[ Manila Bulletin Online ] July 21, 2008
The strong demand for commercial and residential spaces in Subic Freeport has encouraged Korean property developer Subic Daesung Corp. (SDC) to invest P890 million for the construction of "conficetel" a combination of condominium, office and hotel units.
Subic Daesung inaugurated its P120-million, three-story Subic World Plaza (SWP), its first "conficetel" project, and at the same time broke ground for the P770-million, 13-story Wellis Conficetel project.
Both projects are mixed-use commercial buildings that include condominium and hotel units, restaurant and retail shops, SDC chairman Kim Tae Wan said.
The SWP, which is located within Subic’s central business district, offers 13 commercial spaces at its ground floor, while its second and third floors have 54 office units and 20 residential units.
The 13-story Wellis, on the other hand, will have 384 hotel and condominium units and a state-of-the-art elevator parking — a first in the country, Kim added.
Construction for the Subic World Plaza project started just eight months ago, and units therein are now ready to be leased. Units at the Wellis Conficetel, meanwhile, will be available 18 months after the groundbreaking, Kim said.
The Korean developer added that because of the "tremendous opportunities" in Subic, his firm is eyeing the construction of five 17-storey conficetels on a three-hectare lot at Subic’s Boton Heights commercial area.
The proposed conficetels would be worth a total of P6.75 billion, Kim revealed, also noting the influx of Korean investors and retirees here, and the upward trend of tourist arrivals since the opening of the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx).
"Subic has become the Philippines’ prime tourist destination. Koreans prefer the Philippines, especially Subic, as their place for retirement," Kim pointed out.
Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) chairman Feliciano Salonga, meanwhile, gave assurances of the agency’s continued support to the Korean property developer, as well as other Korean investors present during the groundbreaking.
"Although the weather didn’t cooperate, the spirit of cooperation between Korea and Philippines continues without hesitation," said Salonga, referring to the downpour that beset the ceremony.
Meanwhile, SWP project consultant Leonardo Mesiano credited the growth of property development projects here to the SBMA’s effective marketing program and the agency’s partnership with operators of Subic’s tourism facilities.
He said the resulting influx in tourist arrivals as well as retirees here has provided challenge for Subic Daesung to come up with innovative ideas like the "conficetel" concept.
Mesiano said that the SWP project, for example, was designed with the lower levels providing overnight accommodations with easy access to shopping and dining facilities.