Ayala transforms race track into Broadway, football hub

NEW 'CITY.' These pictures (including those below) are the an artist's rendition of Circuit Makati, a P20-B entertainment district at the old Sta. Ana Racetrack.

Photos provided by Ayala Land

MANILA, Philippines (2nd UPDATE) - Ayala Land unveiled on Friday, January 11, its plans for a P20-billion project that will transform the old Sta. Ana race track into a mixed-use development, featuring Broadway-like entertainment and FIFA-sized football facilities. 

It will sit on a 21-hectare property -- the last available sprawling landbank in Makati City -- and will be dubbed as Circuit Makati in honor of the Sta. Ana race track, which is part of Makati's heritage as a former racing circuit.

"In the past, the race track has provided entertainment for generations of horse-racing aficionados. Now, Ayala Land intends to preserve the district's entertainment equity by bringing in a multi-faceted form of entertainment, one that is both interactive and world class," Meean Dy, Vice president for Strategic Landbank Management Group, said.

"[Circuit Makati] is a large-scale development fully integrated with residential, office, retail as well as new hotels, and synergy among these developments.” Ayala Land president Antonino Aquino told reporters.

The upcoming hub is part of a P60-billion plan by Ayala Land to invest in 6 Makati districts over 5 years, and is one of the components of the Make it Happen, Make it Makati campaign of the property firm, the local government of Makati and the Makati Commercial Estate Associtaion Inc (MACEA). It is also a testament that Makati City remains Ayala Land's crown jewel, despite its capital intensive development plans in various parts of the country. 

It wil have links to the Makati central business district (CBD) through Ayala Avenue Extension and South Avenue, other future road linkages or potentially even a revived Pasig River ferry service.

Entertainment and sports

The development will be anchored on family-focused entertainment facilities, such as a sport zones, theatre areas, and a 'warehouse community' featuring art galleries, accessory shops and food trucks.

Circuit Makati will be made up of 3 entertainment venues. The first will feature a 1,500-seater arts venue called Circuit Theater.  

It will have the same capacity as the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), is aimed to showcase world-class Filipino talent and feature Broadway-type of entertainment.

For more intimate events, Circuit Lane will comprise of an interactive walk with a multi-purpose black box for intimate shows, recitals, workshops and parties. It will span the entire length of the district, highlighted by a distinct water feature flanked by retail and leisure shops.

The Circuit Event Grounds will be a venue for various types of events, such as concerts, dance and theater performances, fashion shows, exhibits and outdoor sporting events such as go-karting and skating.

There will also be a FIFA-sized football turf which will be used for games and for football workshops. It will feature a 2-hectare open-air events ground, which can accommodate up to 20,000 people.

According to Dy, the football turf will be completed by the 4th quarter of this year and the skate park by the 3rd quarter of 2013.

“We chose football because it is reflective of the type of market we’re trying to attract: the younger, family oriented generation,” Dy said, adding that they are currently "working on a partnership with a world-renowned football team.” 

She did not provide additional details, except that the team they are eyeing is UK-based and uses blue as team color.

Retail and office

A water element reflecting the nearby Pasig river will run through the development. The walkway will cross the entire length of the district and will be flanked by 45,000 sqm gross leasable area (GLA) of retail outlets and shops.

“Retail will be a big aspect of the entertainment component. We will encourage our retailers to have interactive components video and wall activities, etcetera, in each store," said Rowena Tomeldan, vice president of Ayala Malls and Offices and head of operations.

"While we will have the traditional local and global brands, we will also bring in new concepts,” Tomeldan added.

The other retail area will be fashioned on a ‘warehouse concept,’ which will cater to the budding entrepreneur crowd.

“The warehouse concept will be a combination of pop up stores food shops, music lounges and stores. A place for the budding entrepreneur who will not be quite ready to get into the formal mall format,” said Dy.

Interspersed between the retail outlets will be 30,000-sqm GLA of office space.

“We know how BPO’s (Business Process Outsourcing) always like to be situated in a place, which becomes a lifestyle BPO center. I don’t think [there is] anywhere [else that] will be able to compare with this type of BPO offering we will have,” said Aquino.

Residences, hotels

These facilities are meant to complement other product lines of Ayala Land: Alveo for residential, Ayala Malls and office, and Ayala Hotels.

This February, Alveo Land will also be launching its residential projects at Circuit Makati. According to Robert Lao, president of Alveo Land Group, they are targeting to launch a tower almost every year.

“If we’re look at a 10 year pipeline we’re looking at 8 to 10 towers. The investment per tower is P2.5 billion,” he said.

The group is also planning to bring in other residential brands in the next few years.

According to Junie Salandoni, senior vice president of Ayala Hotels and Resorts, there will be one hotel with 250 rooms.

“It will be different from other sets of hotels. It will be more family-oriented. Bigger pool more amenities to cater to a broader segment as opposed to BGC (Bonifacio Global City at the Fort in Taguig City), which caters to business traveller,” he said.

Phased development

The whole development will be built in phases over the next 15 to 20 years. 

In the next 5 years, the theater, mall, office residential and hotel components, Circuit Lane will be complete, Aquino said. The first part of the Interactive Walk will be up by the 4th quarter of 2014, the mall towards the last quarter of 2015, and the first tower residential project at the end of 2015 or early 2016.

The development is a joint venture with the Philippine Racing Corporation (PRC), which has relocated the Sta. Ana racetrack to Cavite.

Tomeldan said that the PRC will get 18% interest on the residential components while the retail components are still under discussion depending on the equity interest.

Below are more artist's sketches of the development plans:

- Rappler.com