|By Jovee Marie N. Dela Cruz, The Manila
Times, PhilippinesMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
April 23, 2012--A Manila government official on Sunday said that there are plans to convert the historical Philippine Post Office building into a world-class hotel.
In an interview with The Manila Times, Gemma Cruz-Araneta, vice president of the city of Manila's Historical and Heritage Commission, said that the group behind the Fullerton Hotel in Singapore is currently in talks with the Department of Finance for the possible conversion of the 86-year-old neoclassical post office building into a 5-star hotel.
"If that [project] pushes through it can boost the tourism in the area," Araneta said, adding that the city government of Manila and Mayor Alfredo Lim is fully supporting the plan.
The Fullerton Hotel was the General Post Office Building before Sino Land (Hong Kong) Co. Ltd. acquired it from the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Singapore in 1997 and converted it into a luxury hotel. A sister company of Far East Organization, Sino Land spent close to $300 million in converting the Singapore post office into the Fullerton Hotel located at the Central Business District near the mouth of the Singapore River
In the case of the Manila post office, Philpost Postmaster General Josie de la Cruz earlier said that the maintenance cost of the building is too much and that revenues are decreasing because fewer people are sending letters by slow mail in the advent of e-mail and text messaging.
Araneta clarified that the Post Office building would not be demolished because the investors will preserve it. She also revealed that the possible development of the Manila post office would also affect neighboring landmarks such as the Intramuros, Manila Metropolitan Theater and Liwasang Bonifacio.
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