Phillippines: Ayala Land counter proposes Manila Bay reclamation

Phillippines: Ayala Land counter proposes Manila Bay reclamation

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Property giants Ayala Land and SM Land will fight it out for Pasay City’s multi billion-peso reclamation project in the city’s portion of Manila Bay.

Ayala Land, which operates its own chain of shopping malls, hotels and condominiums, said in a letter to Pasay City Mayor Antonino Calixto that it is submitting its counter proposal but would need at least 60 days to file it.

Last month the SM group submitted its unsolicited proposal for the project, which seeks to reclaim some 300 hectares of Manila Bay, at a cost of about P54.5 billion. Pasay City published a series of weekly public notices starting from October 1 to 15 in a newspaper seeking competing proposals and gave interested parties until November 4 as its deadline.

“We need more time to study the issues and prepare a competitive counter proposal,” Ayala Land said in its letter, signed by Corporate Secretary Solomon Hermosura.

Aside from the 19 days given to respond, as October 15 was the last day of publication, the notice to the public also required competing bidders to have a minimum net worth of P50 billion. The bidding companies also must have “undertaken and completed a similar reclamation project with an area of not less than 120 hectares, preferably within the Manila Bay area.”

Ayala Land asked for a 60-day extension starting on November 4, as it learned about the project only last week, and the time was too short to develop a master plan, and a study on its financial and environmental impact, among other things.

Ayala Land said it also needed to clarify some issues, including the P5-million non-refundable bid-document fee, which the company said was “significantly higher” than other public-private partnership projects.

“The government can only benefit from having as many interested parties as possible and setting a prohibitive fee can discourage capable bidders from participating,” Ayala Land said. “We are the Philippines’s leading real-estate developer and we are committed to be a strong partner in nation-building.”

Under SM’s proposal, the financing of the project would all be carried out by SM Land under a joint venture with the Pasay City government.

After the completion, which would take about seven years, SM will own 53 percent of the area, including the roads; Pasay City will have the remaining, composed mostly of open spaces.

SM already operates the Mall of Asia complex, also in Pasay, which has one of the country’s largest shopping malls, hotel, condominiums, a multipurpose indoor complex and other office buildings.

Business Mirror

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