Iloilo City with its charming Iloilo River and rising new Central Business District in Mandurriao is teeming with great potentials in terms of real estate developments, globally renowned urban planners affirmed.

“To be honest, your river was such a pleasant surprise. We didn’t expect it was going to be that beautiful, we like that it has character. In some parts the vegetation along the river even gives you that Amazon vibe! Yes, nag banca talaga kami (we rode a banca) and went around it just to study!”

This was the assessment of Makati-based T. I. Vasquez Architects & Planners Inc. (TVA&P), designer of the ambitious Manhattan-like 15-hectare Gaisano Iloilo Center project in West Diversion Road, Brgy. San Rafael, Mandurriao.

The project’s perspective posted on Facebook shows several boat docking stations as the proposed development sits on the riverbank.  Photo credits: Iloilo City Center FB page

“To our enthusiastic supporters from Iloilo eagerly waiting and asking for the final master plan of Iloilo City Center, your overwhelming love to your city has been a powerful force to your incoming architect that we were determined to offer you something fresh, something others don’t have, something you can say to the Philippines – only in Iloilo,” TVA&P said on its FB page.

“It’s nothing like anything we have proposed before and we are confident to get 100 times more of your support. The design went through a series of overhauls and although we cannot release any updates just yet, as soon as we can, we guarantee it’ll make noise and more importantly, we guarantee your smile!” TVA&P stressed.

Mayor Jed Patrick E. Mabilog said the big project is a welcome development and a clear manifestation of investors’ confidence on the positive business climate in the metropolis.

He added the private investment would generate more employment opportunities for the Ilonggos and create multiplier effects boosting the city’s economy.

With a centerpiece of a 40-storey skyscraper, the masterpiece is envisioned as a mixed-use development of commercial, residential units and offices by mall chain Gaisano Capital and its property developer arm GoldPeach Properties.

“We are honored to be given an opportunity to develop this promising city. Hopefully (we could start) next year, if not last quarter of this year,” said TVA&P.

It will be closely similar to Metro Manila’s Eastwood, Rockwell, Greenbelt or Filinvest Alabang. “Ample open spaces, outdoor dining (facilities and amenities) and tree-lined streets are of top priority.”

The hotel tower is projected to be around 40-storey. “The builds are only to show building yield, these are not final design. Still in the oven so to speak, but investors interested to buy lots are already in the table,” TVA&P said on its FB page, referring to the perspective.

“Rest assured that we did our homework and consultants have already studied the site. Technically speaking, the initial number of floors for the hotel tower plays along 30-40 storey, nothing final yet,” it explained.

The skyscraper will rise on old fishponds site near Dungon creek.

“There are modern construction methodologies we can apply in such soil conditions which are being applied all over the world including places like Manhattan, Singapore reclaimed areas, even our very own Roxas Boulevard,” TVA&P clarified.

Traffic-free and flood-free urban planning is being seen to transform the city’s business and economic landscape.

“Problems of traffic and flooding in our cities nationwide are a result of lack of proper urban planning in our country, we are only among many of talented Filipino architects and engineers who are trying to correct mistakes of the past in order for our cities to be self-sustaining,” TVA&P assured.

“Let’s not be disheartened by old mistakes and dwarf the potential of Iloilo City. Instead, we should use it as case studies to come up with better proposal,” the firm suggested.

“In fact we are pleased to see public’s concern for better architecture in our country. Everyone needs to cooperate and participate to make the built environments of the Philippines as beautiful as its subliminal coastline,” TVA&P exclaimed.

“Your warm support energizes our talented team! Looking forward to visit Iloilo more frequently as the project progress!” the company expects to work closely with the Ilonggos.

“We are just as excited as you are! Thank you everyone for your support and sweet welcome with love to Iloilo City!” TVA&P told the excited Ilonggos who are abuzz with the latest giant development in the city.

An architectural design partnership, TVA&P is composed of new generation architects with the common goal of promoting world-class design concepts and technological innovations in a rapidly developing country.

It maintains close affiliation with foreign groups MWM ARCHITECTS of Oakland, California USA; Consulting Engineering Group, Doha, Qatar; and Cairo, Egypt and Architect Yoshihide Tamura of Osaka, Japan.