Vol. XXII, No. 26 [ BusinessWorld Online ]
Monday, September 1, 2008 | MANILA, PHILIPPINES
PROPERTY DEVELOPER Ortigas & Co. Ltd. Partnership is erecting in Pasig City what it hopes to become the country’s tallest building.
The 75-storey structure will rise on a one-hectare property in Ortigas Center, Deputy Chief Operating Officer and Shopping Center Division Head Joselito F. Santos said in an interview last week.
One Galleon Place will become the country’s tallest building, beating the 52-storey PBCom Tower in Makati and the world’s eighth tallest building, the 69-storey Shun Hing Square in Shenzhen, China.
Mr. Santos said the skyscraper would be divided into two portions — the upper half dedicated to a five-star hotel and the lower half for office units.
No date has yet been given for the project. "It is in the plan. As of the moment, we are still concentrating on our other projects," Mr. Santos said.
The Ortigas group also plans to start the second phase of renovating Greenhills Shopping Center in San Juan by 2010, as it adds at least 50,000 square meters more to its 100,000-square meter floor area.
"We plan to have a bigger Greenhills [by setting up] new buildings and having better amenities. We plan to invite brands like Mango and Zara although we are not going high-end with our stores," Mr. Santos said.
The company also wants to widen the space of the mall’s bazaars, which he said gives Greenhills its unique identity.
Aside from expanding Greenhills, Ortigas & Co. is also expanding the Music Museum by 2010 so it can have up to 1,000 seats where plays, concerts and other performing arts can be held. Construction will start next year, Mr. Santos said.
Like other property developers that have diversified into the outsourcing industry, Mr. Santos said the company would start the construction of two of four business process outsourcing (BPO) buildings at Tiendesitas in Pasig by the fourth quarter.
The company earlier disclosed a plan to build four BPOs at the Tiendesitas complex to take advantage of the growing demand for office units from the outsourcing industry. "Demand is still strong," he added.
The four-storey BPO buildings will stand on a 20,000-square meter property. The first two buildings are expected to start operating by the first quarter of 2010.
"We hope to start the construction of the third and fourth buildings by the middle of next year," Mr. Santos said.
"The BPOs will not compete with the residential buildings although they have become a bigger component of the company’s business portfolio," he added.
The company earlier said that it was spending P15 billion over the next decade to convert a 12-hectare property in Quezon City into a mixed-use community.
The project, which will target the middle-income market, will consist of residential condominium units and townhouses.
It will have 5,000 units in low- and high-rise buildings, with price tags ranging from P2.5 million to P3 million per unit.
The first phase of the project will involve the construction of five buildings this year. — K.J.R. Liu