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Ortigas Center: A business district remarkably reinvented


Ortigas Center is a minicity that has reinvented itself quite remarkably in recent years: from a virtual wasteland to one of Metro Manila’s most important business districts. It is a thriving community and real estate market where its residents fully enjoy a live-work-play-learn lifestyle.


One of Metro Manila’s two original central business districts, Ortigas Center is a minicity that has quite reinvented itself in recent years. Its transformation, especially in the last couple of decades, is nothing short of remarkable. Once part of the sprawling “Hacienda de Mandaloyon” that spans the present-day cities of San Juan, Mandaluyong, Quezon City, and Pasig, Ortigas Center mirrors the development history of the Makati CBD: from a virtual wasteland to one of Metro Manila’s most important real estate markets. And like Makati, Ortigas Center is a thriving community where its residents fully enjoy a live-work-play-learn lifestyle.

Unlike Makati, however, the geographical extent of Ortigas Center spans three cities: Mandaluyong to the west, Pasig to the east, and a small portion within Quezon City in the north. In this article we will detail the features of Ortigas Center and discuss its office real estate market.

North Side

Situated within the Quezon City side of Ortigas Center is Robinsons Galleria, the Gokongwei group’s flagship mixed-use complex at the corner of EDSA and Ortigas Avenue. Part of the city’s Barangay Ugong Norte, this property is composed of a five-storey shopping mall, two high-rise office towers (Galleria Corporate Center and Robinsons Equitable Tower), two hotels (Holiday Inn Manila Ortigas and Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria), and a high-end condo project (Galleria Regency). Also part of this area is the famous EDSA Shrine.


EDSA Shrine and Robinsons Galleria at the corner of EDSA and Ortigas Avenue, the Quezon City section of Ortigas Center.

West Side

Arguably Ortigas Center’s shopping section, West Side is famous for its cluster of malls, most notably SM Megamall, which at almost 475,000 square meters is the Philippines’ third largest shopping complex; The Podium Mall, a high-end mall at the corner of Doña Julia Vargas and ADB Avenues; Shangri-La Plaza, which is owned and operated by the Kuok Group of Companies; and St. Francis Square Mall.

Part of Mandaluyong’s Barangay Wack-Wack Greenhills, West Side boasts a number of well-known establishments and office buildings: the Podium West Tower, BDO Corporate Center Ortigas, the headquarters of San Miguel Corporation and the Asian Development Bank, Lourdes School of Mandaluyong, the EDSA Shangri-La Hotel, and several condo developments (One Shangri-La Place, St. Francis Shangri-La Place, Sonata Residences, and BSA Twin Towers).


ADB Avenue, which runs from Ortigas Avenue to Shaw Boulevard, divides Ortigas Center into its East (Pasig) and West (Mandaluyong) sides.

East Side

The eastern portion of Ortigas Center is within the jurisdiction of Pasig’s Barangay San Antonio, and this is where most of the business district’s skyscrapers are located, many of which line the famous F. Ortigas Jr. Road (formerly known as Emerald Avenue), including Orient Square, Wynsum Corporate Plaza, Taipan Place, and Jollibee Tower, among others. Other office buildings with the east side include The Benpres Building (including the Lopez Museum), One Corporate Centre, One San Miguel Avenue, Tektite Towers (formerly PSE Center), Union Bank Tower, and Exquadra Tower. This area is also home to many condo developments (The Sapphire Bloc, The Currency, Alexandra Condominium, Parc Royale, Pacific Place, Eton Emerald Lofts), several hotels (Marco Polo Ortigas, Linden Suites, Richmonde Hotel), and schools (most notably the University of Asia and the Pacific).

Ortigas Fringe

Similarly to the Makati CBD, development has spilled over areas surrounding Ortigas Center. Known as “Ortigas Fringe,” these areas include Greenfield District, a mixed-use estate at the corner of EDSA and Shaw Boulevard stretching towards Reliance and Sheridan Streets. A project of the Campos group’s Greenfield Development Corp., this 15-hectare estate is home to a several high-end condo projects, office towers, retail strips, and parks and open spaces. It also hosts a night market during weekends.

Further south is Pioneer Street, an area teeming with office towers and residential condos. The most prominent developments here are the Robinsons Cybergate towers, which are home to many BPO firms. This area is also home to condo projects, including Gateway Regency, One Gateway Place, Gateway Garden Heights from Robinsons Land; Pioneer Woodlands by Empire East; and Light Residences by SMDC.

Directly east of Ortigas Center is Capitol Commons, Ortigas Land’s 10-hectare mixed-use estate on the former Rizal Provincial Capitol grounds. Known for its high-end mall Estancia and parks and greeneries, Capital Commons is also home to high-end condo developments, namely, Royalton, Imperium, and the soon-to-be-completed Maven and Empress.


Being at the junction where three cities meet, Ortigas Center is highly accessible via different forms of public transportation. Two stations of the MRT-3 service this business district: Ortigas Station, which is close to SM Megamall, and Shaw Boulevard Station, which is directly connected to Shangri-La Plaza Mall.

Ortigas Center is also accessible from both Greenhills via Ortigas Avenue; from downtown Pasig and Cainta via Ortigas Avenue and Shaw Boulevard; and from Bonifacio Global City via the newly opened BGC–Ortigas Center Link bridge. Also in the pipeline is the Metro Manila Subway, which once completed will have to stations servicing the area (Ortigas and Shaw).

Ortigas Center Property Market

At a little over 2 million square meters as of the end of 2021, Ortigas Center is Metro Manila’s third largest office market after the Makati CBD and Bonifacio Global City, according to Colliers data. This is expected to grow to almost 2.5 million by the end of 2026, while in 2022 alone, approximately 144,000 square meters of office space is expected to be completed.

Ortigas Center is also one of only two office submarkets (along with Bonifacio Global City) where vacancy decreased in the third quarter of 2022, from 16.4% to 15.6%, while headline office rates in the business district improved slightly to PHP650–1,000 in Q3 2022 from PHP650–900 in Q2 2022. As of the third quarter of this year, the Ortigas area (both Ortigas Center and Fringe) captured 14% of all office transactions in Metro Manila.

Notable Office Buildings

Situated right at the corner of Doña Julia Vargas and ADB Avenues is The Podium West Tower, a 48-storey development by SM Keppel Land and the BDO Group. Sitting right atop The Podium Mall, this iconic tower is an Ortigas Center landmark and has been pre-certified with a LEED Gold Mark (Core & Shell) and awarded provisional Green Mark Gold Award by the Building and Construction Authority of Singapore.


The Podium West Tower (left) and BDO Corporate Center Ortigas.

Another notable Ortigas Center office development is Jollibee Tower, a joint venture project between DoubleDragon Properties Corp. and Jollibee Foods Corp. This Grade A building offers a gross leasable space of over 55,000 square meters and has secured LEED Gold pre-certification, in line with DoubleDragon’s core values in promoting sustainable developments through green technology.

Along Doña Julia Vargas Avenue is Ortigas Land’s IBP Tower, a 27-storey building that offers a typical floor plate of 1,254 square meters, which can be subdivided into smaller units making them suitable to a wide range of occupiers. Highly accessible from The Podium Mall and SM Megamall via an elevated walkway, this building is also highly accessible from Meralco Avenue and Shaw Boulevard.


IBP Tower

Situated in Ortigas Fringe is NEX 54, 17-storey, LEED Gold pre-certified building. Developed by the Nova Group, this building at the corner of EDSA and Boni Avenue (within walking distance of the Boni Avenue Station of MRT-3 and Robinsons Cybergate) has a typical floor plate of 1,787.03 square meters. With its strategic location, flexible unit cuts, and relatively lower rate than NEX 54 is ideal both for BPO and traditional occupiers.

Located within Capitol Commons is Estancia West Wing, another Ortigas Land office development. Offering plenty of F&B and retail options, not to mention accessibility to Shaw Boulevard and Meralco Avenue, this building offering three office floors is highly integrated with Estancia, a five-storey mall that boasts high-end shops, cinemas, and an anchor supermarket and department store.

Right across SM Megamall is St. Francis Square BPO, a seven-storey office building that offers plenty of F&B and retail options on its ground level. Highly accessible from SM Megamall and both the Shaw Boulevard and Ortigas Stations of MRT-3, this building – well-suited for BPO firms – offers a gross leasable area of 27,456 square meters and a typical floor plate of 4,577 square meters.

While Ortigas Center has long been eclipsed by Bonifacio Global City as Metro Manila’s second most important business district after Makati, the former is very much an attractive office submarket. Office occupiers, for instance, can take advantage of the relatively lower rates in Ortigas Center compared to Makati or Bonifacio Global City, especially these days when landlords are willing to give concessions to fill their buildings.

Ortigas Center also boasts a number of green and sustainable buildings, which is an important consideration for many companies to satisfy their ESG goals. Among those Ortigas Center buildings that have at least LEED Gold certification include the Podium West Tower, Exquadra Tower, Jollibee Tower, and Mega Tower, among others.

Finally, being at the geographical center of Metro Manila, Ortigas Center-based companies will find it easy to attract top talent, what with the different modes of public transportation that service the district. This will be bolstered further with the completion of the Metro Manila Subway (scheduled for partial opening in 2025), which will have two stations located at the eastern portion of Ortigas Center.

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