It might take them from several years to a decade, but Megaworld, the country’s largest developer of integrated urban townships, is determined to help decongest Manila with the opening of Capital Town in San Fernando City, its first development in the north.
The 35.6-ha property used to be the historic sugar central of the Pampanga Sugar Development Company (Pasudeco).
“The plan is to have a good mix of office and commercial properties so we can provide jobs and help decongest Manila,” said Eugene Em Lozano, first vice president for sales and marketing, Megaworld Pampanga.
But what should make the country sit up and study closely the Capital Town development is its move to build a Shophouse District. There will be shophouse lots where entrepreneurs can build and grow their businesses. This answers the Pampangueño’s almost innate entrepreneurial ability.
Capital Town, strategically located near the Pampanga Provincial Capitol, will also be home to residential towers, civic and institutional facilities such as an amphitheater and events trade hall, mall and retail hubs, and a hotel.
The shophouse district will highlight the neoclassical architecture with Art Deco details, reflective of Pampanga’s historic rows of heritage houses.
“What we are building in Pampanga is a unique township concept that will truly bring out the best of Kapampangan culture, tradition and history. In 10 years, Pampanga will see a CBD that is not only a showcase of emerging businesses and entrepreneurial ventures, but also a center for local arts and culture,” Lozano said.
San Fernando City mayor Edwin D. Santiago is upbeat about Megaworld’s first integrated urban township in the north, just 35 minutes away from the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) and 30 minutes away from Clark International Airport.
“Capital Town will give a synergetic contribution to the growth of the city,” Santiago said. “Not only will it enhance the developments we are aiming for, it will also build opportunities for Fernandinos and nearby localities in terms of economic activities and human capital development that will generate entrepreneurial prospects and more jobs.”
Last year, Megaworld announced it was allocating P30 billion to build Capital Town in the next 10 years. Once completed, it is expected to generate around 250,000 direct and indirect jobs in the BPO, transport, retail, food and construction sectors.
Land development is set to begin this year. Twenty-five percent of the entire township will be devoted to green and open spaces—landscaped gardens, water features, and leisure trails. It will also have functional road networks. The main township road, to be called San Fernando Boulevard, will be 30 meters wide (or equivalent to six lanes) traversing from Capitol Boulevard to Jose Abad Santos Avenue (Olongapo-Gapan Road).
“We are anticipating this to be a busy township so, as early as now, we are putting in place infrastructure fit for a CBD,” Megaworld’s Lozano said. “However, we are also putting up small parks and pocket gardens around the development where people can take a break, relax and enjoy the views of the township.”
One of the highlights of the township is a mall inspired by the historic Pasudeco. Significant artifacts of the old sugar central will be housed in a heritage museum, to be integrated in the proposed mall development. Monuments of famous Kapampangangan personalities, particularly those who established Pasudeco, will be erected in various parts of the township.
The six-hectare Shophouse District will be the crown jewel of Capital Town. The post-colonial architecture of the three-level shophouses will highlight Old World charm.
The development of Capital Town fulfills the city’s vision to become the center of Kapampangan culture and to be a preferred tourism destination in Asia by 2020.
“We will be selling lots to those who want to build their businesses, and at the same time, live there. The first and second levels can be dedicated to the business, while the third level can be used as their residence. This is a unique offering that we will introduce in Capital Town to help local entrepreneurs and businesses,” Lozano said.
Shophouse lot sizes range from 276 to 680 square meters. Some lots include al fresco areas for cafes or restaurants.
“We want the City of San Fernando not just to be a destination hub for day tours or passing tourists, but as a livable city, a place they can live, work and play,” said Santiago.