Philippines Makeover

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      Monday, December 18, 2006

      :: quirino walkable district: opportunity sites

      (Cross posted on Another Hundred Years Hence.)

      Next on our urban sketch project, let's look at the opportunities for redevelopment in our proposed walkable district. (You can catch up with parts 1 and 2 of this series.)

      Focusing on the middle path -right down Quirino Avenue -we find more than 8.5 hectares right along the corridor that would be ripe for redevelopment. (Click on the picture for a larger image outlining the sites, check out the opportunity sites on Google Maps or download kml file (2.1kb).)

      Also, just to give you context about the opportunity available, here are scale comparisons of the site vs. Glorietta and vs. Megamall (thumbnails after the jump).

      The eleven opportunity sites are a combination of national and local government owned land and underutilized, privately owned lots. The redevelopment of the area then requires government incentives and public-private partnerships.

      The largest chunks, thankfully, are in government control. The properties are also located at very strategic portions of the path. They include the two Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) lots, the Leveriza (Manila) Children's Park and a segment of the Manila Zoo.

      The two BPI lots make up about 3.3 hectares. If zoned for an FAR* of 2.5, the lots could deliver as much 890,000 sq.ft. (82,500+ sqm.) of development to the market. The lots are ideal for transit oriented development (mixed-use, with retail on the ground floor, office spaces and three to five residential towers) - taking strategic advantage of the Quirino LRT station -and catering to Makati workers, with the CBD just 7 stops (4 on LRT-1 and 3 on the MRT) and one transfer away. The residential component (condo and apartments) could also service the housing demand from students from DLSU and the other schools nearby.

      The national government (BPI is under the Department of Agriculture) would do better to relocate the Bureau to where it could better serve its agricultural clientele -or where it could be closer to other agri research centers (like Los Banos). They could also require exactions from the sale, say by requiring that a percentage of the residential units be set aside for subsidized housing for public school teachers.

      Meanwhile, the Manila Zoo could raise much needed funds by leasing off part of its property along Quirino. They could give up about 100 feet deep of the zoo's layout and bring about 12,000 square meters to market. (This project might already by under contemplation by the Friends of Manila Zoo Foundation, as I found a 1997 EMB circular (pdf) listing an ECC for a Manila Zoo Redevelopment Project under a company called "Zoo Village Redevelopment Corp.") This would allow the zoo to raise funds and they can also elevate the zoo's civic presence by requiring the leasee to build a structural entrance to the zoo. (Which would be way better than just the current metal sign.) The lease can also provide structured parking for the zoo.

      The zoo's location at the bend of Quirino makes it ripe for a more visible structural entrance that would serve as a terminating vista, calling strollers from the corner of Qurino and Taft to walk down to the bend and the zoo entrance. The new entrance would neatly bisect our proposed pedestrian path -and serve as a waypoint from the LRT station to the bay and the baywalk.

      Manila City could also raise funds and improve the services of the children's park by leasing off the property but requiring the lessee to set off the majority of the lot for a much improved children's park. The lessee can also be required to maintain the park freeing the city of the maintenance costs.

      Likewise, Ospital ng Maynila could raise operational funds by leasing off its Quirino edge and its parking lot fronting the bay. They could require the lessee to provide structured parking for the hospital.

      The rest of the opportunity sites are probably privately held properties and include a large empty lot (since the Google Earth image is at least a year old, the propery may not be vacant anymore), a motel, a possible defunct water storage facility and two large underutilized properties that currently house a gas station and some nominal office spaces.

      The city government could provide incentives for redevelopment of these particular properties.

      Here's a rundown of the sites.

      Site
      est. area (m2)
      1. Bureau of Plant Industry 20,000
      2. Bureau of Plant Industry 2 13,000
      3. Empty lot 2,800
      4. Manila Children's Park 12,500
      5. Manila Zoo Edge 12,000
      6. Motel 4,600
      7. Ospital ng Maynila Edge 2,750
      8. Ospital ng Maynila Parking Lot 3,800
      9. Underutilized property 1 6,500
      10. Underutilized property 2 4,800
      11. Water storage facility (?) 2,100









      Images on the left: the area compared to Glorietta (top) and Megamall (bottom). Click for larger versions.

      What's missing:

      If this were a full urban planning study, we would do well if we had:
      1. the zoning map for the area
      2. a property list along with a cadastral or tax assesment map
      3. current pictures of the existing buildings on the sites
      Next up: Streetscape and a massing and volume study.

      *Floor Area Ratio (also called Floor Space Index) = (Total covered area on all floors of all buildings on a certain plot) / (Area of the plot)

      5 Comments:

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