Ayala Center Davao

The Ayalas of famed Makati are finally coming back to Davao.

Executives of Ayala Land briefed the City Council yesterday on its plans to put up a mixed-used commercial center infront of Redemptorist Church in Bajada on a 9.5 hectare property owned by the Floirendos. Yes the banana magnate.

Phase 1 of their plan is a mall with BPO offices as shown here.

Phase 2 includes a hotel and condos.

The Ayalas were pioneer investors in the city staring the Insular Village in the 1960s in Pampanga District, the enclave of Davao’s rich. They also build the famous Insular Hotel, which was ran by the Intercontinental Hotel chain just like the occupant of No. 1 Ayala Center Makati. The hotel was eventually bought by Gatchalian’s Waterfront Group during the reign of Erap.

A key feature then of the Insular Village was Mindanao’s first modern ten-pin bowling center. Unfortunately, it fell victim to martial law in the early 1970s. It closed shop when curfew was imposed and those from downtown like me did not risk traveling north with plenty of Philippine Constabulary check points along Bajada and Lanang.

The Ayalas attempted a Davao comeback even before they started Ayala Center Cebu. During the mid-1980s, they sought to acquire the nearby Lanang Golf Course of the Dakudao’s but failed.

The golf course is closing at the end of this month and the Ayalas were beaten to the draw. A chunk was acquired by Henry Sy’s group for a reported SM City Davao North project.

4:05 a.m.

49 Responses to “Ayala Center Davao”

  1. micketymoc Says:

    If developments like these are going to keep cropping up in Davao, you might want to consider the need for a more efficient transport system, and prepare the ground now.

    I feel your Jeepney-bashing blog entry is too short-sighted. You “cannot imagine” any other transport system taking over from jeepneys. Should we then be content with an extremely inefficient system just because you “cannot imagine” any other alternative?

  2. Mitch Says:

    Le. Something for us young ones to look forward too. Eh, and another SM City? o_O

  3. Peter Says:

    I believe you got me wrong there micketymoc. I did write that I am involved in planning for other mass transport system for Davao except that there are no takers and the city does not have the money to fund it. So, jeepneys I wrote would remain as the main mode of mass transport in the city. Lets meet 10 years from now and let’s see if there is any new mass transport system in place. I am just being pragmatic and practical. When the LTR was built during martial law in Manila, many people predict the death of jeepneys. Ha ha ha! That’s 30 year ago and jeepneys remain as kings of the road in spite of expanded LTR/MRT. Yup, a traffic management plan was required from Ayala and the Transport Management Board was required by the City Council to submit the same.

  4. micketymoc Says:

    Sometimes politics trumps practicality where public transport is concerned. For example, in Phuket, Thailand, a very effective “tuk-tuk” lobby has been able to prevent taxis from even entering the popular Patong tourist district – not because Patong doesn’t need taxis, but because taxis threaten the “tuk-tuk” drivers’ livelihoods.

    I trust that when the time comes to upgrade Davao’s public transport system, decisions will be made for the greater good. Maybe the decisions include cutting down on jeepney franchises to make way for a more efficient rail system, or a more capacious bus transit system. I’m no expert, I’m just hoping that when that time comes, practicality will trump politics.

  5. Guillermo Prat Says:

    Peter, seems you are practicing some form of censorship as I see that some of my comments that have been critical are not seeing the light of day. I suppose you should, it is your blog after all. But if I remember, you had advocated blogging among your peers to get your message across to the constituents and secure responses/feedback from the constituents you serve. What shall it be then, a mechanism to just cheer on the council, not a mechanism to direct/expand council thinking? It is difficult to walk the talk, is it? Just wondering.

  6. Guillermo Prat Says:

    One out of three comments on Ayala got posted. Great, 33 1/3% batting average. Why am I on this road Peter? Early last year, you showed data that projects the city population to be 2M by the year 2015. Currently, we are at 1.3M. Scares the day lights out of me if all we will have in 2015 are inefficient transport (jeepney, trisikad, trisibot), clueless traffic management people, drainage without sewerage, non-existent side walks, increasing population along the sea….ladidadidadi and so on and on and on. Big question: we probably know were we are now, do we know were we want to go and how/what it takes to get there? 20 million question need answering.

  7. Martin Donato Says:

    Ayala Center is welcome news to Davao City. I hope that the city council will speed up the conversion from residential to commercial zone of said property. I have been a Davao resident for 18 years already and this is now our time. After all, we waited for so long to get this far.

  8. progo Says:

    This is good news to Davao. Developments like these help spur local economic growth not to mention offices for BPOs. It adds jobs, promote consumer spending and the entire kit and caboodle.

    The only negative thing here is price of land will skyrocket in the coming years. If I were you and you had money, take a loan from Pagibig or from banks today and purchase land while it’s still cheap.

  9. ji Says:

    Councilor sir,

    Do we really need to require AYALAs a traffic mgt system? since it is THE DUTY OF THE CITY GOVERNMENT to manage the CITYs TRAFFIC and likewise anticipate INFLUX of people in that area? just a thought sir.

  10. Jonigo Says:

    Councilor Pete…

    I am concerned about the actions made by some councilors lately about the Ayala.. They’ve made the hearing about re-classification quite long while considering it as a big market to Davao… It can help a lot of people to have jobs but then it seems like they don’t want Ayala to be in Davao..

    And it’s not the Ayala to solve the problem in drainage system, traffic.. The city can solve them. The TMC, DPWH, DCWD can solve and do their job with this… .. I think Sir Pete, there’s something wrong with the council..

  11. Peter Says:

    Unlike the development of subdivisions where the City Council grants first a Preliminary Approval of Locational Clearance (PALC) and thereafter a Development Permit, which means the applicant will have to go through the City Council twice, in the case of mall development such as the Ayala Center, it seeks a reclassification of zoning. It will not go back to the City Council for DP. This is the context why a number of Councilors are seeking answers to anticipated questions/problems in the future such as drainage and traffic plan. Let me assure our citizens there is no deliberate attempt to delay approval. In fact, this particular application was swiftly acted upon by the Cabling Committee, where I, as a member, signed the report just one week after it was approved on First Reading. Also, reclassification would require 2/3 votes of the City Council, at least 21 votes in favor. This is a difficult number to attain if the application is controversial or have problems.

  12. regreto Says:

    can you assure the public sir or is it safe to say that the ayala’s application will be approved without hitches this coming tuesday? what’s the probability that it would be disapprove? we can not imagine the embarrassment it would bring to davao if ayala will backout from this big investment instead.

  13. Peter Says:

    I am sure that our committee would stand by our favorable recommendation on the application. The approval is not really in the hands at this point with the City Council but on the applicant. They need to convince members of the City Council about the drainage and traffic plans. It could be okd this Tuesday but measures such as this requires a 3rd and final reading. So, that would take another week or two.

  14. datu bago Says:

    good morning,

    In my recollection i never heard Victoria Plaza , SM & the Gaisanos have to bare the problem of solving its drainage & traffic problems in the city.
    What about the anticipated SM North in Lanang and other big investors coming here? the City Engineers & TMC should come-up a grand master plan to solve the current situation, a long term master plan that will serve the city for 10-15 years not come up w/ a plan when problems arises.

    Datu Bago

  15. Peter Says:

    datu bago,
    victoria plaza, sm and gaisano were not required to present drainage and traffic plan by the city council because they did not seek reclassification. their properties were properly zoned as commercial areas. in the case of the ayala center, more than 6 hectares are classified as medium-density residential zone. that is why we cannot fault councilors for raising these concerns. i helped bring sm to davao and i remember they worked closely with the city engineer and dpwh re drainage and tmc re traffic. i see no harm in requiring ayala these things.

  16. Peng Hok Says:

    Maayong adlaw kanimo councilor pete. We are aware of what some of our councilors are doing. We don’t want to point an accusing finger as much as possible, but there have been numerous precedents already of big investors backing out because of some councilors “wanting to get a BIG share of the pie” under the guise of something legitimate. Kabalo ko na kabalo ka ani konsehal. We all know what happened to San Miguel. And we also know that that was the exact same reason why Ayala initially backed out as well. Swerte nalang ta kay ning balik sila diri sa Davao. Kay inig dili pa, matinoud na gyud ang ingon sa Vice-Mayor sa Cagayan de Oro nga nalabwan na nila ang Davao. NO THANKS sa mga involved na konsehal.

    I find it quite ironic that in your last session, a lot of councilors were scrutinizing the survey of IFC (I am not sure of the name) that Davao City is one of the places where applying for business is protracted and tedious. Kataw-anan kay daghan konsehal ang dili mutuo sa survey. But guess what, the answer is right before you. Look at the delay caused by the council to Ayala. Isn’t that an indication that the survey indeed proved its point?

    Anyway konsehal, I see you as the last glimmer of hope in our city council. Please do everything within your bounds to speed up the application of Ayala. We have waited for this investor for the longest time. Now is NOT the right time to delay them further.

    And in case you might ask kung kinsa ang amung nahibal-an sa konseho nga mga maro, they are M, A, and D. Kabalo na ka kinsa ni sila konsehal.

    Salamat sa pagbasa.

    Good day and more power to you.

  17. waway625 Says:

    Im really excited about this project. Kudos to Davao for hosting the 2nd ayala mall in viz min (and soon ang SM sa lanang). Unta lang i fast track na ning concern sa ayala before sila mapungot sa atoa and mag back out

    To be honest, as much as I trust you (coun. lavina), natatakot ako sa ibang members ng council (flashback nung rumours as to why SanMig moved to Sta. Cruz instead na dito sa Davao haunt me)

  18. datu bago Says:


    Ayala will be the fulcrum how pleasant & friendly “doing business” in Davao

    Datu Bago

  19. Guillermo Prat Says:

    Peter, your explanation of what Ayala has to go thru and what G Mall, Victoria, etc. did not have to file with the council is all legal goobyligook, a term popularized by Sen. Biazon during the impeachment of former Pres. Erap. Ordinary citizens do not care what or how. Ordinary citizens need job, need job creation, need to work. They need to eat, so they need to work. Is that simple enough for the councilors to understand?
    My father worked for San Miguel Corp. from 1948 up to the time he retired in the 90’s. He is saddened by what happened to San Miguels plans. He is still a shareholder, having started as a truck helper loading and unloading cases of Coca Cola. If you do not know the details, ask those mentioned in above comment sent by someone who is identified as Peng Hok.
    Requiring drainage plans and traffic plans from the proponent of the project? Require it from the TMG and City Engineers first, please.
    The longer Ayala stays in the headline as not having been approved, the more the IFC report becomes a reality: it is difficult to do business in Davao.

  20. micketymoc Says:

    I agree with Peng Hok somewhat, but I think it’s important nonetheless to balance due diligence with speedy resolution. I think councilor Pete is setting a good example (or starting to set one) by being open, and by showing his constituents the inside dealings within City Hall.

  21. Guillermo Prat Says:

    Micketymoc, I agree, the transparency shown by Peter is to be admired. People who give us (city) a bad reputation do not like transparency. Due diligence can also come from making sure that the TMG and City Engineers do their jobs, Ayala or no Ayala.

  22. regreto Says:

    ponder on this:

    halimbawang walang ayala/anflocor na nag apply for business dyan sa area na yan, ibig bang sabihin mananatiling residential zone ang lugar na yan for years to come? hindi ba yan ang dapat unang gawin ng council, to rezone the area para attractive sa investors? kung icompare natin sa gmall or victoria na smooth ang construction kasi classified as commercial area na daw, ibig bang sabihin walang habol ang city kung halimbawang binaha or natraffic ang bajada area dahil palpak ang kanilang drainage system? kasi parang ang dating sa amin ay finifilter nyo na ang ayala sa rezoning pa lang kasi wala na kayong magagawa once approved na at palpak pala ang drainage nila. why not approve at once the reclassification, at hanap ng ibang ways to make ayala comply with the requirements? business permit perhaps?

    god bless davao city kung ganito palagi ang treatment natin sa mga investors, meron namang cebu, cdo, gensan or zamboanga, bakit dito pa sa davao mag invest.

  23. waway625 Says:

    another question, trabaho pa ba ng council ang mag check nun traffic and drainage? diba ibang agency na yan?

  24. xzibit31 Says:

    good afternoon councilor pete. Peng Hok hight the nail right in the head. i tend to agree with him. with all the city councils brouhaha, i am afraid that the ayala investment will again slip through our hands. this is kind of reminicent of what happend to san miguel in the past. i hope that you can do something to speed up the application for reclassification of ayala.

    i am sorry for being frank about this but i see the city council or the govenmment in general, as a bed of corruption. of all the councilors available for re-election, i only voted for you last elections. please prove me wrong on my assumption of the city council.

  25. john Says:

    If this is going to be a business park, then yes it is the job of Ayala to work on the drainage plans within the Ayala property.

    Don’t be too hasty on the councilors guys, keep your cool. The councilors are just doing their job. It’s actually right for them to ask for drainage and traffic plans. When you build a mall, you consider future impact and not just for the sake of having an Ayala Mall.

    You don’t want Davao City to end up like Metro Manila or Cebu right?

    This is a major project and Ayala is a major investor so it’s obviously impossible for them not to pursue this project.

  26. Guillermo Prat Says:

    John, ayala will work on the drainage and the traffic issue, it is part and parcel of their development and their expertise. To require this of ayala now is naive. One has to understand the stages/phases in the planning and development of a project before it becomes a reality. What Peter has loaded on his blog is merely an architects rendition of what the project would look like upon completion and that can even change. The 3B pesos investment is just a ball park estimate, certain standards are used to arrive at that estimate. Two years into development they are still planning the interior design, color and texture of walls and glass and fabric, and plants. I am banking on Ayala’s wealth of experience in other projects and their pool of consultants, maybe highly paid, to ensure the development does not falter. Traffic and flooding will reduce the value or the attractiveness of their development for future locators, people who will rent or recreate in the development.
    Lastly John, money is a cowardly commodity. Delays in approving their request will make them re-think how much and when they will develop. They may just scale down their project to the area that is already commercial, maybe 1B pesos in investment and just sit on the rest of the development until 2015. So, chicken or egg?

  27. City Council OKs Ayala Mall « Peter Laviña New Blog Says:

    […] related posts – Ayala Center Davao; and Ayala Center Davao […]

  28. ERT Says:

    I hope the Davao City government would either seek assistance in terms of urban planning from foreign governments (e.g. Singapore) or hire local/foreign consultants in order to address the future development of this City, lest we go the same path as Manila – a city of congested roads without sidewalks, without adequate parks and greeneries, without an efficient bus transit system.

  29. Guillermo Prat Says:

    My sentiments exactly, ERT. Earlier this month, I toured two urban planners trained in the USofA from Panacan to Lanang and they could only shake their heads in dismay at what they saw. A pity, we could have a boulevard with a bay walk similar to Manila, or Rio de Janeiro which I saw in 1995, but all we have are houses all the way up to the water. Polluting Davao Gulf will be the legacy of this city to it’s children and grand children. Aside from tinkering with the zoning ordinance, this administration does not seem to want to leave a lasting legacy.

  30. Guillermo Prat Says:

    Peter, even before the above comment could be posted, I took a trip to Samal taking my boat ride from the Maryknoll near the Insular. High tide. You should have seen the amount of detritus floating and at the bottom. I do not suppose the dirt, plastics of all sorts, came from people taking the boats. Was it last week that they had this coastal clean up? Looks like they did not make much of a dent. Garbage, the lasting legacy of the current city residents to its children and grand children.

  31. Paulo Ritz Says:

    Peter, is it true that Ayala Center CDO is bigger than Ayala Davao?

  32. ERT Says:

    Davao City, as it is, lacks even the most basic requirements of city development – an excellent drainage and sewage system. How can this City aspire to have a subway someday if we couldn’t even subdue the waters that could threaten to destroy it? How can this City aspire to maintain the highest quality of living in the Philippines if we don’t value the importance of our waters, transport, etc.? Development shouldn’t be measured only by the construction of malls as these primarily exist to enrich their developers. Development should be something that benefits everyone. And so, the City Government must act for the sake of the people instead of depending solely on the plans of private firms with private interests.

  33. triplesec Says:

    Paulo Ritz Says:
    October 3, 2008 at 10:33 pm

    Peter, is it true that Ayala Center CDO is bigger than Ayala Davao?

    Peter, in the same light, do you work for Ayala Land? LOL

    Nice one, Ritz! 🙂

  34. ERT Says:

    Seems like government officials have no concrete vision for this City. Development is left unguided by proper zoning. Development is left at the hands of the private sector.

    What are we paying municipal taxes for? To fund basketball courts to be put up on streets? How about investing on projects that have positive lasting effects?

    We should carve our own path of development. Manila is never a good example to follow. The city government needs to address the road infrastructure and traffic situation now in Davao. We need an efficient bus system to make jeepneys obsolete!

  35. triplesec Says:

    I agree with you, ERT. Progress should not only be based on the construction of malls. What Davao needs right now is an effective transportation system.

    Jeepneys are scattered all over the city and they are the ones who doesn’t follow traffic laws. They stop at any point just to pick up passengers — there are no designated stops for them.

    It is frustrating that people here in Davao are not well educated in traffic laws. Davao drivers doesn’t know what “right lane must turn right” or “left turn lane” means. Some drivers even change lanes at an intersection!

    Subways or rail transits aren’t the solution here. We need to abolish jeepneys and implement an effective bus system. We won’t see any growth if these rusty matchboxes run around this city.

    We should rehabilitate this city while it’s not too late like it is in Manila.

  36. micmic Says:

    Gud am sir, tubong davao po ako,but currently working here in manila, im planning to go back to davao pra didto na lang magwork. how can i apply to his new AYALA CENTER? Civil Engineer ko by profession… tnx

  37. joshua mabunga Says:

    To the city council, its time now to have a Light railway transport, fr acasia to sasa, kasi puro mall na ang bajada ngaun, if the SM north will push thru heavy traffic na, so kailangan maghanap na ng investor to put up LRT here in bajada, so that by 2115 more investor will put business here. we are always behind…

  38. Ervin DG Says:

    I agree with Mr Joshua Mabunga.
    However, by the year 2115 di kaya obsolete na ang LRT?
    Just asking sir… 😀

  39. joshua mabunga Says:

    bka nga, but i heard a news now that 2015 may MRT na dto sa davao… dapat lng, tagal kasi eh heavy traffic na, lalo na puro mall na sa bajada thru lanang

  40. triplesec Says:

    Reality check please.

    Look at Metro Manila, they have light rail transit scattered all over. Did it help incongesting the traffic? NO

    The root of traffic is those jeepneys that doesn’t follow traffic laws.

    Light Rail Transit will not be effective since roads here in Davao are small. One example is Rizal Avenue in Manila, business establishments died when the LRT1 was built. We need an effecient bus system. This will ease the traffic situation.

    People who push with the LRT are gullible. No offense. If you would go to Singapore, Hong Kong or Seoul, you would see how the buses reduce the congestion of traffic. Less cars on the road, no heavy traffic. That simple.

  41. datu bago Says:

    @tripelsec it’s easier said than done, we are a 3rd world country phasing-out jeepneys & trykes is like moving heaven on earth for now, but for the meantime the traffic congestion is a loaming crises in the year 2015. I guess the problem w/ metro manila was LRT came too late when roads where congested and MM population is uncontrolable.planning ahead is what we need .

  42. Guillermo Prat Says:

    Brilliant observation Datu: planning ahead is what we need! If enough of us scream this fact, maybe our local leadership will understand. Planning and the right implementation, without favors, may yet save us from being another metro manila. Unfortunate that we have very short sighted leadership.

  43. Graham Says:

    Can i ask you Peter do you think that the credit crunch and the following world recession will have much impact on Davao City? is there any likelihood that some projects could be delayed, i refer to the malls and the new condos going up across the city. I hope Davao and the Philippines will not be affected so much but my head tells me that it cannot escape untouched. At the moment OFWs remitence is still doing a grand job but with job losses in 1st world countries going up at an alarming rate i fear it will have some impact.

    Like to hear your views on what could happen here in Davao if the Philippines is hit with a recession. Particularly land prices and realestate prices.

    Many thanks…

  44. triplesec Says:

    I do agree that planning ahead is important. It just saddens me that our government is not doing anything to solve these problems. I am not really sure if there’s still hope for the Philippines. Maybe in a hundred years?

  45. hebb Says:

    i dont think davao city has enough high end market, like cebu and manila. if ayala mall would open by the end of 2010, the mall would still be bare until its 2016, shops will be occupied by middle rate store, opposite of what its counterpart ayala malls in manila and cebu, c’mon guys, its a fact. people who had stayd/work in manila and cebu who is frm davao could see the logic. Reality Bites. Davao is bustling but not as cebu, Davao is much more like other visayan cities like iloilo and bacolod. by the way I think Iloilo is even more charming than davao.

  46. Andy from U.S. Says:

    I am sure I have no right to respond to this sight. But I was online looking for traffic laws I would be required to adhere to when I move there and found this wonderful site, and just have to say something. I still have found no information but I am sure my wife to be and her family will let me know. First I will say that your mayor is known though out the Philippines as a hard man that is good for what he does. My Sister-in-law is from Leyte and knows of him. For me the first time I came to Davao City, I felt safer then here in a 1st world country. I am older and I have not met such polite people since I was very young. My first jeepney ride did scare me at first. Maybe people who live there don’t realize that in America people are shot for cutting someone off. Oh yes, they are most of the time caught and put in jail , but road rage as it is called, did not seem to happen there. I do agree that buses are the answer in the downtown area where I stayed, but take the tykes and jeepneys away and the majority of residents of your city would suffer. One thing I promise, all who read this, that I do not want to live in your country and bring mine with me. I live in a very small area that used to be like I remembered when young. All that came here from the big cities loved too it but had to bring their big city thoughts and money with them. What happened was that prices for homes were inflated to the point the many growing up here could not afford to buy. I am going to sell my home at any price and move there. I only wanted to say I love your City. And it should be up to the true people of your city to change what you need to. Do not take failed 1st world countries as an example to be like. It seems like your country still has respect for the poor. This country does not.

  47. Guillermo Prat Says:

    I forgot to mention, not just plans but more importantly, the political will to do/implement the plans. You could google Bogota, Columbia and their mayor to understand what it takes to get things done. A lot of good ideas exist, we don’t have the will to do it. Sad but true. Hundred years? Ho hum..

  48. pat jr, pads Says:

    Plan to have a public transport system could be possible under the city gov’t. and it should be concentrated only in the downtown area.So all jeepneys plying the major streets of davao will be phased out and there’s a need now to contruct north and southbound terminal for jeepneys.With the political will of our city mayor,this could be possible…in fact,dabawenyos, know how to obey laws and ordinances.what we need now is the city to act immediately.Let’s support it!

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