Opportunities abound at Moonbay Marina | Inquirer Business

Opportunities abound at Moonbay Marina

12:10 AM July 05, 2015

One lazy, sunny day, while walking along the waterfront at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone, entrepreneur Marianito B. Fernandez came upon a junkyard.

The surroundings were unsightly, with the refuse and waste left behind by the Americans, who had vacated what used to be their naval base.

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But it was an 18-hectare beach area, and the entrepreneurial spirit in Fernandez was awakened.

He had a Joycean epiphany.

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Why not convert this idle piece of property into a high-end rest and recreation area?

So he and his wife Nancy formed Subic Coastal Development Corp. (SBDC) and secured a 50-year lease contract over the area from the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), with the intent to create an upscale, mixed use commercial and residential community.

They called it Moonbay Marina.

Fernandez asked architect Jun Palafox to come up with a master plan for Moonbay Marina (www.moonbaymarinaleisureresort.com).

Soon, the company started rehabilitating and reclaiming the beachfront area, and a 3-kilometer baywalk was constructed along with roads, rotonda parks, drainage and lighting systems.

Then the tenants and the locators started coming in.

Business opportunities abound in the area, including hotel, resort, restaurant, cafes; recreation and amusement centers/parks, casinos and other gaming facilities;   convention/conference venues; golf courses and watersports; retirement villages and facilities; medical tourism and health care services and duty-free shops.

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It is a long and heady list for investors.

“As registered locators,” says Fernandez, “Moonbay Marina and its stakeholders benefit from tax, visa and other business incentives offered to Subic Bay Freeport enterprises.”

Other advantages include its strategic location, competitive rates, and a total of 200 rooms from all the hotels in the complex.

The centerpiece of the leisure resort is The Villas, owned by the Fernandez family and developed by SCDC.

These are all suites in the Mediterranean style, with overnight stay rates ranging from P3,500 to P5,000.

Within the complex are Buma Hotel, the Lighthouse Hotel, Vista Marina, Bayfront Hotel, Terrace Hotel and Subic Park Hotel.

“We have 100-percent occupancy rate during weekends,” says Fernandez, “The clientele is the corporate market from Manila, plus some expatriates.”

The popular resto-bar Pier One, with its nightly entertainment, attracts a huge crowd during weekends.

“We would like to entice tourist-related industries to locate here,” the entrepreneur says, “Most of the property we sublease to locators.”

Fernandez foresees that the complex will be complete in five years.

“And with the entrance of new tenants, we expect Moonbay Marina to be a lot more vibrant, with interesting tourist-related locators,” he adds.

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TAGS: Marianito B. Fernandez, Moonbay Marina, property, realty, Subic, Subic Bay Freeport Zone
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