PSALM picks winning design for Napocor complex re-development

By Myrna M. Velasco – July 9, 2019, 10:00 PM
from Manila Bulletin

State-run Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM) had finally chosen the design-concept that will be its guide in pursuing the re-development of the 5.195-hectare National Power Corporation (NPC) complex in Quezon City.

The company said it selected WTA Design Studio’s submission entitled “The East Grid” as the winning conceptual design to serve as a template in transforming the Diliman property into a commercial center with mixed-used high rise developments. For its winning concept, WTA Design Studio will receive a cash prize of P4.0 million.

PSALM said it had set preference on that particular design because of “its multi-dimensional people-oriented concept of developing a new environmentally-friendly business center.”

In that development prototype, it was able to integrate “energy efficient systems and innovative and sustainable design ideas,” and at the same time, the entry assimilated pedestrian-friendly spaces.

As envisaged, the property at its conversion phase shall be able to offer both office as well as commercial retail spaces – akin to the development landscape first employed at the Fort Bonifacio Global City.

The property, targeted this early on for accreditation as an economic zone, shall also be housing different offices of state-run energy firms and agencies, including that of NPC and the National Transmission Corporation (TransCo).

“The design contest specifically required that the design entities would have to integrate into such development the existing two buildings,” as both buildings have been designed by National Artist Leandro V. Locsin, and there’s a requirement to have them preserved under the National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009.

The “East Grid” concept of WTA Design proffers interactive installations, bike trails, green promenades, alfresco spaces and play areas. On top of that, it still allots for net leasable space of about 400,000 square meters.

As emphasized by PSALM President and CEO Irene Joy Garcia, the re-development plan for the complex shall be anchored on a design that will “fully maximize the utilization of the Quezon City property.”

Further, the design must “study carefully the possible highest and best use for it and ensure that the government can strategically take advantage of the property’s full potentials.”

Garcia qualified that an outright sale of the property might have been an easier option, but she stressed this would be “less advantageous for the government than purposely developing it in accordance with its best use and eventually ensuring a substantial income stream and steady cash flow that the government can enjoy.”

PSALM’s mandate is not just confined to divesting the power facilities and supply contracts of the government, but also the NPC real estate assets that had been placed under its charge.