An ever more vibrant Makati business district
Cities are now evolving to meet the changing times. Such transformations have, in fact, become an imperative as people move increasingly towards cities, home to more than 50 percent of the world’s population, generate more than 80 percent of the global economy and use 75 percent of natural resources. More so by 2050, when an estimated 66 percent of the global population are estimated to live in urban areas.
As the World Economic Forum had put it: “Cities are evolving faster than at any point in our history, putting them on the cusp of major transformation which, if managed well, could lead to unprecedented economic growth and prosperity for all, but if managed in an uncoordinated manner could drive social, economic and environmental decline.”
In the Philippines, there has been a growing thrust among public and private sectors to revitalize and breathe new life into key urban areas in an effort to further boost the competitiveness of cities and provinces.
Take the case of the Makati central business district—a premier financial hub whose modern office skyscrapers and towering landmarks have long been home to many of the country’s biggest businesses and renowned multinational companies. Complemented by shopping malls, retail strips, upscale residential condominiums and posh villages, as well as pocket parks and art spaces make this city a much coveted, aspirational address by many.
Real estate companies like Ayala Land have taken to heart a commitment to remain responsive to the needs and aspirations of its market by constantly reinventing, innovating and redeveloping its estates. Collaborating with various stakeholders, it fosters a culture of innovation and a progressive mindset to ensure that all its developments are well primed for the future.
Working closely with the Makati Commercial Estate Association (Macea), for instance, Ayala Land continues to invest to further revitalize an already bustling district like the Makati CBD.
Ayala Land is staging its development catalysts in six different nodes of Makati where residential life and street life intertwine organically. Each of these areas is unique but generally tied to a common purpose which is to serve as a mixed-use hub for community living.
The Makati CBD is the city center and is the busiest as it is home to a number of corporate buildings and offices, making it known as the business capital of the Philippines. Today, ongoing enhancement of the Makati CBD has been meticulously planned to ensure all property components are connected by enhanced pedestrian-friendly streets, pathways, and parks.
Within the CBD is the Ayala Triangle Gardens, an urban oasis offering an experience of the open green spaces in the center of the city. Landmark developments Tower Two and the Mandarin Oriental Hotel will soon open in this convergence zone.
A few minutes’ drive to the north of the Makati CBD is Circuit Makati, a 21-hectare mixed-use development known as Makati’s entertainment hub with an Ayala Malls, residential condominiums, office buildings, open grounds and soon, a world-class indoor theater.
In June this year, the Ayala North Exchange – the newest gateway to the Makati CBD, officially opened. Located at the northern end of Ayala Avenue, it is a prime location for Ayala Land’s signature commercial mixed-use developments with premium office spaces, restaurants and shops, and Seda Residences.
Moving to the other end of Makati is the McKinley Exchange – the gateway to BGC and Makati via Edsa – providing commuters easy access to different transport options to and from the two business districts.
Commuting made easy
Another node – a 2.8-ha urban sprawl, is also rising strategically at the southern part of Ayala Avenue corner Edsa, promising to uphold the iconic status of the address #1 Ayala Avenue.
One Ayala, a highly anticipated addition to the thriving Makati CBD, is a modern gateway: a mixed-use development with a contemporary transportation hub that will offer the best facilities for the commuting public. These new developments are seen to add significantly to overall connectivity, accessibility and pedestrian walkability.
Here will rise the three-storey, 20,000-sqm transportation hub; a direct connection to the MRT; a retail center that will offer a modern malling experience; office towers with 85,000 sqm of gross leasable spaces that provide a distinct corporate address, commanding visibility in a key location, and access to major thoroughfares; the four-star Seda Hotel; a residential condominium for lease; as well as safe, well-maintained elevated walkways that will allow commuters to get to their respective rides, and pedestrians to reach nearby destinations like McKinley Exchange, Glorietta, and the rest of the CBD by foot.
Although there are already walkways that are underground, on-ground or above-ground over the past 20 years, connectivity was further improved via extended elevated walkways and urban patios—facilities meant to encourage people to walk, which is vital for sustainable living.
In February last year, Ayala Land launched its series of Makati Street Meets, which transformed pockets of Makati from a busy weekday commercial center to a fun, relaxing weekend destination. The goal was to encourage pedestrianization during weekends and the use of select civic spaces to promote a more active lifestyle, arts, and culture. This also helps bolster community spirit among residents.
The Makati Street Meet at Paseo De Roxas features themed events, music fair, food trucks and bazaar stands offering local handicrafts and other great finds, while the Makati Street Meet at Rada turns this street between Legazpi Active Park and Washington Sycip Park into an urban playground for children who get to enjoy activities that promote arts, movements, and a healthy lifestyle. These include a mini bike obstacle course, a chalk art station with blackboards and kiddie tables, and a game station.
In cooperation with Macea, Ayala Land introduced its Makati Street Meet at Carlos Palanca, which promotes active living in the city with three free classes from Rebel Yoga Manila: Inside Flow Yoga, Beer Yoga, and Pound Fitness. Food sampling, beer tasting, and musical sessions can also be enjoyed here.
“People are finding new discoveries as they walk the streets of the Makati CBD, not only during the weekdays but also on weekends. We hold the Makati Street Meet every first Sunday of the month along Paseo de Roxas and we are pleasantly surprised to see people of all ages and residents of the city converging as a community to enjoy the street life,” shared Shiella Aguilar, Project Development Head for the Makati estate.
From north to south of Ayala Avenue, one can find new offices, retail strips and commercial areas providing fresh offerings to residents, employees and even tourists in the area. The new Legazpi Carpark, an initiative of Macea, in Makati is another innovation that enriches quality of life, designed as a park-and-walk facility to help decongest the city center.
Walkability, new architectural features, and weekend lifestyle activities play a vital role in Ayala Land’s vision for its pioneer development, helping to usher in the urban evolution of Makati.