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8 prominent Metro Manila structures that will soon have new life

by Jillian CariolaPublished: May 17, 2017Updated: May 23, 2017

Breathing new life into a city takes not just building from the ground up, but restoring what is already present.

Metro Manila buildings to be demolished and rebuilt or restored MyProperty Philippines Metropolitan Theater

Over the past few years, the real estate landscape of the Philippines has seen a lot of change both figuratively and literally; aside from continuously being lauded for being propelled by economic growth, people are also constantly seeing the rise of new projects, a sure sign that the industry is indeed thriving.

But new developments are not the only the ones altering the property scene; citizens are also bearing witness to the changes being made to existing structures. Some are being restored, while others are making way for the construction of new developments. Here are eight of the developments that you can look forward to seeing in the next few years.

 

Metro Manila buildings to be demolished and rebuilt or restored MyProperty Philippines SSS Building Makati
SSS Building. Photo by Con Gasmen via MyProperty.ph

SSS Building

In January, Social Security System (SSS) announced that it would be redeveloping its idle and old properties, including its building along Ayala Avenue. Emmanuel Dooc, SSS president and chief executive the plans are in accordance with their aim to “fetch their desired returns.” Dooc added that in the case of the Ayala Avenue building, its age would require the SSS to construct a new building and could possibly be accomplished with a private developer.


Metro Manila buildings to be demolished and rebuilt or restored MyProperty Philippines InterContinental Hotel Makati
InterContinental Hotel Manila. Photo by Ramon FVelasquez via Wikimedia Commons

InterContinental Hotel Manila

Almost two years ago, Ayala Land revealed plans to create a new commercial, mixed-use development to “transform the entrance of the Ayala Center Makati into a modern gateway.” This entailed the closure of the 46-year-old InterContinental Hotel Manila, which occurred in December of the same year, as the hotel sits on a portion of the property to be developed. Ayala Land Vice President and Head of Operations for Makati Manny A. Blas said that this move is part of the developer’s Php125-billion plan to revitalize Makati, which also includes the redevelopment of the McKinley Exchange, Ayala Triangle, City Gate, and Circuit Makati.

 

Metro Manila buildings to be demolished and rebuilt or restored MyProperty Philippines Mandarin Oriental Makati
Mandarin Oriental Manila. Photo by Randy Escalada via Flickr Creative Commons

Mandarin Oriental Manila

In mid-2014, it was revealed that Mandarin Oriental Manila in Makati would be closing its doors after operating for almost 40 years. However, they announced that it would be replaced by a new hotel that will house 275 rooms, various restaurants, and a spa. The Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group signed a long-term management contract that will let them brand and manage the new hotel that will be built and owned by Ayala Land unit Ayalaland Hotel & Resorts. The development is also part of Ayala Land’s Makati redevelopment plan. The new Mandarin hotel will be built on the northern corner of the Ayala Triangle (in front of Zuellig Building), while on the original site where the former Mandarin hotel stood, a luxury condo development (Park Central Towers) is being built.

 

Metro Manila buildings to be demolished and rebuilt or restored MyProperty Philippines Metropolitan Theater
Manila Metropolitan Theater. Photo by Corteco8 via Wikimedia Commons

Metropolitan Theater

After over 10 years of sitting in disrepair, the Art Deco structure Manila Metropolitan Theater—or the MET—is finally being restored to its former glory, a move that is being led by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCAA). The NCAA purchased the MET from the Government Service Insurance System in June 2015 for Php270 million. While the MET is the country’s first national theater, NCAA is hoping to develop it to include more functionality to its intended purpose, stating that they hope to transform it into a cultural hub.

 

Metro Manila buildings to be demolished and rebuilt or restored MyProperty Philippines Philam Life Center Theater
Philamlife Center. Photo by Judgefloro via Wikimedia Commons

Philippine American Life and General Insurance Co.

In 2013, it was revealed that Philippine American Life and General Insurance Co., which was then operating in the Philamlife building in Manila, was moving to Bonifacio Global City and had put the Philamlife property up for bidding the year prior. SMDC bought the property—including the Philam Life Theater—and eventually revealed their plan to build a residential complex on the property.

The purchase of the property was initially met with outcry from preservationists who do not want to see the destruction of the historic building. Armed with a petition that would prevent the theater’s destruction, the music director and chief conductor of the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra Olivier Ochanine had a dialogue with SMDC officials, which led to SMDC’s vow to preserve the performance hall. The property company released this statement: “Realizing the historicity of the Philam Life Complex, SMDC intends to build [a] condominium complex that includes a world-class, state-of-the-art theater that will be the future home for orchestras, cultural events, school recitals, and the like. SMDC is fully cognizant of the heritage that the site has for many Filipinos and will try to preserve its cultural importance.”

 

Metro Manila buildings to be demolished and rebuilt or restored MyProperty Philippines Benpres Building Pasig City
Benpres Building. Photo by Lopez Museum via Wikimedia Commons

Benpres Building

Last year, First Philippine Holdings Corp. president and COO Francis Giles Puno announced that the Lopez group would be redeveloping the Benpres Building in Pasig City. According to the company, the Php6-billion project may tap Rockwell Land, and will involve the construction of two office buildings to be used for office spaces for lease, as well as headquarters for the Lopez group. Construction on the one-hectare property will begin next year and will finish by 2021.

 

Metro Manila buildings to be demolished and rebuilt or restored MyProperty Philippines Army Navy Club
Army Navy Club. Photo by Ramiltibayan via Wikimedia Commons

Army Navy Club

Built in 1911, the Army Navy Club in Manila is said to have been the first American social club in the Philippines, built to be a rest and recreation area for U.S. military personnel and civilians, and later Filipinos. As it was already in a decaying state, it was announced in 2014 that the structure would be renovated through a 25-year lease contract with Oceanville Hotel and Spa Corp. Plans would involve the conversion of the Army Navy Club into a boutique hotel to be called the Rizal Park Hotel. According to Manila mayor Joseph Estrada, the renovation is part of his administration’s urban renewal program.

 

Metro Manila buildings to be demolished and rebuilt or restored MyProperty Philippines Intramuros
Intramuros. Photo via Depositphotos

Intramuros

Back in 2015, the Intramuros Administration (IA) announced a multi-year plan to rehabilitate the Walled City, a project that would cost Php2 billion. According to IA administrator Marco Antonio Sardillo III, the restoration project would involve refurbishing the streets and historic structures, widening of sidewalks, burying electricity wires underground, and creating parking areas, among other things. A budget of Php1 billion has also been set aside to restore the Aduana, a colonial-era the Customs House at Plaza Mexico that has been one of Intramuros’ most famous ruins. Sardillo also said that the IA is considering relaxing the height restrictions in certain cases; during that year, most buildings in Intramuros were limited to six floors.

 

Sources: manilastandard.ph, ayalaland.com.ph, rappler.com, inquirer.net, change.org, SMDC Facebook page, abs-cbn.com, mb.com.ph, manilatimes.net

 

Main photo by Corteco8 via Wikimedia Commons

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