By Mark Louis F. Ferrolino
Special Features Writers
ARANETA Center, Inc. (ACI) is breathing new life into its Quezon City flagship project, relaunching it as Araneta City.
“We wanted to say and describe what Araneta Center is now. For all intents and purposes, it is a city. We have residences, offices, entertainment, dining, and shopping. We have excellent transport connectivity, we’re in the middle most of everything. We’re more apt to be called as a city now,” ACI Chairman of the Management Committee Rowell Recinto told BusinessWorld in an interview.
Araneta City recently introduced a new brand, logo and tag line.
Mr. Recinto said that the recent rebranding is important so the people will easily identify what Araneta City is, given the presence of other competing developments in the area.
“We have to send out a very clear message,” he added.
Araneta City’s tag line is now “The City of Firsts,” referring to its introduction of first-of-its-kind developments and concepts in the country.
For instance, Ali Mall was the country’s first major shopping mall; the Araneta Bus Station was the first integrated bus terminal serving several bus companies; and Ticketnet, which is the first online ticketing system. Other “firsts” include the Oasis — the first indoor, open-air, air-conditioned floating garden restaurant; and the Platinum Cinema — the first Lazy-Boy movie theater.
“Before, there are only shopping, dining and entertainment. Now, Araneta is envisioned with shopping, dining, entertainment, residences, offices, hospitality and services. And we are not done, far from it,” Mr. Recinto said in a speech during the Sept. 24 event.
The transformation within the 35-hectare Cubao property continues with the ongoing developments in the Cyberpark complex, the Manhattan Garden City, the expansion of Gateway Mall, and the near completion of the first Ibis Styles Hotel in the country.
Mr. Recinto also announced that the entire Araneta City will be covered by Wi-Fi services both by Globe Telecom, Inc. and Smart Communications, Inc.
When asked further about ACI’s plans for Araneta City in the coming years, Mr. Recinto said, “Look around, if you see an old building or a single-storey building, that’s going down.”
He said ACI plans to build more, and to make this feasible, they have to demolish such properties.
By 2030, ACI, aims to have a total floor area of three million square meters in place within the Araneta City, said Mr. Recinto. “That means we’re going to build a lot more because we’re going to knock down buildings,” he added, noting that future projects will focus more on vertical developments.
“Capability wise, [or in terms of] financial capability, we can do it. Obviously, we will consider any partnership if the partner has something to bring to the table, let’s say expertise, experience. But financially, we can manage,” Mr. Recinto said.
Meanwhile, Araneta City’s first-ever mobile application was also launched during the brand kickoff. The app serves as a mobile concierge to let customers enjoy an array of features of Araneta City.
The mobile app lists all of Araneta City’s merchants, shops, clinics, restaurants, offices, as well as its locations, descriptions and contact information. Users can also use the app to buy and reserve tickets for the events, concerts and movies showing in Araneta City, and even for bus trips.