Ayala leads deal to transform Cavite racetrack into CBD
The Ayala group has scaled up its footprint in Southern Luzon with a partnership deal to transform the 60-hectare horse racing complex of Manila Jockey Club Inc. in Carmona, Cavite, into a new central business district.
Manila Jockey signed on Tuesday a memorandum of agreement with AKL Properties Inc., an affiliate of Ayala Land Inc. (ALI) and the Kuok group, to redevelop the property. The parties have appointed ALI as the development manager.
For its part, Manila Jockey will contribute land to the partnership in exchange for an economic interest in the master-planned development, envisioned to be “one of the most attractive and modern business hubs in this part of the country,” Manila Jockey chair Alfonso Reyno Jr. said during the signing ceremony.
This also means that 15 years after relocating its racetrack to Cavite, Manila Jockey will again have to find a new home for its racing operations while unlocking values from the upsurge in property valuations amid rapid urbanization of Greater Metro Manila.
“We’re planting again another seed in partnership with our reliable partners, the Ayala group through Ayala Land,” Reyno said, noting how Ayala Land was likewise a catalyst in redeveloping Manila Jockey’s old race track in San Lazaro “into the most modern oasis part of Manila today.”
ALI built business process outsourcing office towers and a master-planned townhouse community in one segment of Manila Jockey’s old racetrack in Manila over a decade ago.
“There has been a lot of priming that has taken place in the area right now, and I feel it’s a very unique time to continue our developments in the south. We really are very confident about the prospects for that area,” ALI chair Fernando Zobel de Ayala said.
Industry sources said that contiguous to the Manila Jockey property is a massive tract of land—estimated at more than 900 hectares—that the Ayala and Kuok groups were developing through AKL Properties.
“I’m hoping that because of the scale, we will be able to improve the overall infrastructure of that part in the south,” Zobel said.
The Kuok group, for its part, has been a key partner of the Ayalas in hotel and shopping mall development. This group is the controlling shareholder of upscale local property property Shang Properties.
Manila Jockey, on the other hand, has diversified from horse racing to include other businesses like gaming and property development. The development of its P2-billion, 104-hectare beachfront tourism estate in Mamburao, Occidental Mindoro—touted to be the country’s next resort and diving destination—is now in full swing.
“We started from a race track that was designed for horse races for 101 years. We started galloping from Manila and now we are going to start galloping again from Carmona, Cavite, because after racing in Carmona for 15 years, we are again transforming with the same partners and with even more reliable partners from other countries, like the Kuok group, and we’re coming up with the development of the most modern business hub in the south,” Reyno said.
The relocation of the horse racing track to another area, also somewhere in Southern Luzon, is expected to be implemented over a two-year period.
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