MJC Investments Corp. (MJIC), the hotel and tourism estate development arm of the Manila Jockey Club group, plans to invest about P3.5 billion to build a luxury hotel at the San Lazaro Business and Tourism Park.
“Total project cost of the hotel MJIC is building is expected to be completed in two years,” MJIC chairman Alfonso Reyno Jr. said.
MJIC increased its authorized capital stock last year to allow the entry of fresh capital and new investors. Last month, a 33-percent stake in MJIC was sold for P450 million (450 million shares at P1 each) to a Hong Kong investor consortium led by Cheah Teik Sing, managing director of ECM Libra Financial Group Berhad, a listed Malaysian financial services group.
The company is preparing to accelerate the development of the San Lazaro estate with the construction of its first major project, tagged as the first five-star hotel and high-end entertainment project of this scale to rise in the heart of Greater Chinatown.
“Expected to be fully operational by 2015, MJC Investment’s hotel, entertainment and tourism hub will be the company’s first foray toward its ambition of becoming a significant player in the Philippines’ rapidly growing tourism industry,” a company briefer said.
It said the hub would have an 18-story, five-star, all-suite international branded luxury hotel and an expansive podium, which would be home to high-end restaurants, a column-less ballroom with a capacity of more than 1000 persons, about 900 parking slots and 5,000 square meters of world-class, internationally designed, themed indoor entertainment spaces.
Under the blueprint, covered elevated walkways similar to that of the central Makati business district and Hong Kong’s central district would link the mall, residential and hotel components. Enhanced security and transport links—such being alongside a major exit to the soon-to-be-built “connector road” linking the North Luzon and South Luzon expressways—are seen providing easy access and an overall improved visitor experience.
“A large golden reflective glass wall wraps the curvature of the hub podium and a giant outdoor LED video wall will beckon the public,” the briefer said. “The hotel tower is topped with a requisite helipad to accommodate the most discerning visitors.”
MJIC also plans to launch a significant branding and marketing effort “to attract, educate and lure the public to this major destination.”
The hub is designed by renowned architect Jose Pedro C. Recio of Rchitects Inc.
Regarded as the world’s oldest Chinatown, established by Spanish Governor General Luis Perez Dasmariñas in 1594, Manila’s Binondo district has been a center for trade and finance for the past 419 years. In fact, some historians believed it was the center for Chinese commerce in the Philippines long before Magellan arrived in 1521, making it the country’s historic business nucleus.