A Development on Development

Ok.  Its been a while.  Over six months I think.  A lot can happen around here in six months, construction-wise at least.  Sim City (or Fort Bonifacio as it is officially known) continues to fly up in front of our eyes.  I’ve never been able to get a number of given construction projects going up at any one time, but its a lot and there appears to be no end in site.  No end, that is, until you count the end of our residency here, which now has a concrete finish.( If you pardon the pun.)  We now tend to separate buildings into those that we expect to see completed and those that we don’t.  Regardless, the city has changed enormously since we arrived in December 2010, and will continue to do up to and after we leave.  I’m sure we wouldn’t even recognize a good deal of it if we came back to visit 5 years on.

Probably the most collosal under development right now is the SM Aura building that started construction a couple of months ago.  Here is what is envisaged:

(Don’t be deceived by the green park-like surroundings.  I wish.  This is strictly artistic licence.  There’s plenty of existing concrete now and more surrounding development planned that certainly doesn’t involve park creation.)

As of today, here is the explosion in a cement factory that’s going on right now.  This photo only takes in the front short side.  The building stretches an entire block. I think it would be good to do a blog revisit of this one before we leave, by which point it could be high enough to see from behind the buildings that are currently obstructing my view:

Sept 2012

Developments continue to be a mix of residential, commercial and retail.  A lot of new buildings are a mix of all three.  Back in March 2012, the restaurant end to High Street hadn’t opened yet and we were still just looking at the construction sidings:

Now the siding is down and a restaurant centre with trees and graduated amphitheater seating has sprung up with more trees than you can see anywhere else in the city.  A central water feature sprays up in the middle courtyard after dark, keeping the kids busy while the parents dine.  One of the best changes I think. 1 year ago it was just a field.

One more…  March 2012:


Same area Sept 2012. (Pic taken from last block of non-developed/developing land in the area)

Lastly, for consistency, here is the view from my kitchen window in March, and now again in Sept 2012.  Not so much difference at first glance, after all with 75% of the view blocked, most of the action is going on behind.  But if you play “spot the difference” with some of the taller buildings at the back, you can see a different skyline from just six months ago.

March 2012

..and now in further Development News….

As you may well have come to realise, living here is much like living in a real life Sim City game.  With buildings and roads being added and the city changing form almost literally on a daily basis.  If I don’t wander down a certain street for a while, a patch of grass has gone and a building or cark park is going up.

The original shopping street here – High Street – built when there was nothing else but wasteland, is now surrounded by building.  Phase 3 of High Street is nearing completion with tantalizing heads of newly-planted palm trees poking over the construction fence.  Promises of “Blankets of Green”  don’t ring really true.  You mean a pedestrian path with trees in front of shops, right?  But…I’ll take it!  Bring on the trees..all six of them! ;o)  I’m looking forward to another stretch of pedestrian area to avoid traffic and hopefully there might be a nearer supermarket in there too….  More pics when it opens.

Construction Update

For everyone dying to know the growth rate on that giant building across the street….an update….

We have gone from this in December…

To the last update in February….

To this in September…..

and according to their publicly posted plans they have another 7 floors to go…. Goodbye view of the mountains…goodbye 50% of my view altogether!  Note how there’s another building sneaking in on the right hand side which is working away at removing 25% of the remaining view.  That’s going to be a tall one too – a bank I think.  Every day and every night the building goes on and on and on…….

First Glimpses of the City

Its Christmas Eve and we went out for a walk in around Fort Bonafacio, our area of Manila.  Then came back and had a swim in the pool.  Its cool (for Manila) – only about 75 degrees today I would guess, but still pretty humid.  Lots of smog too.  Here are some first pics from our apartment windows.  I tried to take a few long and closer shots to give a sense of perspective.  The fuzziness you see are a mixture of the smog, photographing through tinted windows and the reflection of the glass…so sorry for the quality…but it should give you some idea:

Here’s a long shot of the living room from the dining room.  Everything is sparsely furnished until our stuff gets here:

A little closer.  Note the floor to ceiling glass windows:

Sitting on the sofa and looking out, the golf course takes up a lot of the closer view.  The large very attractive pool is down below on the left.  To the right, the towers of the financial district (Makati).   You can also see the sea in the far middle horizon, but the camera can’t pick up that detail:

Crisper pictures to be had out of my kitchen window, as I am not battling the sun on the glass so much.  (Panoramic views all round from every room):