Manila Jockey Club in talks with developers for San Lazaro park projects

Philippine Daily Inquirer

By Doris C. Dumlao

August 6, 2012

The Manila Jockey Club group is in talks with four large property developers—the Ayalas, the Antonios, the Consunjis and taipan Andrew Tan—for the development of a hotel, entertainment and tourism hub in the 16-hectare San Lazaro tourism and business park in Santa Cruz, Manila.

“MJC has, for some time, indeed been speaking to a number of possible partners and investors—leading firms such as Ayala Land, Century Properties, DMCI (Holdings) and Megaworld (Corp.)—for the development of our planned hotel, entertainment and tourism hub to be located at our San Lazaro tourism and business park in Santa Cruz, Manila,” MJC spokesperson David Nugent said in an e-mail.

This was in response to the Inquirer’s query about stock market talk that MJC was bringing in a strategic investor to its prime properties, including the San Lazaro estate, which used to be the site of its horse-racing track.

“To be undertaken by MJC subsidiary MJC Investments Corp., the hotel, entertainment and tourism hub will fill a critical need for luxury accommodations, meeting and event facilities as well as creative and innovative entertainment concepts targeted to the expanding and affluent Chinese and Filipino-Chinese communities in central Mega Manila, where no new luxury hotel has opened in almost 10 years already,” Nugent said, noting that the last luxury place to be built within the area was Hyatt Hotel.

“In fact, MJC’s plans to venture into the tourism space have been under way for a while already,” Nugent said.

At the recent annual stockholders’ meeting of MJC Investments, Nugent said additional sites for potential investment—including a 74-hectare property in Mamburao, Occidental Mindoro, gateway to Apo Reef—were unveiled.

“We’re also exploring plans for investment at various sites in Boracay, Cagayan and Siargao, among others,” Nugent said.

Nugent said the increase of MJC Investment’s capital stock at its recent stockholders’ meeting and the transfer of a 7,500-square-meter site in Manila from MJC to MJC Investments—in exchange for additional MJC Investments shares—was now setting the stage to properly execute these plans.

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