Megawide Construction Corporation (Megawide), the engineering and infrastructure conglomerate behind the Mactan-Cebu International Airport, publicly unveiled its plans for the redevelopment of the Carbon Market in Cebu City. Megawide submitted its unsolicited proposal to the Local Government of Cebu on October 11, 2019, and was awarded Original Proponent Status on March 9, 2020.
Megawide to help jumpstart Cebu economy with proposed Carbon Market redevelopment
For Megawide, this project will promote its vision of a First-World Philippines across the country not just in terms of engineering and construction but, more importantly, in terms of uplifting the means of livelihood and inclusive growth for Cebuanos. This development will also expand the Company’s transit-oriented development portfolio and further cement its commitment to the province of Cebu.
“The Carbon Market and its adjoining districts are some of the most economically and culturally significant locations in all [of] Cebu. With our proposal, we hope to help jumpstart the recovery of Cebu’s economy after the pandemic by improving the market’s existing infrastructure to provide a safer and more efficient experience while bringing its historical and cultural value to the fore,” said Louie Ferrer, Megawide’s Managing Director for Transport.
“Through the new market facility and expanded attractions, we aim to attract more investors to Cebu and encourage the growth of the local economy. Its development will certainly open more jobs and facilitate ease of business for our vendors and suppliers,” he continued.
Structured as a joint venture between the LGU and Megawide, the proposal seeks to redevelop Carbon into a shopping and cultural district that uplifts the quality of experience for all stakeholders – vendors, business owners, transport operators, and the public – and encourages the growth of tourism and local entrepreneurship.
There will be a total of six blocks, developed in phases, with each block housing diverse retail, F&B, leisure, and service features. Among the proposal highlights is the First-world Carbon Public Market; Wholesalers’ Hub; Lifestyle Village; Boqueria; and the Premier Galleria & Airport City Check-In.
The proposed development will also feature a waterfront activity plaza, a 24/7 Market, and the Sto. Niño Chapel and Park watched over by a figure of the Sto. Nino de Cebu.
“In phase 1, we aim to deliver the new and improved public market and provide ease of access through an interim transport terminal. Operations for the market will remain with the LGU while Megawide will be in charge of maintaining the facility. The design and operations for the market were planned with the intent to preserve the current vendor selection while improving overall market facility and systems,” Ferrer explained.
Ease of access: water taxi and in-city check-in to MCIA
Ensuring ease of access to Carbon is also a priority, with the development of an integrated transport hub, that houses all modes of land transportation as well as a new ferry terminal that will allow passengers to take a water taxi through the channel to Mactan Island and connect directly to Mactan-Cebu International Airport. The water taxi has long been eyed by local governments of Cebu as a means to help spare the public from traffic congestion.
The development will also feature an in-city check-in facility, similar to those in Hong Kong and Japan, where travelers can conveniently check-in their luggage and still enjoy Carbon hours before their flight before connecting seamlessly to the airport. When completed as scheduled, Cebu will have the first In-City Check-In facility in the Philippines.
“Prolonged travel time to and from the downtown area has often been a deterrent for locals and tourists alike, that is why we are prioritizing transport solutions that will enable the public to save time and experience a hassle-free journey,” explained Ferrer.
Transit-oriented developments are part of Megawide’s priority projects as they encourage the use of public transportation and help lessen congestion in highly urbanized areas. “These kinds of projects help the greater public that do not have access to private transportation. With proper connectivity to key areas such as Carbon, we can encourage productivity and open more opportunities,” he added.
The architectural design draws from imagery unique to Cebu. Wood is a predominant design material in the proposed development, with each building accented by weaving patterns and textures that celebrate Cebu’s world-renown weaving and furniture-making industry. With low-rise structures, the entire development has an open and sprawling feel that evokes memories of old Cebu.
“Our proposal was conceptualized with the needs and cultural identity of Cebu in mind. We will continue our consultations with Carbon Market’s primary stakeholders and the people of Cebu so that we can deliver a first-world commercial and tourist destination that they would be proud to call their own.”
One of the highlights is the main entrance to the 24/7 Market designed in the shape of the puso, Cebu’s famous hanging rice, which will greet visitors as they enter the block.
Megawide is one of the leading and most innovative infrastructure and engineering companies in the Philippines. Publicly-listed since 2011, Megawide is a committed private partner of the Philippine Government for flagship infrastructure projects such as the development of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) and the Paranaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX).
Megawide is also the construction partner for the Clark International Airport New Passenger Terminal Building. In 2012, the company established Megawide Corporate Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization focusing on social development projects.