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11 December 2009

Ayala Land Inc. to craft master plan for Subic-Olongapo business triangle

Ayala Land Inc. (ALI), one of the biggest property developers in the country, will be drawing up the master plan for a unique business-development project in this free port and the neighboring city of Olongapo.

The project, to be called the Central Business District (CBD) Triangle, will straddle the boundary between the Subic Bay Free Port and Olongapo City near the free port’s main gate.

Armand Arreza, administrator of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), said the project will cover about 7,000 square meters of prime business land and will be the first step in the agency’s push to develop areas beyond Subic’s “secured area.”

ALI has formally committed to draw the project’s master plan in a memorandum of understanding signed on Wednesday by ALI president Anthony Aquino, Olongapo City Mayor James Gordon Jr. and Arreza.

Arreza said in a statement on Thursday that the CBD Triangle project aims to make the adjoining portions of Subic Free Port and Olongapo City “into a green, environment-friendly residential, commercial and institutional area.”

“This will be the initial project in accordance with the SBMA’s thrust to extend the physical boundaries of the Subic Free Port, and in the process generate more livelihood opportunities for people in the surrounding communities,” Arreza said.

The CBD Triangle project “will effectively generate economic activities in the city, provide more jobs, and improve the quality of life of the residents,” he said.
According to a land-use plan presented by ALI, the project will be located inside the triangle formed by Magsaysay Dr., Rizal Ave. Ext., and Perimeter Rd. in Olongapo City.

It will also include the former SubCom area inside the free port, which will be transformed into a mixed-use area, but predominantly for retail establishments.

Olongapo’s famous entertainment district which is bounded by Magsaysay Dr. and Rizal Ave., will be transformed into a commercial-office block.

Nearby, an institutional area will rise within the area bounded by Fendler, Third, Hansen and First Sts., also in Olongapo.

ALI’s Aquino said all the construction projects in the CBD Triangle “will be relevant to the history, culture and dynamics of Subic Bay and Olongapo City.”

The project will be environment-friendly, with the banks of the Kalalake River inside the CBD Triangle turned into a waterfront garden for relaxation, picnics and small-group activities.

“Any transformation should be planned well. Otherwise, the deterioration of the environment will continue,” Aquino added.

Arreza said the SBMA began entertaining the expansion project into Olongapo after President Arroyo signed on Nov. 5, 2007, Executive Order 675, which granted tax and duty-free privileges to investors locating beyond the “secured area,” but within the Subic Special Economic and Free Port Zone.

He added that aside from undertaking the master plan for the CBD Triangle, ALI has also volunteered to draw the plans for beach areas in Olongapo City that are eyed for development into world-class tourist resorts. (Henry EmpeƱo, Business Mirror)

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