News: Ayala Center prepares to break ground for new hotel -
01 Oct 2007
Ayala Center is abuzz with building new shopping, dining and entertainment facilities as it prepares to break ground for its new hotel project by year’s end.
This was revealed by Jaime Ayala, president and chief executive of Ayala Land Inc. (ALI) who said that the new facilities assure both customers and mall tenants that there will be no reduction in available retail space and facilities as current buildings are removed to make way for the new hotels to be built in partnership with the Kingdom Hotel Investments.
“We will make sure that concerns of all Ayala Center patrons, from the mall customers to the existing tenants and retailers, are addressed as we implement our new programs for Ayala Center in the coming year,” Ayala said.
Well underway is the construction of the Glorietta 5 (G5) and a new but still unnamed parking building, both designed to accommodate the movement of shops, entertainment and parking facilities as the 7,377-square meter (sqm) property at the corner of Makati Avenue and Arnaiz Avenue (formerly Pasay Road), where the Park Square 2 mall and transport terminals currently stand is prepared to make way for the construction of the 300-room Fairmont Hotel, a 30-suite Raffles Hotel and 189 Raffles-branded residential units.
The hotel project is a US$153-million joint venture between the Ayala group and Saudi Arabian Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Alsaud, founder and chairman of Dubai-based Kingdom Hotel Investments and listed as the world’s 13th-richest person and the “most successful businessman in the Middle East.”
New buildings, more facilities
Slated to open in time for the start of the hotel projects on December 2007, the new car park complex has begun to rise in the Ayala Center area bound by Makati Avenue, The Landmark, Glorietta 4 and The Shangrila Hotel.
The car park will house 790 parking slots in six levels in order to replace those that will be affected with the decommissioning of Park Square 2. It will likewise have two bridgeway connections: one across Makati Avenue to Greenbelt 4 and the other across North Drive to The Landmark Department Store.
Aside from parking, the new building will have almost 3,000 sqm on its ground level for new and exciting retail and entertainment space. Furthermore, improvement in vehicle access facilities has been part of the meticulous planning from the start. First, there is the construction of Long Queuing lanes at the entrance ramp of the parking facility facing Shangrila Hotel.
Second, the adjacent North Drive facing The Landmark shall be further expanded to five lanes, with three entering and two exiting the Ayala Center.
On the other hand the new G5 building will be located at the area surrounded by Ayala Avenue, Hotel Intercontinental, Glorietta 4 (G4) and Rustan’s. G5 will also bring many current Park Square 2 tenants closer to customer access. These include the mobile telephone and accessories shops as well as service-oriented establishments currently in Park Square 2.
Beyond the transfer, however, G5 will have three levels of retail space covering 9,700 sqm and five levels of office space totaling 16,000 sqm.
Parking space lost at the Park Square 2 will likewise be adequately augmented as G5 will have 291 parking slots in its two underground levels. Furthermore, this will be connected by a tunnel to the existing multilevel parking of G4, making access smooth and easy to all basement parking facilities in the Glorietta area. Timetable for completion of the G5 facility is October 2008.
Major modifications to any well established landscape will involve major changes in established operational patterns and behavior – having to “bite the sour apple” to get things done.
In Ayala Center’s case it is taking steps to ensure that the apple is palatable as possible for all customers and tenants. A Help Desk has been set up for immediate feedback, information and action assistance. The Help Desk can be contacted via telephone number 706-0618 everyday between 8 a.m. and 11 p.m.
Another key area where Ayala Center management has taken proactive steps is keeping construction noise and debris levels at a minimum for the new car park building due to its proximity to Shangrila Hotel. Careful scheduling of specific phases of construction work and employment of modern construction technologies ensure that hotel guests and functions are not bothered by the new multilevel car park building construction. Constant communication and coordination between Shangrila Hotel and Ayala Center planning and operations personnel are also in place to ensure the safety and well-being of hotel patrons and residents. Meanwhile, the same level of engagement is being undertaken by Ayala Center with the Intercon , which is located adjacent to G5.
For the commuting public, enclosed and secure FX and Jeepney Terminals are being prepared at the EDSA Carpark and Park Square 1 respectively, providing easier access to the MRT – Ayala station. Buses, on the other hand, shall be going through a looped route on regular intervals throughout the Central Business District instead of remaining static in a fixed terminal. The existing taxi bays located in various sites throughout the Center are likewise being closely watched and improved.
Attractive directional signs are being installed in strategic points throughout the Ayala Center to keep the public informed of the new jeepney, FX, taxi and bus access points.