by Philip Cu Unjieng
For many Metro Manila residents born before 1985, there’ll be stashed in their memory banks a sliver of recollection that nestled between Bel-Air/ Poblacion and the Pasig River, there used to stand a MERALCO power substation. This is the 15.5-hectare parcel of land that Rockwell Land started developing in 1995, from which rose the first residential towers of Rizal Tower, Hidalgo Place, Luna Gardens, and Amorsolo Square – and the Power Plant Mall opening its doors in 2000. It evolved to be a community unlike any other – one that many would try to emulate or use as their peg/ blueprint, but never quite duplicate.
It’s easy to view Rockwell Center now, and consider it a supreme achievement in localized urban planning, but that discounts the vision of the Lopez family, led by Ambassador Manolo Lopez and Rockwell Land’s President & CEO Nestor “Tong” Padilla, in turning this parcel of land to a virtual oasis of elevated urban living within Makati – one that continues to grow, develop, and flourish for over a quarter of a century now.
While some developers would create standalone luxury condominiums, and others would aim for upscale, High Street malls, this was truly the first integrated community that had both premium residences, modern office towers, and a sizable lifestyle mall, all within a circumscribed geographical area, that guaranteed easy access for homeowners, office workers, shoppers, and mall goers.
I happened to be one of the managing partners of Dish, a food court/ music hall that opened on the top floor of Power Plant Mall in 2000. And for the three successful years of our Power Plant Dish-run, Rockwell Center was truly a second home for me. I loved watching how other residential developments would rise, how receptive the mall was to the changes in the retail landscape, and how the office towers that rose were really fusing design, function, and technology in an effective way.
Following those initial West Block residential towers, we saw the Manansala, the Joya Lofts and Towers, One Rockwell, the Edades Tower and Garden Villas, and the Edades Suites all rise along the Rockwell perimeters. Located at Edades, we find the Aruga Apartments, Rockwell’s first foray into the hotel and hospitality industry. Popular for its leisure and long-term stays, the units are now available for sale as investments with yield.
Recently, Rockwell Land adjusted the business model for the Aruga Apartments in a manner that benefits both guests and the apartment unit owners. Lower overhead costs are the driving force behind why both lower rates and higher yields make these apartments such attractive investment options.
Rockwell Center is also home to office towers, including the impressive 8 Rockwell. And to add strength to the vision of community and being multi-purpose, it’s also home to the Ateneo Graduate School of Business.
Spreading its wings, Rockwell Land crossed Estrella Street in 2012, acquired 3.6 hectares (the former Colgate-Palmolive Philippines headquarters), and launched the Proscenium at Rockwell Center. World-renowned Uruguayan architect Carlos Ott was brought onboard to create the Proscenium master plan. Home to five residential towers, there are the Kirov Tower, Sakura Tower, Lincoln Tower, Lorraine Tower, and The Proscenium Residences. The Proscenium Residences is the last residential tower, and it’s currently being turned over to unit owners/ investors.
The Proscenium Residences is the final opportunity to own a unit in this premium Rockwell enclave. As the last tower to turn over, an exclusive offer is available for those who desire to purchase a unit and move in now.
Proscenium’s Amenity Deck is part of the master plan, and soon to rise will be the 1 Proscenium, an office tower for professionals, a luxury retail area, and a performing arts theatre – the Rockwell Performing Arts Theater.
Currently, there is a new residential tower being completed at the very heart of Rockwell Center. As with anything associated with Rockwell, it will be the epitome of luxury and privacy, with exclusive direct access to the Power Plant Mall – units the discerning elite will appreciate.
It’s now 26 years since Rockwell Land first broke ground at this first Rockwell Makati location. It has since expanded to other areas in the metropolis, and even branched out to other key cities and locations in the Philippines. But this is where it all started for Rockwell, and it will forever stand as a sterling accomplishment – the benchmark for how to develop premium community-living the right way. I know of many investors who got on board early, have treasured their decisions, and the appreciation of their Rockwell Land portfolio.
To know how you can take part in Rockwell’s flagship development in Makati, call 0917-155-ROCK or visit https://staging.e-rockwell.com/