Bay City, Philippines: business beyond leisure

July 26, 2018 / By  

Bay City is the reclamation corridor along the coast of Manila Bay, straddling the cities of Parañaque, Pasay, and Manila. For the majority of the past decade, the area has been largely viewed as a leisure destination, owing to the SM Mall of Asia serving as a long-standing anchor, combined with the development of Entertainment City, where integrated resort complexes such as Solaire Resort & Casino, the City of Dreams Manila, and Okada Hotel are located.

The district is currently enjoying renewed interest from developers and is gradually shedding its image as a leisure hub, gradually establishing itself as one of the potential key business hubs within Metro Manila. This is evidenced by the volume of ongoing construction and the uptick in property activity in the area as of late.

In the next three years alone around 307,500 sqm of office space is expected to be introduced to the market.  In addition, a total of 14,500 condominium units and approximately 330,000 sqm of retail (spread between the Ayala Malls Bay Area and the SM Mall of Asia expansion) will be added.   On the hospitality side, roughly an additional 3,300 hotel rooms will come on line, most of which will be supplied from the Okada Manila expansion and upcoming Resorts World Bayshore resort complex. Other noteworthy upcoming developments in the area include the first IKEA store in the country within the SM Mall of Asia Complex and an additional nine new projects by Aseana Holdings, Inc., the proponent of the Aseana City reclamation estate within the Bay City locality.

The principal piece in the emergence of Bay City is the potential for reclamation, which has drawn attention from local and international developers alike. There are currently eight proposed reclamation projects within the corridor, worth more than USD 8 billion:

  • Pasay – 1,200-hectare expansion of the existing SM Mall of Asia Complex by SM
  • Pasay – 265-hectares by Pasay Harbor City Consortium
  • Manila – 148-hectare Solar City (Manila Goldcoast Reclamation Project)
  • Manila – 407-hectares by UAA Kinming Development Corporation
  • Manila – 419-hectare reclamation project by J-Bros Construction
  • Manila – 318-hectare Manila Waterfront City
  • Manila – 50-hectare Manila North Harbor expansion
  • Manila – 650-hectare Navotas North Bay Business Park

These large-scale developments are envisioned as master planned communities embodying the uniqueness of the neighborhood and are aimed at transforming the Bay City shoreline.

Strong investor interest comes as no surprise. The potential for reclamation addresses the two main challenges faced by prospective foreign investors in the country: the 40% foreign ownership cap on land and limited availability of competitively priced in Metro Manila. Moreover, the Bay City is the only district within the metropolis that is closely linked to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and the Port of Manila. This distinct advantage provides real estate projects within the area access to a diverse catchment area for demand sources.

Altogether, the sustained development activity and investor interest are expected to reshape the real estate landscape of the Bay City area in the coming years, transforming the district into another key business hub of the country.

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