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The pros and cons of transit-oriented condos

LIGHT Residences stand beside the Edsa-Boni MRT Station in Mandaluyong.

DO YOU suffer anxiety attacks whenever fuel prices increase? Do you wrack your brains figuring out how to avoid the traffic snarl on your way to work? Do you feel victimized by your car’s steep maintenance costs?

If you’re in this predicament, buying a place to live in near your place of work makes a lot of sense. And it even sounds more tempting if the condo unit you’ll be buying is right smack beside the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) or the Light Rail Transit (LRT).

Inquirer Property asked some industry players their take on transit-oriented condominiums.

Rouen Abel V. Raz, vice president for sales and marketing of Robinsons Land Corp., said there are pros and cons to owning a condo unit beside  mass-transit systems. “One good thing about it is that access is easy. However, the negatives will be noise not only coming from the trains but also from the public vehicles below the project. Also, the dirt and dust can be an annoyance.”

Raz was on hand during the recent media launch of Axis Residences, which is 150 meters away from the MRT Boni Avenue station. Located on Pioneer Street in Mandaluyong City, Axis Residences stands within the compound of Robinsons Forum (Pioneer Mall) and Robinsons Gateway Residential and Office Condominium Complex. Strategically located not only near a mass-transit system, Axis Residences lies in the center of the three major business districts: Makati CBD, Ortigas Business District and Bonifacio Global City.

Jose Mari H. Banzon, executive vice president and general manager of Federal Land, said the proximity to mass transit systems would certainly be “a plus” to the commuting market, “but living next to major thoroughfares exposes residents to noise and air pollution as well as a crowded environment.”

He noted, however, that “condominiums that are within walking distance or a short ride to the MRT/LRT, but located in a quieter, less congested area have more to offer in terms of quality of life.”

Axis Residences—a joint venture between Robinsons Land and Federal Land of Metrobank group—is a two-phase multi-tower condominium development designed for professionals and start-up families.

Other transit-oriented developments include that of Megaworld subsidiary Empire East’s mid-income projects Pioneer Woodlands, which stands just across the Boni MRT Station, and the San Lorenzo Place, at the corner of Chino Roces Avenue and Edsa, just beside the Magallanes MRT station.

THE AXIS Residences is 150 meters away from the Boni Avenue MRT station.

The Little Baguio Terraces in Greenhills, New Manila is described by Megaworld assistant vice president for marketing communications Rommel Orbigo as offering “easy access to the MRT/LRT2 for easy access to any point in the metro.

Connected to 2 train lines

“Megaworld had tapped this potential market with the launch of Manhattan Garden City in Araneta Center back in 2006.” Orbigo describes this Cubao project as the first and only transit-oriented development that connects to two train lines: the MRT3 and LRT2.

“Thus, residents can save on gas and help preserve the environment by taking the train lines on their way to the Makati/Ortigas CBD or in the case of students, to the University Belt on the west or the Katipunan area in the east,” he said.

Empire East had also tapped the mid-income market with the simultaneous launch of three transit-oriented developments in 2007. Pioneer Woodlands and San Lorenzo Place offer easy access to the MRT3 line, while Little Baguio Terraces is connected to the LRT2 line.

These transit-oriented developments offer residents a fast and convenient way to go around the metro from their residence to the office, mall or school.

Nine months ago, SM Development Corp launched its Light Residences, a two-hectare, three-tower, 42-story residential and commercial development that would stand beside the Edsa-Boni MRT Station in Mandaluyong.

“The reason our development project is near the MRT is to lessen the burning of fuel. Every unit buyer is encouraged to save energy to lessen their carbon footprint. The supermarket and the cinemas are all just an elevator away,” explained Albert Yu, president of Asya Designs and architect of Light Residences.

Asked about the smog and the noise Light Residences dwellers would most certainly be exposed to, considering the area’s proximity to Edsa, SMDC officers responded that the pollution would have “dissipated” at the seventh floor upward, the level where residential units actually start.

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