(Writer’s note: This article is taken from the context of the developer’s side without attempting to verify and validate its claims with the authorities.)
There’s no debate that Fifth Avenue Property Development Corporation’s proposed “Ciudad” along the busy Gov. Cuenco Avenue in Cebu City is laudable. It’s a City within a City, a huge Museum in itself, a Cebuano theme park, a family park–whatever you call it, it’s definitely designed to reconnect us with our valuable Cebuano heritage.
Five years had lapsed but this P1.2 billion project had been stalled by “politics” of sort by the quarreling camps at the Capitol and City Hall in the past. Thanks to the revolt of Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama against his former party mates and this project finally made several short steps nowadays.
It got a barangay clearance from Apas but Barangay Captain Ramil Ayuman received a tongue-lashing from former Mayor and now South District Congressman Tomas Osmena calling the village chief as “greedy“. Notwithstanding Tomas’ and his BO-PK party mates in the City Council’s tough position against any development at the Banilad area, CIUDAD got a location clearance from City Hall. Of course, with the blessing of Mayor Mike. On Friday, December 2–CIUDAD will prove itself before a public hearing on its ECC (Environmental Compliance Certificate) application that the project posed no danger to the environment. A building permit application will soon follow after it will covet the usually easy-to-issue ECC from the DENR.
CIUDAD shall sit (maybe, stand is the appropriate word) on a 2.8 hectare lot that separates the bushing Asia IT Park and the usually vehicle-filled Gov. Cuenco Avenue. Fifth Avenue, the developer of CIUDAD, shall fill the area with low-rise (3 to 5 floors) edifice, except perhaps for the planned 300-500 room-hotel. Every structure that will stand in CIUDAD shall be a reminiscent of our past and our heritage.
Roger Gopaoco is positive that the majority of the Cebuanos shall benefit of the CIUDAD project. An estimated 2,800 jobs shall be created by CIUDAD while the able residents of barangay Apas are guaranteed to benefit the livelihood program within this forthcoming landmark. Balut vendors, bola-bola and perhaps kwek-kwek vendors and the like shall sell their wares with the Fifth Avenue as their financier and partner.
Believe it or not, but according to Gopaoco, CIUDAD is already overbooked with about 1,500 lease applications while a mere 900 spaces shall be available to renters.
As a possible traffic generator, CIUDAD is preparing to justify its near-existence and dismissed the worries of the City Council that it can stall traffic in the area. It shall build three roads leading to and from the Asia IT Park and Gov. Cuenco Avenue. Thus, traffic congestion in the area can be avoided without the City emptying its coffer of about P280 million.
Watch out for the Dec. 2 public hearing of the ECC application of CIUDAD.