It feels like it was yesterday when I wrote about 2 years ago about the old Magnoila Ice Cream House at the corner of Aurora Boulevard and Doña Hemady Street that was being demolished at that time to make way for a residential-commercial development.
Fast-forward to today as residential-commercial property developer Robinsons Land Corp. unveiled the first phase of its planned development for the old Magnolia property, a 4-level, 108,000 sq. meter shopping mall dubbed as Robinsons Magnolia.
Opened last August 12 of this year, it was built and designed in the same style philosophy of sorts as with Robinsons’ recently-opened and renovated properties. What makes it different though is the presence of an al fresco area and an outdoor plaza, the first Robinsons mall to offer such features if I’m not mistaken.
Another interesting aspect of the mall is its focus on striving to be a landmark of being remembered, hoping perhaps to be invoked in the same vein as its predecessor the Magnolia Ice Cream Parlor. Indeed, it is evident when you see its tagline “Make New Memories.” Of course, it helps make things more memorable to have included along with the tagline a photo of the sexy singer-actress Solenn Heussaff who happens to be image model for Robinsons malls.
Whether Robinsons Magnolia succeeds or not, it has earned the respect of a number of people, myself included, for its respect to the legacy of the place it was before. Nothing can be more symbolic in this case than the presence of a Magnolia Ice Cream House in the mall’s plaza, albeit smaller in scale. While I have nothing against Nestle, admittedly it does not evoke the same level of nostalgia, even during the time it used the property after taking over from Magnolia. I’m glad that we see the Magnolia brand again making its presence felt more since its return to the market, thus enhancing the nostalgia even further.
As mentioned earlier, the mall is just the first phase of the development of the old Magnolia property as the residential component of the area is being constructed at the moment, to be known as the Magnolia Residences. From what I’ve gathered, it will be a four-tower condominium complex, with the plaza as the centerpiece serving as a link between the commercial and residential areas. It is expected that the condo, or at least one of the towers, would be completed by 2014. It will be interesting to see how the place will be once all the components are put into place and how much it will change the landscape of the mostly residential neighborhood of Old Manila.
© The Urban Roamer