Villar to build 2,500 ha “city” in southern Metro Manila

Billionaire Manuel Villar Jr. is developing a new Central Business District (CBD) in southern Metro Manila with an area of ​​up to 2,500 hectares (ha) – larger than the CBDs of Makati and Bonifacio Global City (BGC ) gathered – who is betting on increasing consumer wealth as the Philippines emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a media chat on Friday, Villar said that over the past 25-30 years he has accumulated land along the Muntinlupa-Las Piñas-Cavite-Daang Hari corridor and is finally able to consolidate a large land reserve adapted to an “” urban development “of a kind” to the European.

“It’s the biggest project of my life. It’s bigger than Vista [Land] and even bigger than any project I’ve ever done, ”Villar said. “It looks more like the [legacy] Ramon Ang airport project.

The parcels of land consolidated in this future “Villar City” – although the tycoon has yet to finalize the brand – are mainly owned by Villar Land, a private company, although some are owned by Vista Land. However, he said that this new project would only have high-end developments and that Villar Land would be the unit in charge.

Actual land ownership is currently 2,000 hectares, but Villar said it could be extended to 2,500 hectares. With this area, he estimated that around 1,000 buildings could be constructed in the long term.

The new development aims to harness Villar’s expertise in real estate and retail. It will showcase some of the high-end retail formats that the mogul has developed in recent years. Villar has taken advantage of the lull during this pandemic to develop 21 retail and service formats, ranging from food and beverage, salon, pet care, gadgets and specialty stores, including those who filled the space of its upscale Evia Lifestyle Center.

The mogul admitted he needed to develop his own retail concepts as it was previously difficult to find tenants for high-end malls, such as Evia. he said.

With the recent easing of mobility restrictions, Villar reported that Evia has now passed pre-pandemic pedestrian traffic levels.

The new retail concepts developed by Villar during this pandemic are: Ruined Project, NAPA, San Marco, Roma, Dear Joe, Bread Basket, Sombrero, KAL, No Name, Somo Market, Global Market, Pet Buddy, Pet Cafe, Shieldtech, Green Centrale, AllGreen, Get All, Boston Chicken, Yummy Bakes, Crossing Cafe and AllBikes.

In the past, the tycoon planned to use his land reserve in the south to build mass housing under the Camella brand. But with the rapid rise in land values ​​amid urbanization in the region, which is adjacent to Ayala Alabang, the tycoon wants to unlock the best possible value by hosting only high-end developments.

To date, only retail developments are operational in this future CBD. In addition to Evia, Villar has set up Somo Market, a giant outdoor shopping and entertainment complex, and Nomo, a lifestyle center.

When asked if Villar Land would exploit the stock market for funding, the mogul said the company would likely remain a private company. It’s a legacy he would like to leave to his children, said Villar, who once aspired to be “CEO of the Philippines” when he ran for president in 2010.

However, after AllDay Marts’ successful debut on the stock exchange, Villar has more initial public offerings in the 2022 pipeline, starting with an office-focused real estate investment trust, followed by a few new retail offerings.

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