Megaworld to help boost Cebu’s tourism; to add 2,000 hotel rooms in Mactan
Real estate giant to also build an iconic lifestyle mall linked to historic Mactan Shrine
LAPU LAPU CITY, Cebu, May 8, 2014 – Property giant Megaworld, the country’s pioneer in township developments, is committed to help Cebu’s tourism industry, specifically in Mactan Island, with the expansion of its 28.8-hectare The Mactan Newtown in Lapu Lapu City.
The company is spending P8-billion to build and develop five luxury hotels in the township, which will provide an additional 2,000 hotel rooms in Mactan Island. The first two high-rise hotels – Mactan Belmont Luxury Hotel and the Savoy Hotel Mactan Newtown – will rise along Newtown Boulevard of the township within five years. Also soon to rise will be two beachfront hotels in the area which was formerly Portofino Beach Resort that boasts relaxing views of the Hilutungan Channel and Olango Island, known for its bird sanctuaries and mangrove forests. Another luxury hotel of international brand is also expected to rise in the township.
“With the influx of more tourists to Mactan Island year after year, we hope to be able to offer more exciting facilities that will help further boost tourism in the region. Aside from local tourists, we hope to cater to foreign guests and visitors to The Mactan Newtown as well,” says Carmen Fernando, managing director, Prestige Hotels and Resorts, Inc., the operator of Mactan Belmont Luxury Hotel and Savoy Hotel Mactan Newtown.
Megaworld is also constructing a three-level lifestyle mall, Plaza Magellan, which is poised to become a major landmark of The Mactan Newtown. The mall will have an iconic entrance plaza facing the famous Lapu Lapu Shrine, the site where the historic Battle of Mactan between Lapu Lapu and Ferdinand Magellan happened on April 27, 1521.
The plaza’s main feature will be a life-sized Spanish Galleon Victoria, a replica of the first vessel that circumnavigated the globe used by Magellan and his men, and the Spanish Steps which will lead visitors to the mall’s main entrance.
Plaza Magellan will also feature a museum which will be dedicated to the life and expeditions of Magellan.
The mall’s design will be inspired by the hilltop towns of Portugal and Spain, both homelands of Ferdinand Magellan. The architecture will feature courtyards and arcaded walkways, ornately framed doors and windows as well as cupolas and towers.
“Plaza Magellan will be an iconic landmark not just for The Mactan Newtown, but also for the entire Central Visayas region, and the Philippines as a whole. We are already coordinating with the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) on how we can integrate this landmark to Mactan Shrine. We are also committed to help the government in the rehabilitation and improvement of the historic national shrine,” says Noli D. Hernandez, president, Megaworld Cebu Properties, Inc.
Aside from the mall and the hotels, the company is also building the Hawkers’ Gazebo, a covered food strip similar to the famous hawkers of Singapore. This will be strategically located near the main entrance of the township.
Data from the Department of Tourism revealed that in 2013, Mactan Island lured in almost 900,000 tourists into its warm embrace and cerulean blue waters. Of the 900,000 tourists, 75 percent flew from 63 different countries across the globe.
“We envision The Mactan Newtown as a major tourism hub of Cebu. The township is designed to be tourist-friendly, and our various offerings will also cater to the needs of the visitors of the island,” adds Hernandez.
Megaworld is allocating P30-billion to develop The Mactan Newtown in the next five to seven years.
Currently on the residential side, The Mactan Newtown has 10 luxury condominium towers in the pipeline: four towers for 8 Newtown Boulevard which is expected to be completed by first half of 2015; three towers for One Pacific Residence; and three towers for One Manchester Place. All residential towers offer pre-furnished units with magnificent views of the Hilutungan Channel on the east and the historic Magellan Bay on the north.
On the office side, Megaworld already has two office towers and will be adding at least five more office towers in the township by 2020, offering around 150,000 square meters of office spaces that can accommodate an estimated 45,000 workers in the information technology-business process outsourcing (IT-BPO) sector.
By 2016, Megaworld is also opening the Newtown School of Excellence, a state-of-the-art educational institution that will be supervised by the Lasallian Schools Supervision Office (LASSO).