Damosa Land taps Palafox for mixed-use Agriya project
DAVAO CITY — Damosa Land, Inc. (DLI) has brought in the services of Palafox Associates for the design of its 88-hectare mixed-use complex in Panabo City, Davao del Norte.
Karima Patricia V. Palafox, managing partner and urban planning head of Palafox Associates, said what they have planned for DLI’s Agriya project highlights agriculture, particularly banana, as the backbone of the city’s economic growth.
“We give respect to the local context of Panabo City and of Mindanao, primarily the agricultural heritage of the place… If you look at the plan, the design inspiration is a banana plant, everything stems from the main road and connected to the fruit up to the heart so each cluster connected to the main bark and branch out,” Ms. Palafox said in an interview.
Each “cluster” in the complex would be developed as a self-contained “walkable” area with complementary commercial components for the residential, academic and agri-tourism sites.
“We plan such that each cluster from any point in the 88 hectares, there are at least 10 activities, 10 land uses, and people are encouraged to walk or to cycle,” she said.
“If it is only one center it’s hard to be walkable and bikeable. Per phase they have their own sub-centers and hopefully there will be public transport to connect the centers and some of the people living here will have to travel to and from Davao City for work. Hopefully, the (Panabo) city government can also connect not just this but all the future developments with the main roads and the wider context,” Ms. Palafox said.
Construction for the residential parts is scheduled to start within the third quarter of the year while the agri-tourism area is being targeted for completion within the next two years, said DLI Vice-President Ricardo F. Lagdameo.
The University of the Philippines (UP) Professional School for Agriculture and the Environment within the complex, which will be under UP Los Baños (UPLB), broke ground last week with full infrastructure and academic program development spread over the next seven years. DLI donated about 32,000 square meters for the school while UPLB is spending about P271 million for the infrastructure.
Mr. Lagdameo said they have divided the development of Agriya into three phases over 15 years, with the bulk to be covered in the first stage within the first five years.
“I think half of the land is included in the first phase already. First phase will be composed of a residential component roughly about 10 hectares, institution component, some commercial component. One of the biggest projects within the project is the agri-tourism, that alone probably is 10 hectares as well,” Mr. Lagdameo told the media.
The agri-tourism area is envisioned as a “living farm” with theme park and educational features.
“There are not much tourism destinations like this yet in Mindanao even when it is the heart of agriculture (in the country)… for showcasing the agricultural processes from land preparation to harvesting, (making it) appealing to the youth for them to get interested in agriculture,” Mr. Lagdameo said.
Ms. Palafox said they will study the plan every five years to see how each development would be able to connect to subsequent projects.
Mr. Lagdameo said DLI “has not finalized the budget yet,” but the company is definitely ready to invest “a significant amount because we want to come out with a bang.”
DLI is the real estate arm of Anflo Management and Investment Corp., whose flagship firm is banana exporter Tagum Agricultural Development Co., Inc. — Maya M. Padillo and Carmelito Q. Francisco