Roamer's Roundup,  Taguig

Fort Bonifacio Developments: Monorail at the North and Senate at the South

Fort Bonifacio has been in the news as of late, thanks to two major developments that are being planned on both ends of the former military complex. On this edition of the Roundup, we shall take a closer look at both of these projects and what they entail for the future development of the area.

But before we go further, there is one important thing that must be said about where these projects are to be located: they are NOT located within Bonifacio Global City. The thing is, Bonifiacio Global City is just part of the greater Fort Bonifacio area which extends from Kalayaan Avenue all the way up to near the South Luzon Expressway. More on that in a bit.

The Guadalupe-Fort Bonifacio Monorail

The idea of a monorail connecting Makati’s Guadalupe to the bustling Fort Bonifacio business district was an idea originally floated by Megaworld’s Andrew Tan through his company Infracorp. To be specific and in a more “corporate” sense, the idea was to connect Guadalupe with Megaworld’s development in the area Uptown Bonifacio. While it is technically located within Bonifacio Global City, Uptown Bonifacio is a separate township development in itself, insulated in a way from the rest of the BGC.

 Image via SkyscraperCity

When completed, it will provide a direct link from north Fort Bonifacio to the current Line 3 station in Guadalupe, providing a more comfortable commuting option to the many who work in the Fort area. The catch is though, the whole stretch of this monorail is only 2 kilometers. Not really that much in terms of distance though from what I read, Megaworld is willing to extend it. For one, the Ayalas expressed interest in having the monorail be extended up to the Makati CBD area. Though personally, and to better serve Megaworld’s interests as well (hehe), the Urban Roamer would love to see the monorail extended to serve Megaworld’s other properties in the Fort Bonifacio area, particularly McKinley Hill and McKinley West. Lord knows how public transport in those areas is dismal and a monorail will be a big help.

Another thing to note is that the monorail is an entirely private sector project, with the government not spending anything for it. Which may explain why the Department of Transportation was quick to endorse the project and is now at the National Economic and Development Authority’s Investment Coordination Committee for review and approval. Here’s hoping for the best for this project. And I hope Infracorp takes the Urban Roamer’s proposal for a McKinley extension.

The “Bagong Senado” at Fort Bonifacio

First things first, the Senate of the Philippines is actually thinking of moving from its current home at the GSIS complex. Apparently, the Senate is paying rent to GSIS and it wants to save money by having its own space. Ideally, the Senate can just move at the Batasang Pambansa complex in Quezon City so we can have both legislative houses in one building again, you know…THE WAY IT’S SUPPOSED TO BE. But no, the Senate has to ride its high pompous ass and want space for itself.

Ultimately, the Senate chose Fort Bonifacio as to be the site of its new home. And the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA), the government agency tasked to spur development in old military properties to benefit the Armed Forces of the Philippines, offered in particular a parcel of property in what is/was the Navy Village, which is set to become part of the next phase of the Fort Bonifacio redevelopment called Fort Bonifacio South (so no, it is NOT part of BGC unlike what some reports claim).

Courtesy of SkyscraperCity

The Senate then put out a design competition as to what “Bagong Senado” would look like, which was eventually won by the US-based architectural firm AECOM which submitted a unique design which you can check out below.

The new Senate building is set to be completed by 2021. Let’s hope that it will turn out as iconic as the renders make it appear to be.

P.S. The Supreme Court at McKinley Hill

The Senate is not actually the first major government institution that is set to move to Fort Bonifacio. Three years ago, the Supreme Court has already made its intent to move to the area, specifically at the Megaworld-developed McKinley Hill. And again, the media made the same mistake of saying it is BGC. Sigh…

The new Supreme Court building will be designed by Mañosa and Company, the architectural firm of renowned Filipino architect Francisco Mañosa after winning the design competition held last year. You can check out its presentation below to have an idea what it will look like.

The building is expected to be completed by 2020.



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