12 Upcoming Township Projects in the Philippines

Lamudi has compiled a list of the most exciting townships currently being developed by the Philippines largest real estate companies.

Business districts have been around since the Spanish times. The areas in Downtown Manila during this time, close to walled enclave of Intramuros, were not even the master-planned commercial districts we are familiar with today, but still they were areas teeming with business activities.

At the turn of the 20th century, more commercial districts close to Downtown Manila emerged, which include Divisoria, Avenida Rizal, Escolta, Quiapo, and Binondo. In these areas hotels, multi-story buildings, hospitals, schools, and banks arose. Downtown Manila was the capital’s only business district until after the Second World War.

Metro Manila’s emerging mixed-use projects. Illustration by Cartier Gabrino.
Metro Manila’s emerging mixed-use projects. Illustration by Cartier Gabrino.

But over the next few decades, Manila’s evolving real estate industry started to look elsewhere for new land. The capital’s increasing population and the Philippines’ growing economy necessitated new business areas. The Araneta family began developing the eponymous Araneta Center, a 35-hectare commercial area in Cubao, Quezon City. Its centerpiece is the Araneta Coliseum, which for a time was the world’s largest domed indoor sports arena.

Map_Iloilo City
Iloilo City’s emerging townships. Illustration by Cartier Gabrino.

Then came Makati in the late 1960s, a pet project of the influential Zobel de Ayala family. Surrounded by subdivisions or gated communities, Ayala Avenue became home to the country’s first true skyscrapers. By the 1970s, Makati was officially the Philippines’ financial and business capital.

Megaworld’s Mactan Newtown in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu. Illustration by Cartier Gabrino.
Megaworld’s Mactan Newtown in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu. Illustration by Cartier Gabrino.

Megaworld’s Davao Park District. Illustration by Cartier Gabrino.
Megaworld’s Davao Park District. Illustration by Cartier Gabrino.

Then came Ortigas Center in the 1980s, Filinvest City in the early 1990s, and Bonifacio Global City in the late 1990s. All these massive urban projects are now fully-fledged business districts, each housing important institutions, numerous office towers, cavernous shopping malls, and headquarters of multinational and local corporations.

Because the real estate industry’s appetite for new land to develop is insatiable, a growing number of master-planned townships and business districts—also known as mixed-use projects—are being rolled out left and right. This building boom further intensified when the government began privatizing idle prime lands.

Whether you call them townships, central business districts, or mixed-use projects, these “live-work-play-learn” developments have everything people need—they’re master-planned, centrally located, transit-oriented, and are teeming with activities 24/7. These self-contained “mini-cities” offer urban dwellers everything they need, and more.

There are more than 20 of these projects in the Philippines, varying in size from tens to hundreds of hectares. Lamudi compiles a list of the 12 most talked about, expected to be completed over the next few years.

1. Altaraza Town Center

Photo courtesy of Ayala Land Inc
Photo courtesy of Ayala Land Inc

Developer: Ayala Land Inc.
Location: San Jose del Monte City, Bulacan
Size: 41 hectares

Ayala Land Inc.’s (ALI) flagship and so far only project in the province of Bulacan, Altaraza is touted to become a community-centric mixed-use project. It is planned to have a direct access to the North Luzon Expressway and the yet-to-be-built Line 7 of the Metro Rail Transit (MRT). Eventually Altaraza will have a shopping mall, a health-care facility, office buildings for business process outsourcing (BPO) firms, and a 20-hectare campus of Colegio San Agustin. Its first residential projects developed by Ayala Land subsidiaries Avida and Amaia have been launched and are reported to be quite popular with homebuyers.

2. Iloilo Business Park

Photo courtesy of Megaworld Corp.
Photo courtesy of Megaworld Corp.

Developer: Megaworld Corp.
Location: Iloilo City
Size: 72 hectares

At 72 hectares, Iloilo Business Park is Megaworld Corp.’s largest township project to date. This year, the business park’s first three office towers will be opened (One Global Center, Two Global Center, and Richmonde Center), which will have a combined space of 25,000 square meters available to lease and will accommodate around 10,000 employees in the BPO sector. Also soon to rise are the 151-room Richmonde Hotel Iloilo (2014), Courtyard by Marriot (2015), and the 3,700-seat Iloilo Convention Center, which will host a side meeting of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in December 2015. The first residential projects launched here were Lafayette Park Square and One Madison Place.

3. Davao Park District
Developer: Megaworld Corp.
Location: Lanang, Davao City
Size: 11 hectares

Also by Megaworld, the Davao Park District will rise on the former Lanang Golf and Country Club site (beside SM Lanang Premier). It is expected to cost some Php15 billion to develop. Last May, Megaworld announced that it is earmarking Php1.2 billion to construct the Davao Finance Center within the township, a high-end office tower, which will accommodate corporate offices and BPO companies and is expected to generate around 8,000 jobs.

4. Arca South

Arca South
Photo courtesy of Ayala Land Inc.

Developer: Ayala Land Inc.
Location: Taguig
Size: 74 hectares

Arca South is perhaps ALI’s most ambitious project since Bonifacio Global City. This 74-hectare, master-planned development in the former FTI Complex in Taguig is strategically located along East Service Road of the South Luzon Expressway (and a separate elevated highway will be constructed via the C5 Road). Upon completion it will boast residential, retail, commercial, office, and institutional developments.

One of the project’s most anticipated features is the modern Integrated Transport System (ITS) planned by the Department of Transportation and Communication. It will serve as a central station for all provincial buses carrying passengers to and from the South Luzon provinces of Laguna, Batangas, and Quezon, along with a station of the Philippine National Railway. The ITS is expected to service up to 200,000 commuters daily. Ayala Land Premier and Alveo Land (subsidiaries of ALI) have already launched their own residential condo projects within Arca South: the upscale Arbor Lanes and Veranda, respectively.

5. Mactan Newtown

Photo courtesy of Megaworld Corp.
Photo courtesy of Megaworld Corp.

Developer: Megaworld Corp.
Location: Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu
Size: 28.8 hectares

In keeping to its “live-work-play-learn” concept, Megaworld’s foray in Cebu will also boast residential, office, retail, and educational real estate developments, with some high-end leisure resort projects thrown in as well. The developer has already launched three condo projects here (spanning 10 towers), a three-level shopping mall, a cyber-park, a school to be supervised by the LaSallian Schools, and office towers for BPO firms. Megaworld announced that it is investing some Php30 billion into this project.

6. South Park District

Photo courtesy of Ayala Land Inc.
Photo courtesy of Ayala Land Inc.

Developer: Ayala Land Inc.
Location: Alabang, Muntinlupa
Size: 6.6 hectares

This project will be the first township to be developed by Avida Land, ALI’s affordable-market developer. Soon to rise on the former site of Nestlé factory along National Road in Alabang, this Php12 billion project upon completion will integrate residential, retail, and office spaces, but with a more laid-back feel. Avida Land has already launched its first residential condo project in South Park District—the two-tower Avida Towers Altura, while six more projects are expected to be launched over the next few years.

7. Vertis North

Photo courtesy of Ayala Land Inc.
Photo courtesy of Ayala Land Inc.

Developer: Ayala Land Inc.
Location: Quezon City
Size: 29 hectares

This township is dubbed as Quezon City’s very first business district. A 29-hectare prime property located between EDSA, North Avenue, and Mindanao Avenue, Vertis North is expected to boost the city’s economic development. ALI announced that it is investing Php65 billion into the project, which, when completed, will have approximately 45 towers and buildings composed of offices, shopping malls, hotel, and residential condominiums. Two condo projects have already been launched here: High Park by Alveo Land and Avida Towers Vita. Ayala Hotels and Resorts is also building its own project here, the 438-room Seda Vertis North.

8. Atria Park District

Photo courtesy of Ayala Land Inc.
Photo courtesy of Ayala Land Inc.

Developer: Ayala Land Inc.
Location: Iloilo City
Size: 21 hectares

Also in Iloilo, this master-planned community by ALI will further transform this once sleepy city into one of the Visayas region’s most progressive urban centers. Atria Park District will integrate residential, retail, business, health-care, and education clusters, in addition to parks and landscaped areas. ALI has announced that it is investing over Php15 billion into the project, which will include a modern health-care facility—the UPMC Iloilo. The property developer estimates that over 10,000 jobs will be generated by the project, further boosting Iloilo’s already buoyant economy.

9. Woodside City
Developer: Megaworld Corp.
Location: Pasig City
Size: 12.3 hectares

This project, soon to rise on the former Ajinomoto plant along C5 Road in Pasig City, is expected to expand Ortigas Center. The township’s first projects includes three high-rise office towers, the first of which will be designed by American architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), the same firm behind Chicago’s Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) and Burj Khalifa. The first tower is expected to be completed in 2017.

10. Circuit Makati

Photo courtesy of Ayala Land Inc.
Photo courtesy of Ayala Land Inc.

Developer: Ayala Land Inc.
Location: Makati City
Size: 21 hectares

Circuit Makati is touted to become Makati’s entertainment hub. This 21-hectare prime project on the former Sta. Ana Racetrack (along the southern banks of Pasig River) will be anchored by Ayala subsidiary Alveo Land, who will build approximately 11,000 residential condo units here, in addition to office, retail, and entertainment components. Alveo has already begun construction of its first condo project in Circuit Makati in 2012—the two-tower Solstice project.

11. Uptown Bonifacio

Photo courtesy of Megaworld Corp.
Photo courtesy of Megaworld Corp.

Developer: Megaworld Corp.
Location: Taguig City
Size: 15.4 hectares

One only needs to take a look at Megaworld’s other successful township projects (McKinley Hill, Eastwood City, and Newport City) to predict what the 15.4-hectare Uptown Bonifacio will eventually be like. Its construction is well underway, with the first condo project—the high-end Uptown Ritz—scheduled to be finished in 2017. When completed, the township will have close to 500,000 sqm of residential space, 400,000 sqm of office space, and 90,000 sqm of retail and restaurant space.

12. Veritown Fort

Photo courtesy of Federal Land
Photo courtesy of Federal Land

Developer: Federal Land
Location: Taguig City
Size: 10 hectares

The first mixed-use project of Federal Land, Veritown Fort set to rise on a 10-hectare estate within BGC, will house the Philippines’ second Hyatt property: Grand Hyatt Manila and Grand Hyatt Manila Residences. Other high-end condo projects (Park WestCentral Park West,  and Madison Park West) will soon rise here, in addition to office buildings for BPO firms, and plenty of greeneries. Federal Land announced that the 66-story Grand Hyatt Manila is expected to open in late 2015.

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