P30B allotted for Araneta ‘extreme makeover’
The P30-billion facelift of the Araneta Center in Cubao will involve the development of at least three hotels, four residential towers, five business process outsourcing (BPO) buildings and the expansion of upscale Gateway Mall in the next few years, according to an executive of the Araneta group.
Araneta Center Inc. senior vice president for operations Antonio T. Mardo told reporters Tuesday that as part of the 20-year “extreme transformation” of the commercial district, two to three more hotel developments are being planned to join the soon-to-open Novotel Manila Araneta Center, including an Ibis hotel as well as a six-star facility.
Novotel Manila Araneta Center—the first upscale business hotel to rise in Quezon City—would open its doors to customers starting the first quarter of 2015, Mardo said.
Around P3 billion has been allocated to build the hotel, which has already reached structural completion, he said. “We are now fitting out for the inside.”
Construction is expected to be finished before yearend while commercial operations would begin by the first quarter of next year, Mardo said.
Novotel Manila Araneta Center will have 450 guest rooms. It would also showcase a 1,396-person capacity ballroom as well as several function and meeting rooms.
One of the hotel’s upcoming top attractions is an executive lounge designed as garden terraces, which will provide guests with a 360-degree view of Metro Manila. It will as well have a wedding garden and an all-day dining restaurant.
Mardo said that the Araneta group’s foray into the hospitality business “marks a bright spot for Quezon City.”
“Novotel Manila Araneta Center will bring in revenues and create more jobs for the city,” he said.
The “no-frills” Ibis hotel, meanwhile, will also be developed in partnership with European hospitality and tourism giant Accor Group, which owns both the Ibis and Novotel brands. Groundbreaking for the Ibis has been scheduled in early 2015, Mardo disclosed.
As for the planned six-star hotel, Araneta Center has yet to decide on the brand, he said.
Two more phases would also be added to Manhattan Garden City’s two existing condominium towers. The final phase called Manhattan Plaza would break ground late this year or early 2015, the executive said.
All four phases of the high-rise residential complex would have a total of 8,500 units, Mardo said.
Five “huge” office buildings for BPO locators would also be built across from Novotel, he said.
Next year, the Gateway Mall would be expanded toward the west side of the Araneta Coliseum, adjacent to the future site of the Ibis hotel, Mardo said.
The New Frontier theater is also under renovation to make it a modern performance arts venue, he added.
Despite the intense competition from other developers putting up business districts akin to the Araneta Center, Mardo said the Araneta group “doesn’t worry about competition.”
“We have an ideal locations. We’re in the middle of a transportation hub. Araneta Center is pedestrian-friendly,” he explained.
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