We’ve seen how Ayala Land Premier (ALP) builds luxury residential condominiums, how this premium brand puts a tremendous amount of thought into the design and detail that go into its residential spaces, and how each ALP condominium is located in the prime and most expensive parts of CBDs whether in Makati or Taguig.
Now ALP is branching into corporate towers with its first premium-grade office product and they chose Vertis North in Quezon City for the flagship development.
Not exactly the first location you’d have in mind, but this part of Quezon City, bordering EDSA, Quezon Ave. and North Ave., is undergoing a renewal — or an upgrade if you will.
I grew up in Quezon City, knew like the back of my hand the whole length of Q.Ave. from Welcome rotunda bordering Manila to UP Diliman when I was a journalism student, and then moved farther north when I started working. It was only about 10 years ago that I moved to the south and can count with my fingers the times I’ve been back to Q.Ave. (including last weekend, in fact).
Today, I hardly recognize my old stomping ground — the bookstores, diners and coffee shops are gone and the one-off restaurants tucked between UP professors’ old homes in Diliman have undergone many iterations.
I used to joke that moving to the south was such bad timing because Ayala Land had just opened its first mall in QC, TriNoma Mall, after waiting for decades!
That whole area is touted to be the new business, leisure and residential district of QC. It’s not the Quezon City of old that we knew with its family compounds in New Manila and Sta. Mesa Heights, but a new district for vertical living and working. After all, QC — the biggest of 16 cities that make up Metro Manila — does not have a concentration of high-rises (except Tomas Morato on a smaller scale).
Now that land has become scarce and values have gone up in the past two decades, there’s a rising demand for more offices and condos. Vertis North, launched in 2012, is a 45-hectare estate that brings together the brands of Ayala Land. Avida and Alveo are there with a combined nine residential towers, Ayala Malls with Vertis North Mall, Seda with its biggest hotel yet with 438 rooms, and ALP’s entry is the 43-story One Vertis Plaza.
ALP managing director Mike Jugo says, “Ayala Land has made immense investments in Makati, BGC and Cebu across multiple business lines, always anchored by large-scale, masterplanned, mixed-use, and sustainable estates. What Vertis North presents is a large scale, master-planned city center in a highly connected location. With over 50 percent of its total area dedicated to offices and commercial establishments, Vertis North encourages enterprise and sets the ideal address for growing businesses.”
Jugo cites One Vertis Plaza’s markets as companies looking for headquarter-type corporate offices in a prestigious address, companies upgrading from their current offices in terms of accessibility, space and building quality, and those looking to invest in office spaces. He says those that have purchased entire floors include corporations in manufacturing, food and pharmaceutical industries whose offices are traditionally located in Cubao, South Triangle and along C5-Libis.
Buildings in the estate are gathered around Vertis North Gardens, a two-hectare park. Comparable in size to Ayala Triangle Gardens in Makati, it is considered the “green lung” for its lush spaces for convergence and recreation.
One Vertis Plaza is the only building in the development with direct access to the park, providing office employees and visitors the unique experience of being just steps away from lush greenery. The Plaza, a 1,800-sqm. space that opens up directly to Vertis North Gardens, will feature restaurants and cafes and will be an outdoor events venue for corporate and social events back dropped by the gardens. Complementing The Plaza is The Square, which functions as the tower’s main food hall providing indoor and al fresco dining options.
One Vertis Plaza features all the hallmarks of a prime ALP development with its all-glass façade. Driving up its entrance on both Stella Street and Astra Drive, visitors experience a grand sense of arrival from the Concourse, an elegantly formal but welcoming motorcourt.
“Think of the sense of arrival at Tower One on Ayala Avenue,” Jugo says.
The lobby, called the Gallery, is a double-volume expanse clad in natural stone and accentuated by natural wood elements that introduce warmth to the modern space. Nineteen elevators will efficiently transport visitors throughout the tower, sixteen of which are high-speed lifts outfitted with destination control systems. Two lifts will service the parking floors and a last one functions as the service lift.
In keeping with Ayala Land’s dedication to sustainability, the office tower is working towards LEED certification. It also features an all-glass façade clad in low-e (low-emissivity), double-glazed glass for energy efficiency. LED lighting fixtures and low-flow plumbing reduce electric and water consumption, improving the overall efficiency of the building. One Vertis Plaza has its own rainwater management system and materials recovery facility.
Jugo says the tower will have a maximum of 10 office units per floor ranging from 101 to 325 sqm. in size. The efficient configuration and layout of each floor allows for the easy combination of units to create larger office spaces covering up to 1,648 sqm., or an entire floor.
“All office spaces are enveloped by a glass curtain wall, offering abundant natural light and impressive views, with half of the units overlooking Vertis North Gardens.”
As of August, close to 70 percent of the available office spaces have been taken up with an average price of P352,193 per sqm.
In terms of accessibility, Vertis North will enjoy even more connectivity from government projects. One of the biggest is the Metro Manila Subway, which will have its first three stations in Mindanao Avenue, Tandang Sora, and North Avenue operational by 2022. The North Triangle Depot located along North Avenue will be a part of the Unified Grand Central Station, a project that will link LRT line 1, MRT lines 3 and 7, and the Metro Manila Subway.
One Vertis Plaza is set for completion in 2024.
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Visit the author’s travel blog at www.findingmyway.net. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @iamtanyalara.