IN TIME for the quincentennial celebration of the introduction of Christianity to the country, property developer Cebu Landmasters Inc. (CLI) broke ground on the mixed-use complex on the site of the old Patria de Cebu along Cebu’s heritage trail on Monday, April 19, 2021.
The CLI and the Archdiocese of Cebu said the final design of the project, which was approved by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP), is committed to preserve the historic edifice of the Patria de Cebu — not just its facade — after the clamor of local heritage groups.
“We really pray because we believe this project is being undertaken by people who have a sincere desire to realize their own aspiration,” Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma said.
The mixed-use development will offer 21,000 square meters of gross floor area and incorporate an international hotel with 182 rooms at the heart of downtown Cebu City.
“The final design of Patria de Cebu is a result of a collaboration between the Archdiocese of Cebu, CLI and key stakeholders. It is a celebration of Cebuano history and culture in today’s setting,” CLI chief executive officer Jose Soberano III said.
Named after the historic Catholic recreation center that was popular among young professionals in the 1950s, Patria de Cebu’s redevelopment will offer 4,320 square meters of food, dining and entertainment spaces and 4,400 square meters of offices.
There will be a large central interior plaza for cultural and other gatherings. The rooftop will also be a venue for al fresco events.
The ballroom and meeting rooms of the Mercure Cebu Downtown, which is set to open in 2024, will also host social and business gatherings. The hotel will be operated by French multinational chain Accor, a world-leading hospitality group.
The CLI’s collaboration with the Archdiocese of Cebu covers the development and operation of the mixed-use project for 40 years.
A collaboration between CLI and the Archdiocese of Cebu, the mixed-use complex was planned to revitalize this historic center of Cebu.
Located in front of the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, which was built in the Baroque-Rococo style, the new Patria de Cebu was envisioned by architect Jose Pedro Recio to “visually bridge the old and the new,” with the approval of the NHCP.
Fr. Brian Brigoli, chairman of the Cebu Archdiocesan Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the Church, said when people see the new Patria, they will be transported to its original visual integrity. (JOB)