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Bonifacio Global City: Former military camp has come a long way

Bonifacio Global City, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig

One of the most highly sought-after business and residential addresses in Metro Manila, Bonifacio Global City has come a long way since this former military camp was developed in the mid-1990s. It is now Metro Manila’s largest and second largest condo and office markets – distinctions that will only get better over the coming years.

 

Who would have thought that a former military camp would one day become one of Metro Manila’s most important business districts? That is exactly what happened to Bonifacio Global City (BGC), which traces its origins to Fort McKinley, an American military camp established in the early 20th century. It was turned over to the Philippine government in 1949, three years after the country’s independence from the United States, and subsequently renamed Fort Bonifacio in 1957 and was made permanent headquarters of the Philippine Army.

But what we know as BGC today started to take shape in 1995 when Bonifacio Land Development Corporation (BLDC), a consortium led by Metro Pacific, became the partner of the Bases Conversion Development Authority to master-plan and develop BGC. In 2003, Ayala Land and Evergreen Holdings of the Campos Group purchased a controlling stake in BLDC from Metro Pacific, and these entities have overseen the master-planning of the district since then, which has rapidly developed into a full-fledged business district. BGC is now Metro Manila’s largest and second largest condo and office market, respectively, based on latest Colliers data; over 40,000 of Metro Manila’s approximately 142,000 condo stock as of the first quarter of 2022 and 2.5 million square meters of office space.

What makes BGC such a highly sought-after business and residential address? While we know it as home to such popular leisure establishments as the Bonifacio High Street, Uptown Mall, The Mind Museum, and Market! Market!, the district also boasts many of Metro Manila’s green and sustainable office buildings, some of them LEED certified – an important consideration for multinationals to meet their ESG goals.

BGC’s strategic location is also an important draw. Located just 2 kilometers from the Makati CBD via McKinley Road (with only the ultra-exclusive Forbes Park and Dasmariñas Village separating them), the district can be easily accessed from C5 Road, EDSA via Kalayaan Flyover, the South Luzon Expressway, and Kalayaan Avenue. The newly opened Bonifacio Global City–Ortigas Link Bridge connects BGC to Brgy. Kapitolyo in Pasig, cutting the travel time between the district and Ortigas Center to just 12 minutes. It also has its own fleet of commuter buses, connecting it with nearby Makati CBD and Arca South, a burgeoning business district also in Taguig. BGC is also a bike friendly place, having a dedicated bike lane for the commuters.

BGC also abounds with many high-end condo developments, ensuring a good selection of residential options for expats and local workers alike. Some of the first to be completed are on the western side next to the Manila Golf and Country Club, such as Pacific Plaza Towers, Bonifacio Ridge, and those developed by Megaworld Corp. in its Forbes Town Center township, while Ayala Land developed Serendra, a 12-hectare estate located on the eastern side of BGC. In recent years, BGC has seen the rise of Uptown Bonifacio and Grand Central Park, mixed-use projects of Megaworld and Federal Land, respectively, located on the northern section of BGC; Alveo Land’s High Street South Block; and One Bonifacio High Street, where the PSE Tower, Shangri-La at The Fort, and Ayala Land’s The Suites are located. Countless others dot the district’s peripheries.

A truly self-contained mixed-use development, BGC also has medical and educational institutions within its confines, including St. Luke’s Medical Center, graduate schools operated by the University of the Philippines and De La Salle University, Leaders International Christian School of Manila, British School Manila, International School Manila, Manila Japanese School, and Korean International School Philippines, among others.

And being home to approximately 2.5 million square meters of office space, BGC abounds with a huge selection of office buildings suitable for a wide range of occupiers. In this article, Colliers’ Office Services – Landlord Representation has put together a list of office buildings in BGC well-suited for any type of business: from BPOs to traditional corporate occupiers and government agencies.

1. The Brilliance Center

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Developed by NAPPCO Land Development Corp., The Brilliance Center is a 15-storey Grade A office building boasting nine office floors (with a floor plate of 600 square meters), five podium parking levels, and a ground floor dedicated for retail establishments. Situated at the corner of 11th Avenue and 40th Street, it is less than 50 meters away from Kalayaan Avenue, 400 meters from Uptown Mall, and 1.2 kilometers from Bonifacio High Street. It offers flexible layout, modern design, and complete facilities – a business environment that inspires collaboration, motivates action, and promotes growth in the workplace.

2. Pioneer House

Pioneer House BGC is an upcoming 26-storey Grade A office building being developed by The Pioneer Group of Companies. Strategically located at the corner lot along 5th Avenue and 26th Street, this sustainable building (registered for LEED v.4 Platinum) is right across Six/NEO and The Fort Strip and approximately 200 meters from PSE Tower. It will feature a modern and sustainable design, including low-E double-glazed glass curtain walls, eight high-speed elevators, an efficient traffic management system that will consist of multiple access to its six basement parking levels and five-level podium parking floors.

3. Parkway Global Tower

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Formerly known as Hanjin Building, Parkway Global Building is a 16-storey office development located along University Parkway, less than 400 meters away from Uptown Mall, 1.1 kilometers from Bonifacio High Street, and 350 meters from Kalayaan Avenue. This Grade A office building offers 14 office floors, with the typical floor plate of 832.14 square meters, and has well-maintained facilities and well-designed ground-floor retail spaces. It also features 100% backup power, high-speed elevators, multiple telco providers, a centralized chilled water air-conditioning system, and multilevel parking floors.

4. Menarco Tower

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Towering 32 storeys along BGC’s busy and exciting 32nd Street, Menarco Tower is a multi-awarded, intelligently designed boutique office development and so far Southeast Asia’s only office building that is certified by two of the world’s most well-known green building certification programs (WELL Certified Gold and LEED Gold). The flagship project of Menarco Development Corporation, Menarco Tower offers technologically advanced and energy-efficient office spaces well suited for occupiers looking to reach their ESG goals. Accredited with the Philippine Export Zone Authority (PEZA), among its features include an air-conditioning system that provides pre-cooled and MERV 13- filtered air; double-glazed, unitized curtain wall system that minimizes heat load; a vertical museum; and an outdoor terrace, among others.

While it seems that BGC has reached the pinnacle of what a fully integrated mixed-use development could be, we can expect more from it over the coming years. Plenty of future of developments are currently in the works – structures that will provide future occupiers sustainable and wellness-focused office spaces, or infrastructure for public use that will make living here a lot more convenient. After all, it has accomplished so much during its first three decades, imagine what the next three would bring.


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