Ayala gets Capitol lot

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Saturday, July 16, 2011

THE Negros Occidental Provincial Government has awarded to Ayala Land Inc. the 7.7-hectare prime property it owns in a negotiated bidding Friday.

Ayala Land Inc. said that they will infuse more than P6 billion of investments to the area, which will be transformed into Capitol Civic Center that would include condominiums, convention center, retail offices, hotel and the Capitol Park.

Ayala Land vice president Emmanuel Jalandoni said that they are very excited and that they hope to deliver the project for the people of Negros.


The company, he said, targets to build and operate and start something in two years.

"This is a historic event for the province and for Negrosanons as, based on Ayala's presentation, this will change the landscape of Bacolod and the province of Negros Occidental," Marañon said.

Ayala Land offered to acquire on freehold basis 36,583 square meters of land at P20,500 per square meter and, on leasehold basis, 40,481 square meters of land at P73 per square meter per month for 50 years.

Payment for the purchased property pegged at P750 million shall be made two years after the turn-over by the Provincial Government to Ayala.

The yearly payment for lease pegged at almost P3 million will be subject to 10 percent increase every five years, based on the negotiation Friday.

The Provincial Government had placed the floor price (appraised value) of the subject property at P19,500 per square meter.

SM Prime Holdings, which was the first to submit an “unsolicited intent” to purchase or lease the said property last month, did not submit its proposal Friday.

Marañon who also chairs the Provincial Government's Committee on Awards and Disposal of Properties, said, “SM Prime lost in the bidding by default.”

“For not being here, it means maybe, they (SM) are not interested. I cannot say that they have waived their right,” the governor said adding that the company is free to bring the matter to court if they want to as we are in a democratic country.

SM Prime filed Wednesday a petition for the issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO) to prevent Marañon and the Committee on Awards from entering into a negotiated lease and sale of the property.

A hearing was held Thursday morning at the Regional Trial Court branch 50 in Bacolod and the court released its decision Thursday afternoon, denying SM’s petition.

Judge Estefanio Libutan Jr. of the RTC branch 50 denied the TRO asked by SM Prime Holdings saying, “the court should not intervene in the bidding process of the Provincial Government for so long as it follows the legal process.”

Vincent Patrick Bayhon, lawyer of SM Prime Holdings, said Thursday that they maintain their position that they have won the July 7 bidding as their bid was the superior bid.

He pointed out that their bid on was higher at P18,888 per square meter than Ayala’s bid at P17,719.50 per square meter, during the July 7 bidding.

“If you follow the rules, the highest should be declared as the winner for the auction. We are entitled to be declared as the winning bidder,” Bayhon said.

Bayhon also argued that “there was no failure of bidding and the court will have to decide for that.”

Ayala Land was represented during the negotiation by its vice president Emmanuel Jalandoni, Architect Joel Luna, lawyer Dodjie Lagazo and its Negros branch head Therese Borromeo.

Lawyer Mary Ann Lamis of the Provincial Legal Office clarified that the terms and conditions of the contract between the Provincial Government and Ayala will be subject to the approval of the Commission on Audit and it will be submitted for approval to the Provincial Board.

After the presentation of Ayala of its financial and technical bid, Marañon and members of the committee held a close-door conference.

"After the committee had already made an evaluation as to the proposal of Ayala Land Inc., the committee decides to endorse for award the proposal of Ayala Land, Inc.," said Lucille Chavez-Pines, a member of the committee after the resumption of the negotiation.

Marañon then declared that the Capitol’s legal team and Ayala's lawyer will draft the contract and the Deed of Sale.

As for their proposed developments, Ayala Land is planning to invest P6 billion for the Capitol Civic Center—an integrated mixed-use civic and commercial district that will combine the center of government with commercial and residential uses, making it the growth center of Metro Bacolod and Negros Occidental, said one of its vice president, Architect Joel Luna, who made a project presentation Friday.

“The project will have a lifestyle center, encompassing retail, office and hotel, a multi-use convention and events venue, and a residential commercial zone,” Luna said.

An additional investment of P25 million will be earmarked for the development of the Capitol Park and Lagoon as part of the transformation of the Capitol district will also be included, he said.

“This will be the biggest investment in the province so far. It will definitely change the landscape (of the province). It must conform to the culture and aesthetic beauty of the Negrosanon,” Marañon said.

As stated in its technical proposal, the key principles that will govern the planning and development of the Capitol Civic Center will revolve around five major themes: Smart and Green, Pedestrian and Transit Orientation, Diversity of Activity, Youth and Vibrancy, and Prestige and Civic Pride.

The governor said that the winning bidder will be determined on which company can make the better offer for both the technical and financial criteria of the bid.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on July 16, 2011.

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