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Araneta City
Opening date1960
DeveloperACI, Inc.
OwnerACI, Inc.
Araneta City is located in Manila
Araneta City
Location in Manila, Philippines
Araneta City is located in Philippines
Araneta City
Araneta City (Philippines)
Coordinates: 14°37′15″N 121°03′12″E / 14.6207°N 121.0532°E / 14.6207; 121.0532Coordinates: 14°37′15″N 121°03′12″E / 14.6207°N 121.0532°E / 14.6207; 121.0532
LocationSocorro, Cubao, Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines
 • Total35 ha (86 acres)

The Araneta City, formerly called Araneta Center, is a 35-hectare (86-acre) transit oriented, commercial mixed-use development in Socorro, Cubao, Quezon City, Philippines. It is located between Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA) and Aurora Boulevard and hosts the stations of the MRT Line 3 and the LRT Line 2.

ACI, Inc., a company of the Araneta Group, is the developer, owner, and manager of the commercial area.[1] The area hosts over 1 million people daily.


Logo of the Araneta City as Araneta Center.
Logo of the Araneta City as Araneta Center.

The 35 hectares (86 acres) property where the Araneta City, formerly named Araneta Center, is located in Quezon City, and was purchased by J. Amado Araneta in 1952, after the family's mansion in Taft Avenue, Manila was destroyed during the Battle of Manila in 1945.[2] The land stood on bedrock, and has an elevation level of 43 meters, which is the highest point of the Metro Manila, located between Highway 54 (now Epifanio de los Santos Avenue), Aurora Boulevard, and P. Tuazon Boulevard; and along Gen. Romulo Avenue. As of 1959, the area was remote and located in an area designated for suburban mass housing and frequented by Hukbalahap rebels.[3] The original owner of the property was the Radio Corporation of America (RCA).

In 1953, Araneta initially only purchased 4 hectares (9.9 acres) of land from RCA, where he built his residence, which would become known as the "Bahay na Puti" (White House). It was in 1955 that Araneta purchased the remaining 31 hectares (77 acres) from the RCA.[4]

In 1956, Araneta sold a portion of the property to the Philippine National Bank which proceeded to set up a branch in the area. On the same year, the first Aguinaldo Department Store, a well-known retailer established its first branch beyond Manila. Araneta's Progressive Development Corporation (PDC) relocated its offices from Plaza Cervantes in Binondo, Manila to the Araneta Enterprise Building along Aurora Avenue. PDC would be later tasked to develop the Araneta Coliseum.[4]

In the following years after the opening of the Araneta Coliseum in 1960, rapid development took place in the area.[3] From the 1960s until the 1980s, there was a construction boom around the complex, and the area became a bustling entertainment and leisure hub, with the creation of the first strip mall in the country composed of 147 stores, located along Aurora Boulevard,[5] and the creation of Ali Mall, SM Cubao, Fiesta Carnival (now the site of Shopwise hypermarket), Plaza Fair, New Frontier Theater, Rustan's Superstore, National Book Store Superbranch, COD Department Store, Matsuzakaya Department Store and Matsuzakaya House, Uniwide Cubao, Farmers Plaza, Farmer's Market, and the Aurora Tower.[6] The developments around the complex caused the area to prosper over the years and competed with other business districts in the Metro, such as Manila, the Makati Central Business District, the Greenhills Center, and the Ortigas Center.

The Araneta City and the surrounding areas also served as the home of many movie theaters such as the Nation Cinerama, Quezon Theater, Cinema 21, Sampaguita Theater, ACT Theater, Ocean Theater, Diamond Theater, Remar Theater, Alta Cinema, and Coronet Theater. Many of these establishments however have been closed by the end of the 1990s, with the buildings either repurposed for commercial purposes or demolished to give way to future developments due to the introduction of the home entertainment system and the creation of in-house movie theaters inside the shopping malls in the Metro that led to lesser patronage to these movie theaters.[7] The area around the city also serves as a transport terminal for jeepneys and provincial buses serving nearby cities and provincial areas around the country.

With the ambition of regaining its former glory, and as the infrastructure around the area improved, a 20-year redevelopment project, known as the Araneta Center Master Plan, was formulated in 1999-2000 and was unveiled in 2002, with an estimated budget of over ₱80 billion ($1.62 Bbllion), led by J. Amado's son, Jorge L. Araneta. The redevelopment master plan is envisioned to turn the complex into an inter-connected, transit oriented "Garden City" concept, promoting connectivity, green architecture and open spaces within its buildings. Araneta also hired the international architectural firm RTKL Associates, along with local firms Palafox Associates, ASYA Design, and Aidea, for the redevelopment master plan.[8]

The first phase of the redevelopment plan, totaling over ₱30 billion ($608 million) began with the construction of the Gateway Mall, a major renovation of the Araneta Coliseum as well as the rehabilitation of the New Frontier Theater. Also included in the redevelopment project is the renovations of Shopwise, Farmers Plaza, Ali Mall, SM Cubao and the Aurora Tower; and the construction of the first 12 towers of the Manhattan Gardens, the Gateway Tower, the Novotel Manila Araneta City, the Araneta City Cyberpark Towers 1 and 2, and the upcoming the Gateway Mall 2 and Ibis Styles Araneta City.[9][10][11]

The second phase, totaling over ₱50 billion ($1.01 billion) will include the development of 3 additional Cyberpark Towers, 6 additional Manhattan Gardens Towers, the Gateway Mall 3; the City Plaza, a 2 hectares (4.9 acres), 5-tower, 60 storey Mixed-use development featuring a 4-star hotel, premium grade offices, luxury residential towers, and leisure and retail spaces, and also features the "Spanish Steps", the civic center, and the Icon Tower, connected from the Manhattan Plaza.[12][13][14][15] The master plan will also include a multi-billion dollar 8 hectares (20 acres) Integrated resort consisting hotels, dining, entertainment, gaming, conventions and conferences, luxurious retail shops, a modernised Farmer's Market, and a heritage area located along EDSA, spanning from the Farmer's Market and its surrounding buildings, up to the Farmer's Garden area; and a planned expansion of Ali Mall, which includes a 4-tower mixed-use development located along the northern area of the mall.[16] The overall redevelopment master-plan covers 3,000,000 m2 (32,000,000 sq ft) square meters of gross floor area and are set within the target completion by 2030, as part of the company's Vision 2030 plan within the area.[17][18]

On September 24, 2019, the Araneta Center was renamed as Araneta City after a brand relaunch.[19]

Facilities and tenants

The Araneta City hosts 2,108 shopping and dining establishments throughout the complex, notably included in its tenants are located in malls such as Ali Mall, Farmers Plaza, and the Gateway Mall, which has a combined retail space of 224,900 m2 (2,421,000 sq ft). Also located in the area is the National Book Store Superbranch, one of the largest branch of the office-supplies store chain in the Philippines which opened its doors in 1972;[20] the Farmers Market, which has 12,000 m2 (130,000 sq ft) of market space; SM Cubao, which has a floor area of 85,000 m2 (910,000 sq ft); and Shopwise Hypermarket, which has a 18,000 m2 (190,000 sq ft) of retail space. The complex also contains numerous al fresco dining areas, vintage shops, and plant and gardening shops catering its clientele, such as the Araneta City Expo, the Cubao Expo, the Farmers Garden, the Araneta City Foodpark, which is also known as the Times Square Food Park, and the Manhattan Row, wherein the area also serves as an alternative outdoor concert venue.[21][22]

The Araneta City is also host of some of Metro Manila's major event venues, such as the Smart Araneta Coliseum, a 20,000 seater indoor arena which serves as the centerpiece of the development, along with the 2,385-seater New Frontier Theater, and also houses the Novotel Manila Araneta City, a 401-room, mid-scale hotel. The city also offers 7,000 parking spaces, including parking spaces from the Araneta City Parking Garage South, a green parking building located beside the Smart Araneta Coliseum, capable of storing over 1,500 vehicles. The complex also houses the Aurora Tower, a 22-storey, mixed-use tower with retail, office and penthouse spaces, with Isetann Department Store and Supermarket occupying its first 7 floors. The tower has 19,800 m2 (213,000 sq ft) of total space and was completed in 1984. The tower also serves as the former headquarters of the Araneta Group and currently houses local companies, and the offices of the Honorary Consulate of Colombia as tenants occupy the upper levels of the building.[23][24]

Aside from its commercial and entertainment facilities, the Araneta City has also become a business center, employing over 40,000 workers throughout the complex, with the Gateway Tower and Araneta City Cyberpark serving as the office and information technology (IT) Hub components of the area, and houses both international and local companies, primarily Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) companies presently occupying these mixed-use buildings. The city also houses the Manhattan Gardens, a 4-phase (Parkway, Parkview, Heights, Plaza), 9,000 unit, 18-tower residential project, serving as the first transit-oriented residential development in the country. The Araneta City is also home to other commercial buildings within the area, including buildings occupied by Puregold, Dreamworld Hotel, Savemore Market, the Philippine American Life and General Insurance Company, and the Vivaldi Residences Cubao, housing Eurotel on its first floors.

The Araneta Mansion, also known as the White House, and is often translated as the Bahay Na Puti, is also located within the Araneta City, occupying the southwest corner of the city located along the corner of P. Tuazon Boulevard and Epifanio de los Santos Avenue, and serves as the official residence of the Araneta family. The mansion hosted many local and foreign guests, such as Muhammad Ali, Then-Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and First Lady María Clemencia Rodríguez Múnera, Andrew Tan, Nat King Cole, Johnny Mathis, Paul Anka, Neil Sedaka, Julio Iglesias, among many others,[5] and also features approximately 300 chicken dens on the mansion's western side for cockfighting and fowl breeding purposes.[25]


The Bus terminal at the Araneta City in 2013
The Bus terminal at the Araneta City in 2013

There are two elevated rail stations serving the area; the MRT Line 3 and the LRT Line 2 Araneta Center-Cubao stations. The area also serves as a terminal for jeepneys, BEEP Jeepneys, and UV Express vehicles serving the nearby areas of Quezon City, Marikina, the Province of Rizal (namely Antipolo, Cainta, San Mateo, Montalban, Taytay, and Angono), Manila, Eastern Pasig, Northern Caloocan, and San Juan. The city also caters two bus terminals, the Araneta City Bus Terminal and the Araneta City Busport,[23] servicing passengers going to Central Luzon, Southern Luzon, the Bicol Region, the Visayan Provinces and the Mindanao Provinces.[26]

Araneta also offers the UBE Express Premium Point-to-Point Airport Bus Service, which connects the Araneta City to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport and the SM Mall of Asia,[23] as well as a free E-shuttle services from Ali Mall, up to the Line 2 Araneta Center-Cubao Station-Gateway Mall Concourse. The free E-shuttle services were temporarily suspended in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Philippines.


  1. ^ "Success runs deep: The story of the Philippines' Araneta Family". Philippine Primer. October 6, 2016. Retrieved March 5, 2017.
  2. ^ "Jorge Araneta: Front and Center". People Asia. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
  3. ^ a b Navarro, Nelson (January 13, 2013). "Cubao's brief shining moment". The Philippine Star. Retrieved March 5, 2017.
  4. ^ a b Antonio, Hidalgo (2008). "Renewing Old Ties". The Araneta Center : the big dome and beyond. By Alcazaren, Alfred; Yuson, Paulo. p. 28. ISBN 9789719398103.
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  6. ^ "7 cool bits of Philippine history that took place in the 'City of Firsts'". GMA News Online. October 6, 2019.
  7. ^ "reminiscing Cubao and its old movie theaters". December 4, 2010.
  9. ^ News, By DANESSA O. RIVERA, GMA. "Araneta Group earmarks at least P30-B to transform Araneta Center in Cubao". GMA News Online. ((cite news)): |last1= has generic name (help)
  10. ^ Nicolas, Jino (March 25, 2018). "Araneta to develop new budget hotel in Cubao". BusinessWorld Online.
  11. ^ Arceo-Dumlao, Tina (April 12, 2015). "Araneta Center turns 60".
  12. ^ Mercurio, Richmond. "Araneta Group rethinks planned office building amid business process outsourcing slowdown".
  13. ^ "Araneta Center redevelopment on track".
  14. ^ "Philippine Real Estate News - December 2015". November 15, 2015.
  15. ^ News, JON VIKTOR D. CABUENAS, GMA. "Araneta Group unveils P20-B masterplan for Cyberpark Complex in Cubao". GMA News Online. ((cite web)): |last= has generic name (help)
  16. ^ Reyes, Rizal Raoul (February 26, 2020). "New Gateway to enhance malling in Quezon City". BusinessMirror. Retrieved March 1, 2020.
  17. ^ "2019 Araneta City Corporate AVP". YouTube. Archived from the original on December 21, 2021. Retrieved November 12, 2019.
  18. ^ "The Araneta Group - ACI, Inc". Retrieved January 10, 2020.
  19. ^ Aguilar, Krissy (September 24, 2019). "Araneta Center reintroduces itself as Araneta City". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved September 25, 2019.
  20. ^ "National Book Store".
  21. ^ "Araneta City".
  22. ^ City, Araneta. "Araneta City".
  23. ^ a b c City, Araneta. "Araneta City".
  24. ^ Savills, K. M. C. "Aurora Tower".
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  26. ^[dead link]