It was a few years ago, while on the way to the airport, that I got to look closely at what they call McKinley West in Taguig.

Roadworks along Lawton Ave. sent me along with the other drivers plying the same route to a detour inside this posh 34.5-hectare township by Megaworld. The trail was longer than the normal route, for sure, but it was a comfortable enough ride. The roads were wide, nicely paved, well lit and surprisingly, clean and unobstructed, considering that construction then was going full blast in practically every wide expanse you could see.

But that was a few years ago.

Today, McKinley West has started to take shape, sporting a unique character that radiates the vibrance and dynamism of a bustling business district with its rows of premium grade office buildings and pocket lifestyle hubs, while still exuding an understated elegance and exclusivity with the ultra high end residential projects positioned on the quieter side of this township. It is home to expat communities, multinational corporations, business process outsourcing companies, international schools, as well as embassies.

Over a hearty lunch at Kisoya, a traditional Japanese restaurant with Korean fusion, I was told that much has indeed changed since property giant Megaworld bagged in 2010 the contract to develop this former Jusmag compound—which is located right beside the ritzy Forbes Park and Manila Polo Club and just across the 50-ha McKinley Hill, the company’s largest township development in Metro Manila. And it seems that Megaworld has gone beyond bringing its distinct live-work-play lifestyle here.

osh enclaves

For one, it has the so-called “Billionaire’s Row,” a set of ultra-luxurious residential estates that are all conceptually designed by Broadway Malyan, the UK-based, multi-awarded architectural firm. Catering to Manila’s well-heeled market, these estates offer a home within the most ideal mixed-use community to the country’s most successful lot.

With their respective state-of-the-art security features and first-of-its-kind luxury amenities, the McKinley West Village offered lots with sizes ranging from 188 sqm to 600 sqm, while the St. Moritz Private Estate, The Albany Luxury Residences and Park McKinley West each had a limited number of units, owing to their goal of having a less dense and more exclusive community. Today, there are seven existing residential enclaves in varying stages of construction and completion, with prices averaging up to P317,000 per sqm, based on the remaining units.

Touring the Cluster One of St. Moritz, I saw that it had two lobbies and its own amenity deck, which would be separate from that of Cluster Two. Rising nine stories high, Cluster One offers only 98 units, including the eight spacious bi-level (or penthouse) units that were sold out.

On the amenity deck, I got a pretty good view of the ongoing works in the township, with the houses being built at the McKinley West Village in front of me, while construction of St. Moritz’s Cluster Two and The Albany—reportedly the most expensive residential enclave here—was in full swing. Behind me is Park McKinley West, where construction is also underway.

Lifestyle hubs

Complementing the posh, fast-paced lifestyle here are the pockets of lifestyle hubs and open spaces strategically scattered across the township, either stand alone, clustered, or located on the first two levels of the office buildings.

Eye catching is the McDonald’s McKinley West branch, said to be the first among the NXTGEN stores that the fast-food chain would have in the metro. Opened in 2018, the store’s yellow arches were said to be reminiscent of the first McDonald’s franchise store that opened in Illinois in 1955. Inside, one can find modern menu boards as well as high tech self-ordering kiosks.

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