MANILA, Philippines?The Ayala and Ortigas Groups, developer of Metro Manila?s major financial districts are in talks on a potential P25-billion joint venture involving a prime 10-hectare property along Shaw Boulevard in Pasig City that formerly housed the Rizal provincial capitol.
The property was donated by the Ortigas family to the Rizal provincial government a long time ago but reverted to the landed clan after a new capitol was inaugurated in Antipolo early last year.
Pasig City, which has rapidly urbanized over the years, was carved out of the province of Rizal to be part of Metro Manila in 1975, but it continued to host the provincial capitol until the recent transfer. After more than 50 years of having its seat of government in Pasig City, the opening of the new Rizal provincial capitol addressed the clamor of constituents to have the seat of government within the territorial jurisdiction of Rizal while freeing up the property for new development projects by the Ortigas group.
Industry sources said Ortigas & Co. was now keen on developing the property at the outskirts of the bustling Shaw Boulevard and was in active talks to team up with the Ayala group, which so far has a very small footprint in the Pasig area.
This is potentially the first joint venture between Ayala and Ortigas groups, each with a long history in corporate Philippines dating back to the Spanish colonial times. Over the years, the Ayalas focused its urban development efforts on the Makati central business district and nearby areas like Taguig and Sta. Rosa, Laguna, while the Ortigases focused on the Ortigas central business center in Pasig as well as in Greenhills, San Juan.
In a brief interview with the Inquirer, Ayala Land Inc. chief finance officer Jaime Ysmael confirmed the talks between the two groups, but said nothing definite had been agreed on so far.
?There are ongoing discussions,? Ysmael said. He said ALI, for its part, was interested in the 10-hectare property because it was suitable for a mixed-use development, with the residential components a potentially good fit to the group?s Ayala Land Premier and Alveo brands.
Ayala Land Premier caters to the high-income residential segment while Alveo caters to the middle-income segment, particularly the upwardly mobile young urban professionals. Among Alveo?s projects are Two Serendra in Bonifacio Global City and The Columns along Ayala Avenue.
Ortigas & Co. president Rex Drilon previously announced plans to use the old capitol site for a new project called ?Capitol Commons.? He had estimated that about P25 billion in fresh investment would be needed to develop the property.
The Ortigas family has mapped out an aggressive redevelopment program for its biggest properties to maximize the values of its central business district. Four new flagship projects were earlier announced with an investment value of approximately P25 billion each?for a total of P100 billion in investments over the next 10 years. The development of the old Rizal capitol was part of this long-term plan.
?We intend to become the Ayala of the north,? Drilon had said, alluding to the property developer?s commitment to quality and ?green spaces? in its projects.