FIFTH Avenue Development Corp. says the Ciudad project will further strengthen Cebu’s title as an Asean City of Culture.
Fifth Avenue public relations consultant Jonjie Gonzales said the project would help Cebuanos reconnect with the past and tourists understand Cebu’s rich heritage.
“This is not just a commercial project but it’s a heritage site that would give a glimpse of history,” Gonzales said in an interview Tuesday.
Fifth Avenue is the developer of the proposed P1.2-billion Ciudad project in a 2.8-hectare property between Gov. Cuenco Avenue and Asiatown I.T Park in Banilad. The firm has a lease agreement with the Provincial Government.
Gonzales said the project will house a three-storey museum, a department store, food outlets and restaurant. He said occupants will adhere to the Spanish inspired concept and its employees will dress according to the period they represent.
Gonzales said the firm has already submitted an application for location clearance to the City Planning Office.
“As soon as all permits will be released, we can start construction this month and we hope to complete it within the year,” he said.
In 2007, a Cebu CityHall moratorium on new development along the Banilad-Talamban corridor delayed work on the Ciudad project.
Aside from being a new destination for Cebuanos, Gonzales said the Ciudad project complements Cebu’s recent recognition as an Association of Southeast Asian (Asean) City of Culture.
The designation was in appreciation of Cebu’s creative industries.
The recognition also enhances the image of Cebu not only as a vacation destination that attracts foreign tourists to its beautiful and historic sites, but also as an important design, arts and culture center in Southeast Asia.
Gonzales said the Ciudad project will also help promote tourism as it would also showcase destinations in Cebu.
The Ciudad project is spearheaded by Cebuano Michael Dino, president and chief executive officer of Fifth Avenue.
Aside from attracting more tourists to Cebu, the local government would also gain from the project as it will generate an estimated 2,800 jobs and earn a potential annual income share of P300 million, which can be used to fund projects that will benefit Cebuanos like health care and education, among others.
To address traffic concerns in the area, the company said it will build roads and widen existing ones for free.
The firm said that if the Cebu City Government were to spend for the acquisition and construction of roads, it will cost them P280 million.
“Instead of spending, the government can use the funds to finance other projects like maintaining the traffic lights, health care and education,” the company said.