Rockwell Center sits on a 15.5 hectare land that used to be the
location of a thermal power plant owned by the Lopez family, owner of
Meralco, the major electricity supplier in the Philippines. The
property used to be in a quiet area behing an exclusive residential
village called Bel-air. The thermal plant has always been there and very
few know or care about it, as the streets in and around the old thermal
plant were off the main thoroughfare of Epifanio de los Santos Avenue.
Many were surprised when the thermal plant closed in 1995. It was not
known that the prime lot was slated to be developed by Rockwell Land
Corporation with Meralco as the major stockholder and First Philippine
Holdings Corporation as its partner. The goal of the company was to
establish a self-contained mixed-use area in that quiet part of Makati.
Its initial project was Rockwell Center. Why Rockwell? The project was
named after the first president of Meralco, James Chapman Rockwell.
The first four high rise residential buildings of Rockwell Center
were simultaneously constructed in the mid 1990s. The four towers were
built at the west end of the block and were named after famous Filipino
artists: Hidalgo Place, Rizal Tower, Amorsolo Square and Luna Gardens.
The four residential towers became the epitome of luxurious condominium
Rockwell Club was opened in 1999 and the club became a first class
social, recreational and sports club. In 2000 the Power Plant Mall was
completed and stood on the exact same location of the old thermal
plant. The company also donated a prime lot to Ateneo Graduate School, a
premiere law school in the Philippines.
To date there are seven residential towers (one under construction),
three office buildings, an upscale shopping mall, a city sports and
recreation club, and a graduate school in Rockwell Center. The area is
famous as a watering ground, albeit wholesome, to young preppies and
not so young ones. The center is not too crowded as there is no public
transport that traverses the area.
Coming from north of EDSA, turn right at Estrella Street to reach
Rockwell Center. From south of EDSA take the flyover with the sign to