Bonifacio High Street

August 18, 2008

Philippine Star Interview with Marivic Añonuevo, Senior VP for the Corporate Business Group of Ayala Land, Inc.

Marivic Añonuevo, senior VP for the corporate business group of Ayala Land, Inc. Whoever thought you could mix business with pleasure, which are traditionally strange bedfellows? Well, at Bonifacio Global City, anything is possible.
Ayala Land, Inc. together with Evergreen Holdings, Inc. (Campos group) fully acquired Fort Bonifacio Development Corporation in 2003. The partners strengthened Bonifacio Global City’s financial stability with a sustainable vision of the future.

With Bonifacio High Street as their latest development venture, Ayala Land’s vision is to make it a dynamic, thoroughly modern district and community that will feature a mix of commercial, residential and retail areas. Since Fort Bonifacio is billed as the next business district, due to its central and strategic location, Bonifacio High Street is the area to watch out for.

Imagine a one-kilometer long mixed-use space occupied by retail stores and restaurants on the first floor with corporate offices on the second floor occupying the Main Boulevard Blocks. There is also efficient traffic management, ample parking spaces, dedicated bus lanes and pedestrian walkways in this prime space.
To further explain the office side of Bonifacio High Street, The Philippine Star recently interviewed Marivic Añonuevo, senior VP for the corporate business group of Ayala Land, Inc.

PHILIPPINE STAR: What makes Bonifacio Global City the ‘Home of Passionate Minds’?

AÑONUEVO: Bonifacio Global City was not going to be a city that is just about work. It would allow business people and other professionals to stretch their creative potential to the fullest extent.

Why did you decide to put offices in Bonifacio High Street?

Bonifacio Global City is the next big thing. It is strategically located because it remains connected to other business districts and is well situated between EDSA and C-5 with a lot of access points.

How was the office concept of Bonifacio High Street developed? Was it inspired by foreign corporate centers?

Bonifacio High Street was inspired by the Main Street, USA concept that celebrates a work and play environment. We also drew inspiration from Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica and The Grove in LA. For the office side, this is the only environment that encourages creativity and productivity amidst the greens. We weren’t planning to put just offices but a park as well for breathing space.

Since this is a very fresh concept, what makes you think this concept will work in the Philippines?

When you work, you also need to de-stress. This doesn’t apply only to Filipinos but to all human beings for this matter. It is such a refreshing idea to be working in this environment where you can de-stress once in a while and you can go back to your office feeling refreshed, recharged and renewed.

Bonifacio High Street

How did you choose the companies that would occupy the second floor of Bonifacio High Street’s blocks?

At first, we thought that the tenants would be small entrepreneurs or start up companies. Surprisingly, our own subsidiary (Community Innovations, Inc.) and even big corporations were attracted to this place. We did not implement specific zones for the offices but we do have a good mix of tenants from a venture capitalist to a distribution company and even an eye center.

How big are the offices? Is there a standard size?

The sizes of the offices start from around 70 square meters to about 800 square meters, which is one whole block.

How do you lease the offices? What is the percentage of offices that are leased out?

Actually, we lease the offices by units. Some tenants opted to combine units to get a bigger area. Some took the entire block. The offices of Bonifacio High Street are now 100 percent leased out.

If an office wants to re-design the place, what are the restrictions?
Anything inside is their call. They can’t tamper with the fixtures outside.

What are the restrictions in terms of signage?

As a matter of fact, we are very strict on signage. We have some limitations. If you get a sizable amount, let’s say the whole block, then you are allowed a signage outside. Otherwise, we just have outside directories so as to prevent clutter in the area.

How would you convince companies to relocate to Bonifacio Global City?

Well, the relative land value in Bonifacio Global City is lower making the rent a lot cheaper compared to Makati or other central business districts. There is also not much traffic within the development. BGC has been masterplanned to be pedestrian friendly. In fact, you could walk from Bonifacio High Street to Serendra or Market! Market!

There is Makati Eye Center, Super 8, Integrow (a pre-school), Steel Asia, Del Monte Philippines, Bayantrade and Community Innovations, Inc. to name a few.

In conclusion, given how Metro Manila lacks parks and walkways, Anonuevo proudly shares that Bonifacio High Street offers something different: It is a place where you could work and play, but still enjoy the greenery and the scenery. This is such a novel and refreshing idea for an urban area.

Source: Ayala Land Inc, Article Listing

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