Experts flag depot site's dev't needs
Business World Online by Daphne J. Magturo, 12-02-2014
EVEN with a relatively cheap price tag of just P30,000-40,000
per square meter (/sq.m.), the 30-hectare site which the Pandacan
oil depot now occupies will need more than a mere face-lift to turn
into a business district, property experts said when asked on the
Manila City government's plan for the area.
"[M]uch infrastructure work needs to be done to transform
this area. The roads are too narrow and traffic congestion will be
an issue," Julius M. Guevara, director of Research and Advisory
Services of Colliers International Philippines, said in a text
message last Sunday.
David T. Leechiu, country head of Jones Lang Lasalle
Leechiu, Inc., said separately that Manila "badly needs" the
planned redevelopment because urban decay is already setting in.
"The conversion is easy; what is hard is who will build the
infrastructure," he said by phone on Sunday.
Infrastructure required includes roads, water treatment,
sewage treatment, electricity, parking, and storm drainage
facilities, Mr. Leechiu said.
While he described the city government's land valuation of
P30,000-40,000/sq.m. as "fair," he noted the area's problem with
"Pandacan is a central area, with access to Quezon City,
Mandaluyong, and San Juan, so a business district may work," Mr.
He noted that Manila, being "one of the densest cities in
the metropolis," has a "high labor base" that could be
"We've had a lot of discussions with major developers, I'm
sure they're looking at it already," Jose Carmelo J. Porciuncula,
head of Capital Markets and Investments at KMC MAG Group, Inc.,
said in an interview on Nov. 26.
Mr. Porciuncula also cited the site's attractiveness, noting
"limited access to large chunks of land" in Metro Manila. "And of
course the more land you have, the more flexibility you have in
terms of development," he said.
However, Mr. Leechiu warned that interested developers
should conduct "due diligence" on the property and be aware of
possible environmental problems.
"That site has been an oil depot for 20-30 years. I'm sure
the oil firms took care of the site, but you'll never know; so the
developers have to do their checks," Mr. Leechiu said.
On Nov. 27, Manila Vice-Mayor Francisco "Isko Moreno"
Domagoso said the City of Manila plans to talk to major developers
for conversion of the site into a business hub, particularly Ayala
Land,Inc., Megaworld Corp., Robinsons Land, Inc., SM Prime
Holdings, Inc., and Federal Land, Inc.
On Nov. 25, the Supreme Court, sitting en banc, voted 10-2
against Manila City Ordinance No. 8187, enacted under former mayor
Alfredo S. Lim, saying it was "unconstitutional and invalid with
respect to the continuing stay of the Pandacan oil terminals." That
2009 ordinance had repealed a November 2001 precedent, Ordinance
No. 8027 enacted during the administration of former mayor Jose L.
Atienza, Jr., that reclassified parts of Pandacan and Sta. Ana
districts as commercial from industrial on grounds of
On the same day, the high court also ordered Chevron
Philippines, Inc; Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp.; and Petron Corp.
to submit to Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 39 updated
comprehensive relocation plans and schedules within 45 days.
Relocation, in turn, should be completed not later than six months