Erap OKs fourth reclamation project on Manila Bay
Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada has approved another reclamation project on Manila Bay, this time to give rise to a 419-hectare commercial hub composed of three new islands.
City Hall on Tuesday said it had entered into a joint venture agreement (JVA) with real estate developer J-Bros Construction Corp. to undertake the Horizon Manila reclamation project at an estimated cost of P100 billion.
In a statement, the local government said Estrada and Philippine Reclamation Authority chair board Alberto Agra signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with J-Bros general manager Janilo Rubiato and president Engr. Jesusito Legaspi Jr. on June 1. The JVA was signed on April 24 and the notice of award was issued May 31.
The MOU “virtually seal(ed) the deal for the construction of the new mixed-use development center at another portion of Manila Bay,” it added.
Like in the three reclamation projects he earlier greenlighted, Estrada said Manila stands to reap huge economic benefits from Horizon Manila. He stressed that the city will not be spending for its construction under the JVA.
“(This) will change the skyline of Manila and make it at par with other modern cities in the world. It will become the leading address for business leaders who wish to be part of Manila’s future trajectory,” the statement quoted the mayor as saying. “The city government stands to get almost half of the hundreds of billions of total projected revenues of the Horizon Manila project proposed by real estate firm J-Bros Construction Corp.”
“Based on the JVA, the city government of Manila’s share in the new commercial hub’s revenue is 43.2 percent; J-Bros will get 56.8 percent. Of the 419-hectare business and residential center, 181 hectares will be appropriated to the city government, with the remaining 238 hectares to the developer,” the statement said.
“At P200,000 average market value per square meter, Manila’s 181 hectares will translate to about P362 billion in revenues; J-Bros’ projected revenue is P476 billion,” it added.
The project involves the creation of three islands, between the Manila-Pasay border in the south and Roxas Boulevard in the east, stretching to about 3.5 kilometers. Each island will have an area of about 140 hectares.
J-Bros expects to start initial construction and dredging works within the year or early 2018. The PRA will require the company to submit a feasibility study, detailed engineering, geohazard studies, and Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) within six months to one year.
According to Agra, Manila has awarded three other joint venture contracts for reclamation over the last six months.
The most recent, approved in February, was for a 407.42-hectare mixed-use commercial and tourism center to be built by UAA Kinming Development Corp.
The MOA with UAA Kinming was signed two months after Estrada and the PRA approved another project, the P7-billion expansion of Manila North Harbor, which called for the reclamation of another 50 hectares.
In 2013, during his first term as mayor, Estrada also upheld the Solar City project, which was approved during the time of his predecessor, Mayor Alfredo Lim.
The construction of Solar City and the expansion of North Harbor are expected to begin this year.
A fifth reclamation project is possible. In a statement issued last month, the city government said it had tapped Shanghai Nanjiang Co., Ltd., a Chinese real estate developer, to conduct a six-month study on where informal settlers in the city can be relocated.
“Depending on the results of the feasibility study, the Shanghai-based firm will commit to put up low-cost housing projects in the city, including the possibility of reclaiming a portion of Manila Bay, through a joint venture agreement (JVA) with the city government,” City Hall then said.
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