Cebu Business Park: Cebu's premier district

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The place to be: Cebu Business Park at the heart of Cebu is the south’s premier business, commercial and leisure district. It is a 50-hectare mixed-use development by Cebu Holdings Inc. and Ayala Land and declared a special economic zone. CBP has dedicated 30 percent of its land area to open spaces, allowing for pocket parks and breathing space between the buildings.

MANILA, Philippines - What started as a 50-hectare property in Cebu a few kilometers from the small downtown shops and the city’s ports, from a smattering of residential enclaves and commercial zones, is now the Cebu Business Park (CBP), the country’s most dynamic and fastest-growing business, commercial and residential district.

Developed by Cebu Holdings Inc. (CHI), an affiliate of Ayala Land, Cebu Business Park was declared by the government as a special economic zone and it could very well be the model for how business and residential districts should be developed in the country’s key cities.

This is where all the action is, so to speak, and there is a thin line dividing business and pleasure in CBP. This is where power lunches are held, where dinner with the family are shared, where luxury and everyday items are bought, where the Cebuano elite stroll about enjoying their day, where some of the country’s top companies are located.

Cebuanos bring their visitors here — to show them what their city is all about, how far they have come, how business is thriving…and also just to take pleasure in shopping.

One can’t help but compare CBP to the Makati Central Business District. With a population of two million (four million for the entire province), Cebu City is home to old businesses and a new generation of entrepreneurial people.

Just like Makati CBD where banks have located their headquarters, BPOs and offices are growing, malls and commercial spaces are thriving, and premium residential communities are being built, Cebu Business Park is a dynamic community that integrates the commercial, residential and leisure aspects of the city and the region.

In CBP, you can be working in your office and just cross the street to have lunch or a meeting in the region’s premier mall, Ayala Center Cebu. Home to a number of homegrown brands (with some of them having successfully gone national, like Bo’s Coffee), luxury stores, and restaurants that offer cuisines from around the world, Ayala Center Cebu is a favorite place for families to converge. While the mall’s architecture has some of the well-loved features of Ayala Land’s Greenbelt development, Ayala Center Cebu has its own charm, particularly evident in The Terraces. You have Rustan’s and SSI stores here, plus the region’s top chain Gaisano, and shoppers’ favorite local and imported stores, and Cebuano brands.

The Cebu Business Park was launched in 1989 with Cebu Holdings offering 100 commercial lots for sale while still retaining spaces for its own development. The very first building to rise was the Cebu Holdings Center, an office condominium nine stories high, followed by Ayala Center Cebu, Mariott Hotel and City Sports Club.

Today, the Cebu Holdings Center is one of the shortest building in CBP as the three main avenues — Cardinal Rosales Avenue (formerly Visayas Avenue), Mindanao and Luzon Avenues — are now flanked by office and residential towers. Like the Ayala Land master plan for Makati CBD, CBP is dedicating 30 percent of the property to open spaces. Property values in the business district have grown steadily in such a short time.

Cebu Holdings Inc. president Francis Monera says, “Ayala’s vision for the Cebu Business Park is an integrated mixed-use community that creates value for its investors, in addition to being an excellent location for business or a home . It was created at a time when there was yet no central business district south of Manila, so the Cebu Business Park was a perfect fit for Cebu City’s vision of a high-growth zone. It spearheaded Cebu’s investment offensive embodied in the ‘Ceboom’ phenomenon and created opportunities for uptown Cebu to become the new business and commercial district.”

Bobby Dy, Residential Business Group Head, & Ayala Land Senior Vice President says, “Cebu continues to be a key growth area for our country. Part of Ayala Land’s vision is to be a bigger part of the development in and around Cebu — with CBP at the forefront — into a true regional hub for commerce, leisure and residence.”

Enter Ayala Land Premier (ALP), the company behind luxury residences in Makati such as as The Residences at Greenbelt and the upcoming Park Terraces, and One Serendra in Bonifacio Global City.

In Cebu, the address to be is 1016 Residences, located beside the City Sports Club and just across the Marriott and Ayala Center Cebu. “1016 Residences is set to be the most prime residential address in Cebu, and it will rise right at the CBP. In terms of quality and design, 1016 Residences will be the equal of prime residential condominiums in the United States and Europe, and priced for the value-conscious Cebuano lifestyle. Cebu has arrived, and 1016 Residences is there to validate it.”

Land prices in CBP are growing exponentially. When CBP was launched 22 years ago, land price was valued at P700 to P1,500 per square meter. Today, it is worth over P30,000 per square meter. Cebu Business Park is the most valuable piece of real estate in the entire province. It is also the biggest parcel of land with such a value.

1016 Residences is right in the middle of this prized real estate and with the Ayala Land Premier brand behind it, nothing will beat this address.

“Yes, Cebuanos are ready for condo living,” says Bobby Dy. “Land prices are rising fast, and this means that high quality living spaces have become more scarce. This in turn, means that living closer to the center of the city will require developing vertically through condominiums. This is what Makati started experiencing in the 1960s, and it has already started happening in Cebu because of rapid development.”

With 1016 Residences as the most prestigious address in Cebu, CBP is “prepared to become a magnet for value,” says Dy. “Both locals and expats will place greater value in CBP properties because this is what mixed-use developments are all about. The key to bringing this vision into fruition is expert master-planning by only the top-tier designers, both local and international.”

“The economic upturn has changed the pace of the real estate industry in Cebu the past year,” says Francis Monera. As a developer, we also continue to look for opportunities to expand the business and to continue to be relevant by evolving with the changing market needs.”  Tanya T. Lara (The Philippine Star)