Coming soon: Ikea in Mall of Asia, tallest tower on Ayala
The guessing game is over. Swedish furniture giant Ikea is opening its first Philippine store beside the Mall of Asia, this we have on good authority.
The Ikea store will have its own standalone warehouselike footprint on what is now an open carpark between the SMX convention center and the arena.
According to the horse’s mouth, Ikea has struck a longterm lease agreement with the SM Group, with a second store to be opened beside SM Fairview to serve Quezon City and the northern bedroom communities.
In addition to Ikea, the SM Group will also open a new campus of their school subsidiary, National University, on the two top floors of the carpark buildings across the MOA Arena.
Completing the trifecta of major projects for MOA this year is a specialist medical facility that will be operated by a Singaporean hospital group whose identity is being withheld pending formal simultaneous announcements.
Over in Makati, the joint venture of the SM and the Metrobank groups would build a luxury condominium on the last remaining vacant lot along Ayala Avenue, promising to dwarf the competition not only in size, but also in price.
According to the grapevine, units at The Estate, as the planned condo is called, will be offered at an eye-watering P400,000 per square meter, compared to the P300,000/ sqm average price when Ayala Land launched the Park Central Towers a couple of years ago.
And at 270 square meters, The Estate will also tower above its next-door neighbor, Discovery Primea, which stands at 250 sqm.
The Estate – chosen because of its phonetic reference to the principals Sy and Ty – will actually be the tallest along the country’s Wall Street, eclipsing even the country’s record-holder, the 259-meter tall PBCom.
Heard through the grapevine
What a difference three decades make. After denouncing the profligacy of the Marcoses during the pre-Edsa 1 days, Cory Aquino speechwriter and now Ambassador to the United Nations Teodoro Locsin Jr. finds not only himself, but also his extended family enjoying the Marcos lifestyle in fabulous New York.
Locsin has invited his brother Henry for a month-long holiday in the US and to stay with him at the so-called Imelda townhouse, now Locsin’s official residence, in the uppercrust Upper East Side.
The planned June trip is all but a go, save for a minor hitch: the brother, who is facing government corruptionrelated case, needs a Sandiganbayan permission to travel.