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ALI plan for Makati Sports Club junked

/ 05:12 AM August 19, 2019

Leisure estate operator Makati Sports Club (MSC) has scrapped for now a multibillion-peso redevelopment plan that would have required the divestment of more than half of its existing site in Salcedo Village, Makati, as discussions with property giant Ayala Land Inc. (ALI) bogged down.

In an advisory recently issued to members, MSC said that at a special meeting on Aug. 1, the board of the club decided to cancel the special stockholders’ meeting on Aug. 31 as well as the redevelopment plan that was presented in an earlier town hall meeting.

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The meeting was supposedly to vote on MSC board’s proposal to subdivide MSC’s 13,000-square meter property into two lots: one with 6,000 sqm reserved for the new clubhouse and another with 7,000 sqm earmarked for sale.

The redevelopment plan, which would have required an affirmative vote from two-thirds of MSC members, was triggered by an offer from ALI to buy back the 7,000-sqm parcel of land for P4 billion. MSC’s board then sought to raise the valuation to P5 billion, or P714,285 a sqm.

For its part, ALI said on Friday: “Although there have been preliminary discussions with Makati Sports Club regarding the subject, discussions did not progress since May 2019 given differences in direction on the master plan for the redevelopment.”

“We approached the prospective MSC redevelopment with a long-term perspective and a vision for urban renewal and growth. A redevelopment master plan for the area must address the needs of MSC, with proper consultation with various stakeholders, and provide a clear benefit to both the members of MSC and the overall community,” ALI said.

The aborted MSC meeting was likewise meant to obtain consent from members for the rezoning of the property from “recreation” to “mixed-use residential-commercial zone with a floor area of 16 times the existing lot area, sell 7,000 sqm of subject property for a minimum of P5 billion and construct a “world-class” clubhouse on the 6,000-sqm property that will remain with MSC.

Out of the P5 billion in cash from the proposed sale, around P3 billion was proposed to be used to build more amenities and facilities. The remaining P2 billion could not be paid out as dividends because MSC is a nonprofit organization.

“They (MSC board) realize that their position is untenable because there’s really a groundswell of opposition,” said Vergel Santos, a veteran journalist who is one of the vocal dissenters to the redevelopment plan as presented during the town hall meeting.

“We do not intend to be lulled into a false sense of security because you will never know, they could always revive the idea. In fact, we are continuing to build on the support that we had collected from the start. We are growing in numbers. In fact, the idea now is to get more people active not only in the club but in the affairs of the club,” he said.

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TAGS: Ayala Land Inc. (ALI), Makati Sports Club
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