The story of the Araneta Center
Rosalinda L. Orosa (The Philippine Star) - December 29, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The story of Araneta Center, a grand, 60-year evolution that has run parallel to the growth of Quezon City, always begins with a retelling of the vision that captured the imagination of business tycoon J. Amado Araneta in the 1950s.

Once just a vast, 35-hectare plot of land south of Manila and dominated by radio towers, the visionary Araneta saw the rise of a central business district, a one-of-a-kind community that merged business, leisure, entertainment and residential enclaves.

Today, after six decades of success and breakthrough innovations, Araneta Center stands as a testament to how one man’s unwavering vision can truly become reality.

“It all began with my father’s vision,” said Jorge L. Araneta, chairman, CEO and president of the Araneta Group, at the inauguration of Gateway Tower. At the event were guest of honor President Benigno S. Aquino Jr., top cabinet officials, business leaders and valued business partners of Araneta Center.

“In his mind’s eye, he saw towering edifices and landmarks that would become home to a thriving community of commerce, leisure, entertainment and residential enclaves for generations to come,” Araneta said.

These landmarks were the Araneta Coliseum, Ali Mall, Farmers Plaza, Farmers Market, New Frontier Theater and Fiesta Carnival.

Araneta then recounted how every structure — each a critical piece of a master plan of landmarks that radiated outwards from J. Amado Araneta’s Coliseum — helped shaped how the Center evolved and flourished throughout the years.

“In 2004, the construction of Gateway Mall became the catalyst of a modern renaissance of the Center known as Extreme Transformation, which reinvigorated old landmarks and added new structures to complete the CBD of the future.”

Fueled by a P30 billion redevelopment budget, the changes within the Center included the modernization of the Smart Araneta Coliseum; the birth of the Ali Mall Government and Banking Center and the Farmers Plaza Bazaar; the upgrade of Farmers Market; the rise of Araneta Center CyberPark Towers; the birth of Manhattan Garden City; the construction of Novotel Araneta Center; the transformation of New Frontier Theater and the launch of the Gateway Tower.

A testament to Philippine art

The inauguration of the Gateway Tower itself was the focal point for the 60th anniversary of Araneta Center. Poised as the newest business destination in Quezon City, the pristine tower hosted not only the country’s top movers and shakers, but also a community of Filipino artists celebrating the new home of the country’s first and only Philippine History mural series.

Exhibited in the newly opened Gateway Gallery was the “Siningsaysay: Philippine History in Art,” which was created in partnership with the University of the Philippines and the UP Alumni Association.

Another homage to Filipino artistry is the “Monumental Triptych,” one of the largest sculptures created by Philippine National Artist for Visual Arts BenCab.

It is no wonder that the country’s top BPO players like Accenture, AIG, Teletech and Regus now call Gateway Tower home, while the country’s top retail brands including Rustan’s, Uniqlo and Marks & Spencer have secured their presence inside Araneta Center’s premier corporate tower.

Araneta also unveiled a scale model of the Araneta Center master plan of the future, which displayed even more new structures that will form the landmarks and fuel commerce for the next generation.

For more information on the Araneta Center visit www.aranetacenter.net.

ALI MALL AMADO ARANETA ARANETA ARANETA CENTER CENTER FARMERS MARKET GATEWAY TOWER PHILIPPINE HISTORY QUEZON CITY
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