Abreeza Ayala Malls: Davao’s own Greenbelt
The much-awaited P5-billion project of Ayala Land, Inc. and the Anflocor Group, Abreeza, is now open to the public with about 90 percent of the spaces available in the three-hectare commercial zone already leased.
Anita Angela B. Ferrer, marketing manager of Accendo Commercial Corp., the company that will run the operations of the project, said the original schedule was to open the first two floors of the mall building in the second quarter while the third floor only in the last quarter of the year.
But because all levels are already filled up with locators, with Robinsons Retail Group operating the department store, the company decided to open all floor levels at one time. She said there are only few spaces left, pointing out that about 300 concept stores are locating in the mall, which is within a 10-hectare site.
“We have invited local stores that have not tried their luck in malls,” Ms. Ferrer said, pointing out that some of these local locators are handicraft makers that have joined local and even national trade fairs.
Aside from the retail store, the mall will also have a 1,200-square-meter entertainment area. This is to make sure that the mall will become a family destination.
Other than the food spaces on the ground floor, the third floor will also have a food court and four cinemas. One of the theaters will be showing three-dimensional movies.
To decongest the entry of vehicles into the mall, the company is setting up four entrances, among them access roads that are to be rehabilitated. Ms. Ferrer said Accendo has already discussed the issue with the city government to make the access roads available by the time the mall operates full blast.
The company is also ready with the plan for its business process outsourcing building, another three-floor building where two floors will be devoted to retail outlets and the last floor for information and communications technology companies.
At present, the company is coordinating with the Information and Communications Technology Association of Davao to convince local companies to locate into the building. “When the agreement with the locator is finalized, we will immediately start construction of the building,” she said.
Erriberto P. Barriga, Jr., president of the local association, said there were already negotiations with local and Manila-based companies that have signified intention to locate in the city. Mr. Barriga, however, did not identify the companies involved in the negotiations.
The company already broke ground for a boutique hotel, a nine-floor, 148-room structure expected to be completed next year.
Eileen J. Escobido, project development manager of the hotel, said its major selling point is that it is located within the Abreeza project, making it steps away from food centers and other amenities.
The Abreeza project, Ms. Ferrer said, has indicated that the city “has become mature for a project of this magnitude.”
The project groundbreaking took place last 23 September 2008. It was attended by ALI & Anflocor executives and guests, who witnessed Anflocor Chairman of the Board Antonio O. Floirendo Sr., Ayala Corp. Chairman of the Board Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala II, Ayala Land Chairman of the Board Fernando Zobel de Ayala, Ayala Land President Jaime I. Ayala, Ayala Malls and Ayala Businesscapes Group Head Ma. Victoria E. Añonuevo, Head of Ayala Land Vis-Min Emilio J. Tumbocon, Anflocor Vice Chairman Antonio R. Floirendo Jr., Anflocor President Alexander Valoria, Anflocor Senior Vice President Ricardo R. Floirendo, Anflocor Directors Ma. Cristina R. Brias and Vicente R. Floirendo, with Davao City Administrator Wendell Avisado, break the ground at the Abreeza site along J. P. Laurel Avenue.
Abreeza is envisioned to be an integrated mixed-used development that will innovate the city’s urban landscape. It will include a three-storey shopping mall, two Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) buildings and, in the future, a hotel and residential and commercial lots.
Abreeza is not the Ayalas’ first development in Davao City, however. We mustn’t forget that the venerable Insular Hotel (now owned and operated by the Waterfront chain) was built by the Ayala family. The high-end Insular villages were also theirs, as well as the Insular Life and BPI buildings.
Davao City has long been identified as a favorable investment destination for BPO companies, as well as a viable source of skilled manpower. Thus, Abreeza’s first finished product will be the 10,000-sqm building reserved for BPO and IT firms.
The entry of Ayala Land, in partnership with Anflocor, is a gleaming beacon of investor confidence in Davao City. Progress is inexorably in our midst.
The name Abreeza was coined from “breeze” and the Italian word for embrace, “abbraccio”.