By Roel Landingin
Published: June 16 2007
There are few visible signs that one of Manila’s hottest property markets used to be part of a military camp where Ferdinand Marcos detained hundreds of his critics, including Ninoy Aquino, whose 1983 assassination eventually led to the late Philippine dictator’s ousting.
But Narciso Abaya, the former armed forces chief of staff, can document the transition. “The military intelligence training school used to be over there,” he says, pointing from his first-floor office to a block of low-lying buildings occupied by a McDonald’s, a UCC Coffee and other fast-food outlets and shops. A few metres further down is a shopping mall built over a cave that used to house the army museum, he adds.
Abaya is now in charge of converting about half a dozen military bases into prime property for the Philippine government to sell or lease and this is one of the most important – a 240-hectare planned community called Bonifacio Global City.
Until 12 years ago it was Fort Bonifacio, the army headquarters, but the detention centre, barracks, military offices and training fields are long gone. In their place, scores of residential towers, office buildings, retail establishments and half a dozen schools are rising in rapid succession, turning the site into an extension of the financial district in Makati city about 3km away.
In the past six years private developers have built seven high-rise apartment blocks that include some of the most expensive condominium units in Manila. Strong demand, mainly from Filipinos who have built fortunes working overseas, has spurred construction of at least 20 more to be completed by 2010.
This article entitled “Fort Bonifacio: A new suburb with global ambition” written by Roel Landingin appeared in the Financial Times, an international newspaper which focuses on business and economic news. I’m very very honored to be interviewed by Roel about Bonifacio Global City.
Roel, thank you for this very nice article. It really tells us the beauty and the growth opportunities at the BGC. This is a place we Filipinos should be proud of!