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Manila Mall Melds Nature, Shopping

An upmarket retail experience rarely involves a walk in the park. But at Greenbelt, the premium mall located right smack in metropolitan Manila's central...

MANILA, Philippines — An upmarket retail experience rarely involves a walk in the park. But at Greenbelt, the premium mall located right smack in metropolitan Manila’s central business district of Makati City, shoppers are encouraged to stop and smell the flowers, listen to water cascading gently from fountains or get lost in the lush greenery of its gardens.

Greenbelt, the flagship mall of Ayala Land, the country’s leading property developer, emphasizes the harmony of indoor and outdoor elements. The mall, which comprises five phases, is built around a 300,000-square-foot park, a soothing contrast to the jagged skyline of the financial district surrounding it.

Comprising a 1.3 million-square-foot lifestyle complex, with more than 250 shops, restaurants, cinemas and entertainment operators and daily shopper traffic of 85,000, the mall opened in 2002 with Greenbelt 1 & 2, followed by Greenbelt 3 in 2003. Greenbelt 4, home to such prestigious labels as Bulgari, Gucci, Prada, Tod’s, Bottega Veneta and Louis Vuitton, followed in 2004. The Ayala Museum, devoted to Philippine art and history, is next door.

The latest addition is Greenbelt 5, featuring the best of Philippino designers and several international brands. Myth is a visionary concept highlighting local couturiers such as Joji Lloren, Ivarluski Askeron and Dennis Lustico. Victoria Marin, who designs jewelry and accessories for Tory Burch, has her own boutique, as does jewelry designer Ana Rocha. The native-meets-modern aesthetic of Amina Aranaz, erstwhile supplier of Kate Spade’s rattan bucket bags, can be appreciated at the new Aranaz boutique.

The Greenbelt has won many awards for its design, including the 2003 Award for Excellence for outstanding development projects from America’s Urban Land Institute, and the Design and Development Award from the International Council of Shopping Centers in 2004.