Property developments at the North Reclamation Area seen to change the city’s landscape in 5 years
With the construction boom happening in Cebu, Mandaue City is keeping pace with its neighboring cities with regard to the property developments, which have and will continue to change the landscape of this highly urbanized city that is considered the gateway to the north and south of Cebu and Lapu-Lapu City.
This developed as private lot owners in the nearly 200 hectares of Mandaue’s North Reclamation Area have recently built and started to build property projects in their idle lots, which is being readied by the local government to be the city’s central business district.
Mario Ocleasa, Mandaue City planning and development officer (MCPDO), said the local government has identified the area as a Planned Units of Development (PUD) Zone under its new Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP).
Ocleasa said the whole block is up for civic and trade center development, which means it will be treated as a central business district.
The private owners’ move to unlock their lots for developments in the area has also excited business leaders in Mandaue as they see more economic opportunities centered on the prime lots at the North Reclamation Area.
Glenn Soco, Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) president, said the landscape in the city would change in the next five or so years given the developments happening in the area.
“We feel very optimistic. Private owners are starting to unlock their idle lands and properties. This will mean new businesses, new jobs and additional revenues for the city,” Soco told Cebu Daily News.
Mandaue’s North Reclamation Area spans 190.687 hectares and covers Barangays Centro and Subangdaku, its starting point being the Mahiga Creek and its end point being the Mandaue City Hospital.
In 2006, the North Reclamation Area became the “new center of the metropolis” after the Cebu International Convention Center (CICC) was built there in time for the hosting of the 12th Asean Summit.
Today, the area is home to several establishments including malls, hotels, schools, hospitals, fast-food restaurants and headquarters of car dealerships.
These include the Chong Hua Mandaue and Cancer Center and University of Cebu Medical Center, Parkmall and Big Hotel Cebu.
The urban landscape of the area will also see the rise of two major multibillion-peso mixed-use developments — Gatewalk Central in Barangay Subangdaku (the Aboitiz Soccer Field) with 17.2 hectares, a joint venture of Ayala and Aboitiz; and Mandani Bay, a 20-hectare project in the city’s south point, which is a joint project of Hongkong Land and Taft Property Ventures.
In its website, Hongkong Land said Mandani Bay would be primarily residential with retail and office components, combined to form a master-planned urban community. The key features of the project are its strategic location and extensive water frontage.
Phase one will be composed of two blocks with approximately 1,200 condominium units and is slated for completion in 2020.
The joint venture project of Ayala and Aboitiz, meanwhile, will feature office buildings, residential areas, parks and retail stores including an Ayala mall.
Mandaue’s North Reclamation Area is also the answer to the problem of the scarcity of land to develop in the the city.
Donato Busa, MCCI immediate past president, said land has been a constraint for business to grow in the city as there is none to speak of anymore.
“But with the reclamation, this will be mitigated. As to business, they’re focusing on high-value, high-technology innovations,” Busa said.
Busa added that business in Mandaue would be buoyed by investments at the North Reclamation Area and hoped the city would continue to be successful.
How it started
Former MCPDO Florentino Nimor, who now heads the Cebu Provincial Planning and Development Office, said that the reclamation project was a brainchild of the late former Mandaue City Mayor Demetrio Cortes Sr., the father of Rep. Jonas Cortes (Cebu sixth district).
However, Nimor said it was former Mandaue City Mayor Alfredo “Pedong” Ouano who was able to implement Cortes’ plans during his first term in the early 1990s.
Cortes served from 1964 to 1986 while Ouano served from 1988 to 1998.
While it is also called the North Reclamation Area, Nimor said it should not be confused with Cebu City’s side, which was a project undertaken by former Cebu City Mayor and Cebu Gov. Segio “Serging” Osmeña Jr.
But Philip Tan, one of MCCI’s other past presidents, said that the growth of the city is already a given.
“Mandaue City is perceived to be a friendly city when it comes to investments. There are no issues among local officials. The mayor and council are one in the interest of investors,” said Tan.
However, he said that with these developments come urban issues such as road congestion, which is already evident in the city, and problems on drainage and solid waste management.
“If our infrastructure will not grow as fast as our investments, our city will become chaotic,” he said.