Ayala seals Jaka Tower buyout

Property developer Ayala Land Inc. has closed the deal to acquire the unfinished Jaka Tower, a long-time eyesore in the Makati central business district and owned by the family of Senator Juan Ponce Enrile.

Ayala Land president Bernard Vincent Dy told the Manila Standard the company completed the acquisition after conducting a due diligence on the said property.

Dy did not disclose the terms of the deal, including the acquisition cost because of a non-disclosure agreement.

Dy said Ayala Land would not tear down the existing Jaka Tower and would just continue erecting the structure, as the tower was still structurally sound despite being abandoned for more than 15 years now.

“Based on our due diligence we don’t need to demolish the existing building,” Dy said.

Jaka Tower was originally designed to be a 49-story office skyscraper by architectural firm Hellmuth, Obata and Kassabaum.  It was supposed to be the first high-rise project of Enrile’s and then fledging Jaka Property Group.

Construction started in 1996 and was scheduled for completion by 1999. However, the project was halted when construction reached the 21st floor amid the 1997 Asian financial crisis, which affected many other property developers.

Dy said the newly-acquired property would be a part of the P65-billion redevelopment plan of Ayala Land within the Makati CBD.

Ayala Land said it was redeveloping three huge blocks of property at the corner of Ayala Avenue and Buendia Avenue, to be called City Gate.

The first development of City Gate will be Ayala Land’s pioneering stacked mixed-use tower located at the Amorsolo Parking lot.

It will vertically combine retail on the first three levels with two office buildings above, and finally a Seda Suites Hotel on top of one of the office buildings. 

The project will have a total of 120,000 square meters of gross floor area consisting of 53,000 square meters intended for business process outsourcing firms; 28,000 square meters intended for traditional headquarter-type offices; 25,000 square meters, or 312 keys, for the Seda Suites Hotel ;and 14,000 square meters for the mall.

Once completed, City Gate will cover a land area of three blocks with a total of 2.2 hectares.

Other components of P65-billion Makati’s redevelopment plans are phase 2 of the Ayala Center makeover, which includes the area of Intercontinental Hotel and the parking lot at the back of the hotel.

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