Metro Manila, the Philippines premier megacity, is fast witnessing the rise of a fourth central business district (CBD) that will soon join the ranks of Makati, Ortigas and the Bonifacio Global City (BGC). Property experts are convinced the next financial hub in the Southeast Asian capital is the 240-hectare Bay Area, located south of the bustling metropolis.
The Bay Area is well-positioned to soon slug it out with the Philippines’ existing CBDs that by 2022 it will be the country’s next business centre. “The Bay Area will be one of the established CBDs, rivalling Makati, BGC, and Ortigas,” real estate analytic firm KMC Savills said in a new market note.
As things currently stand, Savills told Esquire PH the Bay Area is catching the eyes of property developers and investors mainly due to its ongoing development projects. It’s noteworthy too that commercial and residential structures already in operation have attracted a significant amount of attention, and the increasing level of demand has so far led to high prices – both for leases and purchases.
The latest assessment from Savills echoes an earlier projection issued by Colliers International that the area is poised to be “the next big CBD in Metro Manila, and it is now shaping up with major residential, retail, office, hotel and entertainment developments.”
Catalysts For Growth
In the same report by Esquire PH, the Bay Area is labelled primed for explosive growth thanks to the entry of multiple commercial establishments and the active support coming from the national government, in the form of infrastructure projects.
The recently opened central terminal for public utility vehicles and the airport expressway that will see completion soon are seen as infrastructure initiatives that will make the Bay Area even more accessible. Already, the Ninoy Aquino International Airport located nearby serves as the gateway for local and international visitors to reach the place with relative ease.
And it came as no surprise that thousands of Chinese residents now count the Bay Area as their current base, the influx chiefly brought about by the mushrooming Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs). Yet according to Savills, the POGO-effect is only an initial catalyst of the Bay Area’s eventual rise to CBD status.
The emerging business hub will see diversification as indicated by the anticipated opening of an IKEA store in the area that the analytic firm said will be the biggest in the world for the popular furniture chain.
Another factor for growth is the Bay Area’s multiple offerings that draw in a mix of buyers. Property developers, for instance, have existing and underway residential projects that carry price tags in entry, middle and premium levels.