Friday, 5 June 2009

Ayala, SM malls in tug-of-war for train station

J.S. Gatuslao
BusinessWorld
http://www.bworldonline.com/BW060509/content.php?id=045

THE HEAD of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) has met officials of the country’s top property developer over a looming row involving the location of a proposed "Grand Central Terminal" connecting the Metro Rail Transit and Light Rail Transit commuter train lines at a Quezon City intersection.

Ralph G. Recto, NEDA director-general, said he met with Ayala Land executives last Wednesday to discuss the location, and was "looking at the possibility" of moving the Grand Central Terminal, which was supposed to be near the SM City North EDSA mall, to a corner lot owned by the National Housing Authority (NHA).

Plans have been approved by the Investment Coordination Committee but still need to be shown to the NEDA board, he said.

Mr. Recto said the proposal to move the terminal to the NHA property is the "most reasonable and most pragmatic ... so both are satisfied," referring to SM and Ayala Land, which owns the TriNoma mall at the beginning of the MRT line near North Avenue.

In an earlier interview, Mr. Recto said the terminal was originally planned to be built near TriNoma. The current plan places it on the opposite side, closer to SM City North EDSA. The terminal will cost an estimated P777.598 million.

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