Historical building to be preserved, integrated into mixed-use project that will revitalize downtown area
Cebu Landmasters (PSE: CLI) and the Archdiocese of Cebu makes a commitment to preserve the historic edifice of Patria de Cebu and received the approval of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) to retain the main Patria building in its final design. The approved blueprint calls for the preservation of the building—not just its frontage—thereby keeping its rich heritage intact.
“The final design of Patria de Cebu is a collaboration between the Archdiocese of Cebu, CLI and key stakeholders. It was agreed that it is crucial in the redevelopment to keep the main Patria building while integrating it with a new practical structure to preserve the heritage of the Patria for the people of Cebu,” CLI president and CEO Jose Soberano III said.
“Through this project, we will celebrate Cebuano history and culture,” added Soberano.
Cebu Landmasters announced in October 2018 that it sealed a partnership with the Archdiocese of Cebu to develop and operate a mixed-use development in the 6,670 sqm. Patria de Cebu property for 40 years. The P900-million development is expected to serve as a centerpiece of the 500th year celebration of Christianity in Cebu in 2021.
Fr. Brian Brigoli, chairman of the Cebu Archdiocesan Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the Church, commented: “The retention of the original structure of the front of Patria complex is a product of a conscientious dialogue among stakeholders. The old structure will not just blend with the new development but also make the two work together as one; where the former is never a hindrance to the latter and the new structure respects the old.”
The Patria de Cebu project will include renovation of the main building to accommodate retail and office spaces in the ground and second floors. It will have approximately 21,000 sqm of gross floor area, divided as follows: 4,320 sqm of retail spaces featuring a mix of food, dining and entertainment establishments; 4,400 sqm of office space; and 11,700 sqm of hotel space for approximately 167 guest rooms with provision for events, meetings, and other functions. A large central interior courtyard will be the focal point of the property highlighted by a roof top for open-air events.
Concept and design cues for this integrated shopping center, office and hotel structure are inspired by the rich Filipino-Spanish culture, history and architecture as exemplified by the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, located in front of the Patria building. Now that the project has received the NHCP go-signal, construction is expected to start in October. Commercial operations are set to commence in July 2022.
Back in the mid-1950s, informal settlers used to occupy the Patria site until the Archdiocese of Cebu offered the area to Student Catholic Action (SCA) members. The archdiocese challenged them to undertake the construction of a recreation center where Catholic youth could play bowling and billiards, as well as learn how to swim. SCA volunteers responded and helped build
From its origins as a youth recreation center, Patria de Cebu has been used as a convent for nuns, and finally as a budget-friendly hostel for city visitors needing clean, safe yet inexpensive accommodations.