‘P20-B two-tower project in BGC to elevate CBDs’By Tessa R. Salazar
Philippine Daily Inquirer
A multibillion-peso development at the Bonifacio Global City in Taguig will take central business districts (CBDs) to new highs, literally and figuratively speaking.
The P20-billion Grand Hyatt Manila and Grand Hyatt Residences, upscale mixed-use developments featuring two towers, is expected to raise the bar among the competing CBDs in the Philippines.
The Grand Hyatt Manila (to be located on the top 14 floors of the 66-story office and hotel tower and to offer 438 guest rooms) and the Grand Hyatt Residences (with 220 luxury units) are expected to open in 2015. Hyatt Hotels Corp. had entered into an agreement with Bonifacio Landmark Realty and Development Corp. (BLC), a joint-venture company between property developer Federal Land Inc. and Japanese financial services group Orix Corp., for the project.
Julius Guevara, associate director of valuation and advisory services and head of consultancy and research for Colliers International, told Inquirer Property that “the development of Grand Hyatt further elevates the status of Bonifacio Global City as Metro Manila’s CBD for the 21st century.”
“Hyatt’s decision to locate in BGC is just a reflection of the potential of this upcoming CBD. With its grand design and vision, more residents, visitors and investors will be drawn to BGC. With a steady stream of corporate headquarters and high-value BPOs (business process outsourcing companies) moving into (BGC), and with the planned transfer of the Philippine Stock Exchange in the near future, high-end hotel developments will have a captive market of guests for their room and meeting space facilities,” said Guevara.
Enrique M. Soriano III, Ateneo program director for real estate and senior adviser for Wong+Bernstein Business Advisory, told Inquirer Property that “other CBDs and city center developments will have to raise the bar, as luxurious integrated developments with international brands are coming and joining the bandwagon.”
Soriano said “replicating advanced economies in Asia, condo buyers and investors of the Grand Hyatt will naturally benefit and will look forward to the higher-than-usual property value appreciation.”
In a separate interview during a Feb. 21 press conference at the GT Tower in Makati, Alfred Ty, BLC chair and Federal Land president, explained that “the location has a lot of advantages it can bring to the project. The two-tower project is not a stand alone, but would act as an anchor of our 10-hectare Veritown Fort development.” He added that the Grand Hyatt “is a flagship development and by far the biggest project.”
The two towers will be the center of the master-planned Veritown Fort, which will house 11 residential projects, premier dining options, and upscale retail spaces and boutiques.
‘Robust commercial market’
John Burlingame, global head of residential development for Hyatt Chicago, told Inquirer Property: “As the international branded hospitality company with nearly 500 hotels, we’re looking for good commercial opportunities in all areas of the world. The Philippines is a robust commercial market now, and a lot of our customers want to travel to the Philippines. So it is important for us to find opportunities to expand our brands in markets where our customers want to go.”
The structures will face the 7th and 8th avenues, providing guests and residents easy access to Kalayaan Avenue and the Makati CBD.
The architectural firm involved in the project is Wong+Ouyang of Hong Kong. US-based interior design group Bilkey Llinas Design Ltd. would be responsible for designing the hotel’s interior and the common areas of the residences). Other firms involved are Ove Arup & Partners (award-winning British structural designer with 65 years of experience) and Casas Architects (a Filipino design firm).
Soriano said of the project, “International brands will open up a recurring revenue stream and a profitable property investment for buyers while taking advantage of the growing number of entrepreneurs and business owners that have an appetite for luxury residences.”
He added, “It’s a pure brand-equity play for Federal Land, and personally, it’s long overdue. They have been in property development since the ’80s, starting with their Skyland Plaza and Escolta Towers. Having Grand Hyatt and Marco Polo (Residences in Cebu) as its flagship brands on top of its roster of international designers adds premium to its growing portfolio of luxury international brands. For property players the size of Federal Land, it’s the natural way forward.”
Guevara observed that “Hyatt is one of the most widely known and reputable brands in hospitality in the world, and they have had a presence in Manila for decades. Grand Hyatt is their brand targeting the upscale market, featuring well-appointed accommodations and breathtaking architecture.”
He added: “On the other hand, Federal Land has been launching exciting real estate projects over the years, including The Grand Midori in Legaspi Village, The Bay Garden in Manila Bay, and the Marco Polo Residences in Cebu. The inclusion of Grand Hyatt as a component of its Veritown project in Fort Bonifacio makes for a more interesting mixed-use development, and assures investors of the high-quality experience they could have with Federal Land and Orix.”