IRC eyes partnership with property giants for Makati subway stations
The company that will build the proposed Makati subway expects to partner with major real estate firms under whose properties the commuter railway will pass to maximize the commercial value of each station of the system.
According to IRC Properties Inc. president and CEO Antonio Tiu, his firm is now in talks with property developers to negotiate terms for the location of 10 subway stations, which will also house underground commercial establishments similar to those in Hong Kong and Singapore.
“We are in talks with the biggest firms for specific joint venture agreements on a per-station basis,” Tiu said, explaining that the commercial benefits to be derived from these potential partnerships would enhance the returns for parties involved in the country’s first subway rail system.
In addition to commercial establishments in the air-conditioned underground stations, the IRC Properties chief also expects commercial and office buildings to rise on top of the subway stations to maximize the value of the properties and give commuters seamless transportation connections.
Tiu explained that the current law stated that landowners own the development rights to as much as 50 meters under their properties. As such, the proposed subway will either have to bore deeper than this level or seek the consent of the owners of the land above the underground structures that are shallower than this depth.
The proposed subway route will start in the vicinity of the demolished Hotel Intercontinental at the corner of Ayala Avenue and Edsa—subject to a possible joint venture deal with Ayala Land Inc.—and will extend in a U-shaped route around Makati City and terminating at the boundary of Bonifacio Global City in Taguig. But if an agreement cannot be reached with Ayala Land, Tiu said the proponents may opt to have the subway system begin under the old Makati City Fire Station complex which is owned by the city government.
“We expect to break ground by December for the first station which will be at the Makati City Hall,” Tiu said, noting that two large boring machines would start excavating from that location and go in opposite directions until the entire 10-kilometer tunnel was completely hollowed out from end to end in five years.
Once completed, the privately funded subway system will have the capacity to carry 700,000 commuters per day, and will result in a total reduction of 270,000 vehicle movements within the central business district by 2048.
The IRC consortium will be composed of Tiu’s firm, partnering with Greenland Holdings Group, Jiangsu Provincial Construction Group Co. Ltd., Holdings Ltd. and China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd.
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