expressed its intent to join the bidding for the reclamation of a 300-hectare lot in the southern city.

“ALI’s proposal to reclaim the 300-hectare Manila Bay property in Pasay City may catapult the city as one of the country’s most modern business, residential, and recreational district,” the company said in a statement.

“This project is important to the company as it presents an opportunity for us to have significant presence in the Manila Bay area, contribute to the growth and progress of the city of Pasay, and make the reclaimed area the country’s model of urban and sustainable development,” said ALI chief operating officer Bobby Dy.

However, ALI’s plans will depend on detailed financial and technical studies that would take time to finish, Dy said.

Last week, the firm confirmed its interest to submit a counter-proposal for the reclamation project.

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Mall and banking conglomerate SM Investments Corp., through SM Land, earlier submitted an unsolicited proposal to the Pasay City government to reclaim the property in the next seven years for P54.5 billion.

SM offered to fully finance the project including the costs of all necessary permits and clearances from government agencies as well as other expenses to comply with all government and legal requirements.

“The reclamation is a local government unit project. If SM will be developing, it will work together with Pasay City to implement what will be good for Pasay and its community,” SM Land said yesterday.

For its part, ALI has “spoken to a leading international engineering company, with vast experience in reclamation all over the world, and they said that it will take a minimum of two months to come up with a well thought-out development plan,” Dy said.

ALI had asked Pasay City Mayor Antonino Calixto to extend by 60 working days the Nov. 4 deadline for the submission of counter-proposals. The public was notified of the unsolicited proposal to reclaim 300 hectares only early this month, ALI said.

ALI also asked the Pasay government to reduce the P5-million fee to buy the bid documents to attract more bidders.

“Pasay has nothing to lose and everything to gain if other interested companies are given more time to study the project and submit their counter proposals,” Dy said.

He said that the extension will allow ALI to come up with a comprehensive master-plan, including a careful study on the project’s impact on the environment.

The bidding terms also required bidders to have a minimum net worth of P50 billion by the time of the auction. Interested parties should have also reclaimed 120 hectares preferably in the Manila Bay area.

“Most developers in the country will not qualify given the required experience in reclamation. Without this condition, many more will be able to bid,” Dy said.

ALI has created a name by developing mixed-use communities such as the Makati Central Business District, Ayala Alabang, Cebu Park District, Bonifacio Global City, and Nuvali in Laguna. Its new mixed-use projects include the Arca South in Taguig, Vertis North in Quezon City and Circuit Makati.

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