MANILA, Philippines - From an outsider’s vantage point, Robinsons Cybergate Complex may be just another compound of commercial shops, office buildings and residential towers. But for its regular mainstays and users — the condo dwellers, shoppers and professionals — this landmark is the brand-new center of city life.
The imposing façade of the mall, shrouded by high-rise residential and office buildings, salutes passersby traversing the busy highway of EDSA. As one enters the vicinity, this “city within a city” complex exudes power, energy and vitality.
When real estate company Robinsons Land saw the potential of the six-hectare property more than two decades ago, this bare land was rapidly transformed into a vigorous and bustling hub. Some establishments were built, restored and then torn down, some were retained and completely overhauled, and then some more buildings were built.
But the sense of culture and community it represents up to this day wasn’t nurtured as fast as the complex developed. Instead, it developed through time, endeared through day-by-day experiences and enriched through familiarity.
A Cyber + Lifestyle Hub
Back in 2004, Forum Robinsons, which was then called Robinsons Place Pioneer, officially opened to serve the everyday needs of different neighborhoods and offices in the area.
Three years after, the mall eventually transformed into a cyberhub to keep in tune with information technology. It began offering a multitude of quality IT products such as computers, cell phones, digital cameras, audio-video and gaming equipment. The mall has since become a magnet for the tech-savvy.
This mix of cyber outlets offering the best deals in the latest gadgets and gizmos is complemented with other shopping, dining, amusement and service outlets. This includes anchor stores Robinsons Department Store, Robinsons Supermarket, Handyman-Do-It Best, Robinsons Digital and Robinsons Movieworld. A quick-serve dining strip called Forum Bites was also established two years ago to cater to young professionals looking for a nice place to eat and hang out. A Food Loft is being completed to address the increasing number of diners flocking to the mall.
Recently, an overnight market initiated by a group called Banchetto found a spot along the open car park and now regularly sets up a row of tents every Wednesday and Thursday from 10 p.m. until 6 a.m. The market is geared towards call center staffers on shifts. This long dining street is becoming popular as it offers various food choices from barbecue to sisig, pasta, pansit, lechon de Cebu, sinigang na lechon, grilled burger, nachos, shawarma and sushi, all reasonably priced between P50 and P85.
Where People And Business Converge
Robinsons Land maximized the potential of the complex, a PEZA-accredited cyber IT Park, to provide enhanced office environments for an emerging number of BPO and traditional office space locators. Presently, the company has four office buildings in the complex serving diverse businesses and industries. These office buildings are Robinsons Cybergate Tower 1, 2, 3 and the recently completed Robinsons Cybergate Plaza.
One vital asset of this complex is its dynamic location along EDSA corner Pioneer, which is a halfway point both to Ortigas and Makati — two major business hubs in Metro Manila. It is also ideal for commuters since it’s situated along the main transport artery connecting the northern and southern areas.
Each building also has large and flexible floor plates and equipped with world-class facilities. Through its accessibility to the mall and its surrounding recreational and dining outlets, this complex ultimately bridges the gap between working time zones for call center employees scheduled on night shifts.
The growing workforce in these office buildings has also been a major contributing factor in awakening the pulse and vigor of this complex.
As the office space inventory rose in the complex, Robinsons Land simultaneously responded with the development of four high-rise residential condominium projects within the area. The residential towers One Gateway Place and Gateway Garden Heights (along Pioneer Access Road) and Gateway Garden Ridge (facing EDSA, beside Robinsons Cybergate Plaza) have already been turned over to unit owners while the groundbreaking for its fourth residential project in the complex, Gateway Regency (beside Robinsons Cybergate Tower 3), was recently held.
The integration of the residential towers through a community-focused and pedestrian-friendly layout allows residents to interact with neighbors, accomplish daily errands or do leisurely strolls.
By third quarter of this year, a value hotel is set to open at the complex. This new concept in the hospitality business will be the pilot branch of a chain that will soon rise in several other Robinsons mixed-use complexes. It will cater to smart travelers looking for an excellent place to sleep at a very affordable cost.