Roaming McKinley Hill, Part 1 (The commerce and residences)

This entry here at the Urban Roamer is something “personal” you might say as this is about a particular place that has grown close to me over the years. For 5 1/2 years, this was the environment where I worked and as such, I’ve witnessed the many changes that have come about this area. So as I will be moving on to a new environment, figuratively and literally, I figured I would devote some space here to write about this area called McKinley Hill.

Named after the old name of Fort Bonifacio which was Fort McKinley, (which in turn was named after US President William McKinley, under whose administration the Philippines became an American colony) McKinley Hill was a township developed by property developer Megaworld since 2004, on the heels of its achievement of developing its first township, Eastwood City in Quezon City.

The location of McKinley Hill is itself quite interesting, situated right between the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial and the Philippine Army Headquarters, but you can at least be assured the area will be well defended in case of unexpected situations. Like perhaps an earthquake caused by the faultline which lies just a few meters east of McKinley Hill. Coincidentally, Eastwood City is also meters away from a faultline so one can perhaps suppose that Megaworld has a thing for building their townships near faultlines.

Another thing to note is that McKinley Hill is close to the area of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Thus, it is a common sight to see airplanes flying by the area and you can get to view them a bit more up close. The proximity to the airport also factors in the height of the structures, which is why the towers there are a bit short compared to the other towers located elsewhere in the metropolis.

McKinley Hill was mainly conceived with a European theme in mind. Italy seems to be the main source of this European inspiration with names of the residences like Tuscany, Florence, and the township’s commercial center and crown jewel, the Venice area which includes The Piazza and the soon-to-be-completed Grand Canal Mall.

Venice Piazza

the Venice Grand Canal Mall under construction at this time of writing

Built in the style typical of Southern European architecture, the Venice Piazza features a fountain and a central courtyard that serves as the township’s center of activity such as concerts and other events. In not so busy days, it is a favorite hangout for pigeons that you can feed at certain times. In addition, the Piazza is home to various restaurants and other establishments, complete with al fresco dining facing the courtyard. With the completion of the Grand Canal Mall which will be connected to the Piazza, you can expect to feel more of this European vibe, especially with the presence of a replica Grand Canal to be built around the mall.

Speaking of restaurants, Tuscany is becoming McKinley Hill’s rising food strip with the presence of various restaurants and establishments offering a great variety of dishes from cakes to coffee to wine to pizza among others. There is a great variety as well with regards to international cuisine as one can see Thai, Korean, Italian, and German restaurants along the strip.

Apart from the aforementioned Italian-inspired residences, there are other residences Megaworld built in the area, like the just-completed Stamford Residences and Morgan Suites, as well as the under-construction Viceroy. There are also some unique residential components in the township like the Woodridge Residences which is a residential dormitory serving mainly those who study and work in McKinley Hill. (we’ll get to that soon) Another is the McKinley Hill Village which has a mix of residential buildings and single dwellings and is one of the more upscale residential villages in the greater Fort Bonifacio area.

Morgan Suites and Stamford Residences

The Florence on the left and The Viceroy in the background (taken June 2015)

Venetian Residences and the Venice Grand Canal Mall (taken June 2015)

McKinley Hill Village

McKinley Hill Village

Woodridge Residences

To be continued

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