The need for more central business districts
Central business districts (CBDs) are vital to the country’s economic growth and urban development.
Often offering excellent access to transportation, CBDs are home to major office buildings, retail hubs, and entertainment centers. As such, the appeal of living near or within a CBD in Metro Manila lies in the convenience of being close to workplaces, schools, government agencies, hospitals, and leisure places like malls and restaurants. This proximity fosters a work-life balance and aligns with the modern urban development trend.
Makati is one of the most recognized and massive CBDs in the Philippines. Defined by the business success of Ayala Corp., Makati hosts about 90 percent of the Philippines’ top 1000 companies and 80 percent of multinational companies operating in the country. More than just a business epicenter, Makati also houses high-end gated communities, upscale shopping malls, and premier educational institutions.
The modern hub
The last decade has seen Bonifacio Global City (BGC) rapidly become Taguig City’s financial district. Renowned for its posh shopping and dining hubs, BGC houses upscale condominiums and an estimated 2 million prime and grade A office buildings. Its accessibility via important roads and proximity to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) add to its appeal.
The retail capital
Ortigas Center is one of the most established CBDs in Metro Manila. Home to some of the biggest establishments and businesses like San Miguel Corp., Jollibee Foods Corp., and Asian Development Bank, this CBD has the second largest supply of office space at 1.4 million sqm. Its status as a retail capital—housing large shopping malls like Shangri-La Plaza and Megamall—further adds to its allure.
The economic impact and future growth
The development of CBDs in the Philippines is more than just a trend—it also reflects the country’s economic dynamism and urbanization needs. The continued expansion of CBDs thus aligns with the country’s vision for modernization and balanced urban development.
The growth of such districts not only supports the burgeoning economy but also provides opportunities for work, business, and a harmonious lifestyle. The convenience of living near a CBD opens doors for personal business possibilities, access to transportation, and proximity to leisure establishments.
Where Is the next big thing?
Today, the need for more CBDs is evident in the country’s economic trajectory and urban development goals. With limited choices, rookie and seasoned investors are seeking more promising new growth areas that offer convenient location, accessibility, and modern amenities.
As such, establishing more CBDs is necessary as these are a testament to the Philippines’ resilience, innovation, and vision for a prosperous future.
One such CBD will soon rise within Villar City, touted as Metro Manila’s new center of gravity. Spanning 3,500 ha across 15 cities and towns in Metro Manila and Cavite province, Villar City will have 15 satellite cities serving as a thriving nexus where economic, lifestyle, cultural and leisure activities will converge. These satellite cities will have, for example, a new modern CBD, a Tech Valley, a university town, among others.
Creating new CBDs such as those in Villar City will no doubt contribute to the country’s economic growth while offering residents a balanced and convenient lifestyle. It’s a path that leads to more opportunities, convenience, and a thriving community that embodies the essence of modern urban living.
The author (www.ianfulgar.com) is a leading architect with an impressive portfolio of local and international clients, his team elevates hotels and resorts, condominiums, museums, and commercial and mixed-use township development projects. His innovative, cutting-edge design and business solutions have garnered industry recognition, making him the go-to expert for clients seeking to transform their real estate ventures.