Southwoods to become P10B township
MANILA, Philippines—The leisure and resort unit of Megaworld Corp. has unveiled a plan to revitalize the Southwoods property located just south of Metro Manila—a project whose development was stunted in the wake of the 1997 East Asian financial crisis—and transform it into a sprawling township project.
Called Southwoods City, officials of Andrew Tan-controlled Global Estate Resorts Inc. (Geri) said the undertaking would involve total investments of P10 billion over its expected decade-long development time frame.
“From the feedback we’re getting, there is a very strong interest [among buyers] for a township project in this area,” said Megaworld first vice president Jericho Go, saying that the project would eventually offer residential, office and commercial projects that would be built and managed by the real estate firm.
All told, Southwoods City will encompass 561 hectares located on the boundary of Carmona, Cavite, and Biñan, Laguna. It will include the existing 125-hectare Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club built in the 1990s by Fil-Estate Land Inc., which was the corporate predecessor of Geri before it was acquired by Megaworld in 2011.
Geri officials said that they would soon launch the first housing project in the township called Pahana, which will have a total footprint of 26 hectares, enough for 602 residential units ranging from 239 square meters to 523 square meters in size.
Pahana—together with existing houses developed by Fil-Estate as part of the Southwoods undertaking several years ago—will take up a total of 376 hectares of the project, leaving another 60 hectares for Megaworld-built and -run office buildings, business process outsourcing (BPO) centers and commercial properties that will rise in the township over a 10-year period.
“We are very excited that Megaworld is lending its expertise in the design, conceptualization and master-planning of Southwoods City,” Geri sales and marketing head Rachelle Peñaflorida said. “We look forward to a vibrant mixed-use community that incorporates the live, work, play and learn lifestyle concept in this multibillion-peso development.”
Company officials highlighted Southwoods City’s proximity to Metro Manila—with a travel time of only 20 minutes from Makati City under ideal driving conditions—describing it as one of the project’s distinguishing features from townships being developed by other real estate firms farther south.
Being the centerpiece of the project, officials said that the company would also invest to upgrade the facilities of the golf club, given that these have failed to keep pace with current leisure developments.
Existing residential property owners also stand to benefit from the expected improvements in common facilities like roads that would be implemented as part of the township’s construction program, although officials noted that areas within the gated communities would not be touched.
As envisioned, Southwoods City will feature a central business district, commercial and retail stores, malls, schools, church, a cyberpark, a medical facility, open parks, leisure facilities, a weekend market and its own transport hub.
Geri is also involved in other tourism projects such as the 150-hectare Boracay Newcoast on Boracay Island; the 1,149-hectare rolling terrains of Twin Lakes in Tagaytay; and the 170-hectare Sta. Barbara Heights in Iloilo City.