In 1996, Megaworld Corp. acquired an old textile mills factory located on the fringes of Quezon City. By 1999, the Andrew Tan-led developer started transforming this 11.12-hectare property into what is now Eastwood City.
Having grown to 18.5 ha, Eastwood City has become one of Megaworld’s most successful integrated mixed-use communities—or commonly known as townships—that popularized the live-work-play lifestyle concept in the Philippines.
Somehow, this pioneering move validated other big industry players’ intention to channel their future growth plans into less developed sections of major cities—including those located in the provinces.
Meanwhile, according to David dela Cruz, EVP and chief financial officer of Sta. Lucia Land, “Developers are now looking to go provincial due to the increasing scarcity of available land in megacities like Metro Manila and Metro Cebu. We are proud that this has been our company’s brand thrust for decades as we look for progressive, suburban locations in the provinces in order to build residential developments that incorporate retail, restaurant and entertainment venues.”
Dela Cruz noted that the country’s population now moves both from the old and central business districts to more suburban locations.
“This is why SLI is now aggressively expanding in the countryside. Best examples are our current major undertakings like Splendido Taal Golf and Country Club, Orchard Golf, and Country Club, Eagle Ridge Golf and Country Club (the company currently boasts 12 world-class golf courses) as well as residential and condotel developments such as Residenze (Cainta, Rizal), Arterra Bayfront Residences (Mactan Island, Cebu), La Breza (Quezon City), and SotoGrande developments in Katipunan, Iloilo, Davao, and Neopolitan, Quezon City,” Dela Cruz explained.
Moving to provinces
In June, Megaworld announced it would be spending P180 billion in the next 10 years to develop existing properties in the provinces. Of the current 21 integrated urban townships it built around the country, 12 are located in the provinces, which is equivalent to around 2,807 ha.
Among the upcoming provincial township projects that will benefit from this move include:
- 53 ha NORTHHILL Gateway in Talisay City, Negros Occidental;
- Upper East in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental;
- The Capital in San Fernando City, Pampanga; and
- The 140 ha Maple Grove in General Trias, Cavite
Megaworld’s other provincial township projects include:
- The 72 ha Iloilo Business Park in Mandurriao, Iloilo City;
- The 28.8 ha Mactan Newtown in Lapu-Lapu City;
- Davao Park District in Lanang, Davao City;
- The 1,200 ha Twin Lakes in Alfonso, Batangas;
- The 561 ha Southwoods City in the boundaries of Cavite and Laguna;
- The 350 ha Suntrust Ecotown in Tanza, Cavite;
- The 170 ha Sta. Barbara Heights in Iloilo; and
- The 150 ha Boracay Newcoast in Boracay Island.
Townships in the Visayas
Notable among the list of the mentioned developments is the Mactan Newtown, which is Megaworld’s first major township development with its own beach outside Metro Manila.
This 28.8-ha mega-community combines high-end office towers, luxury condominiums, leisure amenities; retail shops, a school supervised by LASSO (implementing arm of the Lasallian Schools Supervision Services Association, Inc.), and upscale hotels in one secured and enclosed area.
It features a Cyberpark, which will be home to several offices like the recently completed One World Center that now houses international BPO firms Results Manila and Enfra USA. Other BPO offices in the township are Two World Center, Eight Newtown Boulevard, and Pacific Garden Tower.
The company will have at least five to 10 more office towers in the township by 2021.
Mactan Newtown’s residential components include 8 Newtown Boulevard consisting of four 18-story, Japanese architecture-inspired towers; One Pacific Residence, a high-end residential and mixed-used development consisting of commercial establishments at the ground level, an office building, and three 18-story residential towers; and One Manchester Place, a three-tower condominium cluster.
Rockwell Land Corp. known for several premier property developments that include Rockwell Center in Makati City, The Grove in Pasig City, Rockwell Business Center Ortigas in Pasig City and Rockwell Business Center Sheridan in Mandaluyong City, now offers its first development in Cebu and outside Luzon, the 32 Sanson.
Located on a 32-ha property in Lahug, 32 Sanson is composed of five low-rise (5 stories) residential buildings nestled amid lush landscaping.
The 32 Sanson features two clubhouse, function room, gym, game room, two swimming pools, multipurpose court, lawn and children’s play area, as well as a long and winding jogging path.
Interestingly, there is a subterranean road that allows the grounds of the property to be used exclusively by pedestrians, so residents can enjoy a unique and carefree jogging experience around the development’s verdant surroundings.
Sta. Lucia Land is a giant keenly looking at expanding its presence in Iloilo. A recent announcement on the expansion of four of its current projects namely, Greenmeadows, Metropolis Executive Village, Nottingham Villas, and SotoGrande Iloilo, came after its first venture, the 51-ha Metropolis Executive Village.
Its footprint has since expanded to 262 hectares that included:
- The 172 ha Greenmeadows that is set to become a regional hub with its planned community mall, mid-rise condominium, and business process outsourcing office buildings;
- The 51 ha residential community Metropolis Executive Village that is set to expand by six hectares;
- The 3 ha Nottingham Villas that is also set to expand to include prime commercial areas and residential townhouse units as well as the 6-story SotoGrande Iloilo hotel;
- The 30 ha property in Sta. Barbara, a new residential development