PANGILINAN-LED Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC), Cebu Cordova Link Expressway Corp. (CCLEC) and MPT Mobility commenced on Friday, Dec. 1, 2023, the construction of a new dining destination along Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEX).
Dubbed CCLEX Drive & Dine, this 5,580 square-meter toll service facility will have three levels of upscale dining spaces that will feature around 20 food outlets for Phase 1.
MPTC is investing P300 million for this latest investment in Cebu.
CCLEX Drive & Dine broke ground at the Motorists Assistance Area near the CCLEX Toll Plaza on Friday.
“We are very excited about this new additional development in CCLEX. The mission has always been to create a better travel experience for motorists and travelers in Cebu, and CCLEX Drive & Dine is the next big step to improving it further,” said Allan Alfon, CCLEC’s president and general manager and MPT Mobility regional head.
Renie Ticzon, MPT Mobility division head for motorway commercial facilities, said construction of this new project will run from six to eight months and will be operational before the end of 2024.
Poised to contribute
Ticzon said this project is poised to contribute to Cebu’s already thriving dining scene, boost traffic on the bridge, and at the same time generate more jobs for the locals.
“This will become a new destination in Cebu,” he said.
CCLEX Drive & Dine is set to follow the footsteps of NLEX Drive & Dine, a commercial dining and retail facility located along the North Luzon Expressway, whose tenants have grown from 15 to 52 and a vehicle volume of 16,000 a day.
“This inspires us to bring this concept to Cebu...With the bridge as an iconic structure, the Drive & Dine CCLEX will further enhance that bridge. It will continue to provide service and a destination for travelers to stop by and the surrounding communities to visit,” he said.
CCLEX’s Drive & Dine is designed to emulate the ambiance of a cruise ship, providing diners with the sensation of being on board, all against the picturesque backdrop of the Mactan Channel.
“When you go on a cruise ship you are going on a holiday. It is a vacation and vacation equals fun. That’s what everybody will experience,” said Ticzon, adding that this is the kind of atmosphere they want to show in the facility.
Tenant mix at CCLEX Drive & Dine will be carefully curated to suit local tastes and highlight what makes Cebu distinct.
Ticzon announced Jollibee, Golden Cowrie, Dunkin Donuts, Yellow Cab and Mary Grace as among the potential locators in the facility.
Cordova Mayor Cesar Suan welcomed the new development and assured the group of his administration’s full support.
Suan, however, raised the accessibility concern of the upcoming facility, especially for the residents of Cordova, who will have to traverse the long stretch of CCLEX and the South Road Properties roads of Cebu and Talisay cities when they head back to Cordova town.
Suan stressed that his concern isn’t about paying the toll fees, set at P90 (for one way), but rather the extended travel time and potential traffic congestion individuals might face when returning to Cordova after dining at the Drive & Dine.
He said this was also the same concern that tenants of the previous food park raised in one of their meetings.
Alfon said CCLEC will look into the matter and will do something to address the access concern.
Early this year, CCLEC opened CCLEX Tropical Food Park which housed more than 40 different establishments. The temporary food park ran for about six months.
Since its inauguration last year, CCLEX has seen a stream of almost seven million vehicles using the 8.9-kilometer expressway.
“By now, we are confident that we’re hitting almost double our initial volume last year. We are now hitting almost 20,000 vehicles a day. This is good news for us and our potential investors,” he said.
CCLEX, one of the large infrastructure projects in the country, is a joint venture agreement with the City of Cebu and the Municipality of Cordova.