by Jeni Bone
Work has commenced on what is hailed as the most significant project in The Philippines in more than 20 years – the Alphaland Marina Club.
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Alphaland Marina Club is a members-only marina scheduled to open in 2014, located in Paranaque, about 15 minutes’ drive from the Makati Central Business District.
According to its developers: 'The iconic clubhouse, built on pilings in the middle of the water, offers a new and unique nautical lifestyle based on nature. Manila Bay serves as a fabulous setting for the club, offering views and fresh air not available in the inner city. The clubhouse will offer many dining and entertainment options, including five private dining rooms, and is perfect for social and business gatherings.'
The company behind the project is a publicly listed property developer and partly owned by the Ongpin family of Manila. RV Ongpin was former Trades Minister and current Chairman of Alphaland. The project leader is Raphael Ongpin, the Chairman’s nephew, a keen boatie and also spokesman for the project.
Australian marine industry proponent, Joe Goddard worked with Alphaland as the marina consultant/designer on the project and says that 'like those in the Middle East, this project will take off'.
'It will attract the local yachting community, visitors and international regattas, and as well as impacting on property prices, with the potential to raise them substantially.'
Goddard was approached by referral from HOK, Master Plan in Canada, which he worked with on the Dubai Marina and other projects in Bahrain.
'I am passionate about the project, the vision and the people involved. This Marine Club will have broad appeal with the boat owners of the region.'
As Goddard explains: 'The marina itself is 300 berth with a weighting to the bigger boats, on the inside, up to 70m and then outside there’s capacity up to 120m, weather permitting. The club will also maintain a fleet of boats, available to members at a cost. That way, members need not own a boat to enjoy boating.'
Goddard says in his opinion, the Alphaland Marina Club will be 'a new benchmark of marina excellence in the entire region and far surpass what is available in all of SE Asia, even considering what Singapore and Hong Kong has got to offer'.
'It will revive the city and really place it on the map as far as yachting is concerned.'
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The 8 November launch attracted 600 people, and Goddard says, around 100 people signed up on the spot for membership. 'I think it’s going to be a prestigious Club that will cater to locals as well as visiting superyachts. Alphaland has been involved in similar membership programs, islands and country club style concepts, and they have all been very successful.'
Currently, work is underway on the break wall, made complicated by it being on reclaimed land.
'The break wall has to be right because the land is located on Manila Bay and could be susceptible to typhoons. The selection of the marina manufacturers will be via a tender in the next few weeks.'
More at http://www.alphalandmarinaclub.com.ph/