The much-awaited Ayala Land, Inc. (ALI) and Anflocor project took a significant stride with a groundbreaking ceremony held on site last 23 September 2008 for their joint venture dubbed as Abreeza.
The ceremony 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 to formally signal the start of building work for the joint venture.
Abreeza is the first major entry project of Ayala Land, Inc. in Davao City. When completed, 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. The first BPO building will be completed in the fourth quarter of 2009 while the first phase of the mall will open in the fourth quarter of 2010.
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.
During the press conference on the same day, this time held at the Pearl Farm Marina, ALI President Jim Ayala, Anflocor Senior VP Ricky Floirendo and the other executives of these two corporations related how Abreeza will become a business-cum-leisure center that Dabawenyos will be proud of. If we are to base our expectations on Makati’s Greenbelt, Abreeza is certainly something to look forward to — in two short years!
The representatives who were at the presscon were the decision-makers of the joint venture, and so the media — as well as the bloggers — were able to glean juicier details than what was printed on the press releases. For example, Jim Ayala revealed that the total project cost up to 2011 will be Php 4 to 5 billion (but the question regarding ROI was predictably left unanswered).
Also, and this is something that I’m sure we will all appreciate, Abreeza will reportedly have around 20% of the 10-hectare property dedicated to open spaces. Think of those beautiful gardens and parks that dot the five Greenbelts in Makati.
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 executives said that there have already been inquiries from such operators who have existing deployments in other ALI properties.
Prompted by questions from the press and from yours truly, the executives of ALI and Anflocor also talked about their dealings with the city government. Jim Ayala, who reiterated his company’s confidence in the city’s peace & order stability, also discussed plans to address the flooding situation along J. P. Laurel Avenue, as well as other plans to ensure the success of Abreeza’s development.
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".