Iloilo realty scene takes a festive walk
Why is Iloilo suddenly the land of golden opportunity for property developers?
This insight suddenly dawned on business and lifestyle observers when foremost property developer Megaworld opened its first full-scale lifestyle mall in the Visayas-Mindanao region on Saturday morning.
Festive Walk Mall is the largest lifestyle mall development of Megaworld outside Luzon. It’s at the 72-hectare Iloilo Business Park township in Mandurriao, Iloilo City, where the old airport was.
Alliance Global Inc. CEO Kevin L. Tan, who also heads Megaworld Lifestyle Malls, has a ready answer to why Iloilo is a desired investment place today.
“Iloilo has 30,000 graduates a year — the second largest number of graduates in the country, I was told earlier. That’s a perfect environment for BPOs (business process outsourcing). They love it here. They look at Iloilo as a logical place to expand to—hardly any traffic, good infrastructure, well-planned city,” he said in an exclusive interview after the mall opening.
The P2.2-billion Festive Walk Mall has 90,000 square meters of gross floor area of shopping, dining, leisure and entertainment.
It also has Iloilo’s latest state-of-the-art cinemas, which include VIP theaters that offer full butler service with unlimited popcorn and drinks, and reclining leather seats with food trays, LED lamps and adjustable footrests. Some cinemas also feature the latest Dolby Atmos sound technology, the first in Western Visayas.
“We are pioneering the ‘lifestyle mall’ concept in Western Visayas with the opening of Festive Walk Mall. What we are bringing to Iloilo are things that every Ilonggo will be proud of,” Tan said.
Even in its inception, the mall’s design concept already received the coveted best retail architectural design in the 2018 Philippines Property Awards — the first for any mall in the region.
The three-level mall also has several “first-in-Iloilo” brands. It is Iloilo’s first mall with two anchor supermarkets by Savemore and by Rustan’s, which marks its first entry in Western Visayas.
Festive Walk Mall will also be Iloilo’s first pet-friendliest mall, with its own dog park and Barking Café, a new concept coffee shop to serve both pet owners and their pets.
It is said to be Iloilo’s most beautiful mall with its tropical features—indoor gardens, open deck, al fresco dining, an interactive dancing fountain.
What is interesting is that it’s part of the 72-ha township that is known as Iloilo Business Park, which includes the seamless integration of Iloilo Convention Center, the Iloilo Museum of Contemporary Art — a first in the Visayas and Mindanao—BPO buildings, hotels, and the complex of restaurants and entertainment centers and residential condominiums.
“With the Iloilo Museum of Contemporary Art connected to the mall, we see arts and culture as integral elements of our mall development in Iloilo. Our plan is to make Festive Walk Mall a venue to showcase the best of Ilonggo artistry and cultural prowess, and we are also bringing modern art technology into our mall soon,” Tan said.
Tan called the Iloilo museum the “heart and soul” of the township, and rightfully so. It has a commendable collection of Philippine art.
Directly connected to Festive Walk Mall via an air-conditioned sky bridge is Festive Mall Annex, which will house some government agencies as well as medical and wellness clinics. This will also be linked to Festive Walk Parade, a 1.1-kilometer dining and nightlife strip, and to the multilevel steel parking where the township’s transport hub will also be located.
Megaworld now has 17 lifestyle malls in the country.
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