Ayala Land eyes deal to redevelop QI propertyBy Doris C. Dumlao
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Property giant Ayala Land Inc. is working on a deal to redevelop a prime 15-hectare estate currently used by anti-tuberculosis medical center Quezon Institute along E. Rodriguez Avenue in Quezon City into a mixed-use development.
The plan is to take over the property through a joint venture with the QI operator and landowner, the non-stock, non-profit organization Philippine Tuberculosis Society Inc. (PTSI), which will relocate the hospital to a new site. The project will help expand ALI’s presence in Quezon City, where it is also developing a new central business district along North Triangle through the Vertis North project alongside some pocket property ventures with the University of the Philippines.
In an interview with the Inquirer at the sidelines of a recent ING-Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines forum, ALI chief finance officer Jaime Ysmael confirmed that ALI was working on a joint venture for the property and was just awaiting final approvals to close the deal.
Ysmael said the area, which is near the intersection at Araneta Avenue where a big Puregold hypermarket is located, was suitable for a mixed-use development, with the residential component likely to be under residential brand Avida.
“It’s a nice area,” he said. “We already have the plans. Everything is complete. We’re just waiting for the final approvals,” Ysmael said.
As the landowner, PTSI is seen retaining an economic interest in the joint venture, which will generate both property development revenues and recurring income from the lease of commercial space. By relocating to a less urbanized area, PTSI is seen unlocking values from the prime property and generating cash flow to augment its medical programs.
Asked whether the joint-venture deal was similar to that earlier struck for the redevelopment of the old UP Integrated School campus, Ysmael said it was similar except that PTSI had taken care of looking for a new site for the hospital.
“We will preserve the look,” Ysmael said, referring to the long pathway leading to the heritage building at the central end of the QI compound. “We will preserve that. It will be an amenity, maybe a community center for the entire thing,” he said.
ALI was originally hoping to launch the QI redevelopment project within this year but as some issues have yet to be resolved, Ysmael said the launch might have to wait until next year.
Asked about the frequent flash flooding in the area during the rainy season, Ysmael said: “We’ll address it.”
PTSI is a non-government organization that pioneered efforts at tuberculosis prevention, control and treatment in the country. Its corporate predecessor, the Philippine Islands Anti-Tuberculosis Society, was founded in 1910. The QI compound, formerly known as Santol Sanatorium, was opened in 1918.
Based on its website, PTSI has downsized its hospital operations and is now investing to build up capacity for its research, training, advocacy and education functions. It also intends to promote mass health screening and expand into public policy formulation and lobbying for relevant health measures.