Davao City’s skyline will be undergoing drastic changes with proposed high-rise buildings shooting up to the sky in what is seen as a physical testament that reinforces the city’s image as an investors’ haven and the premier metropolis in Mindanao.
Mindanao’s tallest building—a 34-storey edifice—would start rising next year in the business district in Bajada, one of several skyscrapers by big-stake investors that have been coming in tsunamis. A businessman involved in construction aptly and poetically summed up the high-rise building boom following reports of the city’s tallest building to be built in Bajada, the city’s fastest growing business district, near the Abreeza-Ayala Mall complex, another newcomer in the mixed-use property development scene. There is now a race to heaven. Investors are competing with each other to build the tallest building, said the businessman who requested he remain nameless.
SKYSCRAPERS. The proposed 34-storey Aeon Tower in Davao City, Mindanao’s tallest building to be competed in 2016, left, and its soon-to-be shorter brother, the 18-storey Marco Polo Hotel. Other tall buildings in the city are the 17-storey Landco Corporate Center and the 14-floor Pryce Tower.
Vice mayor Rodrigo Duterte himself is mystified at the construction boom, as new buildings frenetically sprout up in almost every corner of the city,wondering if the projects—many of which are condominiums– would sell. At the Gikan sa Masa Para sa Masa television program on ABS/CBN on Sunday, Duterte himself provided an answer to the riddle. He said he asked around and a source in the housing development sector told him that housing and property development are the best areas to invest in the city. They said we have a fastly growing middle-income sector that can afford to buy, said Duterte. The city’s business atmosphere has been electrified not only by Filipino investors but also by foreigners—Chinese, Japanese, Taiwanese, Koreans and Malaysians, among others—who poured investments in various ventures. The local buying power getting more muscles to lure investors aside, Davao City has been happily drowning from a deluge of new investments in recent years. The Davao City Investment Promotions Center (DCIPC), tasked with the city’s investment generation drive, reported that last year investors poured nearly P4 billion in business expansions and new investments mostly in property development and housing. Joining the melee are the country’s top housing developers which came ahead of the current boom, barging into high-end housing that transformed the city’s outskirts into expensive gated communities. Mixed-use property development projects followed to respond to a surge of businesses looking for office and store space—topped by the P2.9 billion Abreeza mall project of the Ayala Land and the Floirendo Group of Companies in J. P. Laurel Avenue in Bajada, Four other multi-million peso mall projects are in the pipeline adding to the existing seven malls. DCIPC-predicted investment figures for 2011—targeted at double the 2010 figure– have gone loco, with the coming of the multi-million dollar AboitizPower coal-fired power plant in Toril district, the single biggest investment today. From single-unit housing and property development, the investment focus has shifted to skyscrapers: Three buildings above ten srories are in the drawing board that the unnamed businessman said are leading “the race to heaven.” Mindanao’s tallest building, the 34-storey Aeon Towers—a 600-room luxury condominium-hotel-business skyscraper– is rising soon in the city. Construction starts next year, with completion set in early 2016. Two other high-risers are also in the planning stage—-a 20-storey building in Ecoland in Matina Aplaya and a 12-storey building also in Bajada. The new skyscrapers would dwarf present holders of the tall-building crowns—the 18-storey Marco Polo Hotel along C. M. Recto, the 17-storey Landco-PDCP Corporate Center in J. P. Laurel Avenue in Bajada and the 14-storey Pryce Tower also on J. P. Laurel Avenue.