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Megaworld expects P6B from new condo

Vol. XXII, No. 179 [ BusinessWorld Online ]

Wednesday, April 15, 2009 | MANILA, PHILIPPINES

MEGAWORLD CORP. expects to earn P6 billion when it sells all four buildings of its newest residential condominium project in Cubao, Quezon City, the Andrew L. Tan-led property developer said yesterday.

The project, called Manhattan Heights, is expected to be finished in five years, and is the third phase of Megaworld’s Manhattan Garden City development where the Araneta Group is a partner.

Megaworld said it was optimistic on the new project despite the slowing domestic economy, citing the success of the first two phases, Manhattan Parkway Residence and Manhattan Parkview Residences, which have a combined six towers.

The two phases were sold out in just two years, Megaworld said in a statement. "[W]ith the strong backing of the Araneta Group, Manhattan Heights will surely post a stellar performance," Mr. Tan, Megaworld chairman and chief executive officer, said.

Megaworld’s five-hectare Manhattan Garden City at the Araneta commercial complex will be composed of 17 residential towers with a total of 6,000 condominium units.

Manhattan Heights will have four towers — the first and fourth towers will have 30 stories each while the second and third buildings will be higher.

The first tower will have 406 residential units with balconies. The remaining three towers will have around 400 each, ranging from 28-square meter (sq.m.) studios, 43-sq.m. one-bedroom units, and 67-sq.m. two-bedroom units.

A studio unit will cost at least P2.5 million; a one-bedroom unit, P3.7 million; and a two-bedroom unit, P6.1 million.

Manhattan Heights, which will have skylights, a jogging path, pools, and garden decks, will be built at the bus terminal across Ali Mall near Aurora Boulevard and two commuter train lines. Construction will start next year and units will be turned over to buyers five years from now.

Megaworld had said it would raise P10.4 billion from notes and the sale of new stocks to help fund a P30-billion, three-year expansion program.

Megaworld is the country’s third-biggest property firm by market value, selling mainly high-rise apartments and office buildings for the outsourcing sector.

In February, company officials said they were optimistic on the business despite the economic slowdown.

Megaworld expects to host around 14,000 jobs in the outsourcing sector when it completes five buildings in Eastwood City in Quezon City, McKinley Hill in Taguig, and Newport City in Pasay this year.

The property firm has yet to release financial data for last year but is expected to meet its 2008 profit target of P3.8 billion, almost four times higher than a year earlier.

Megaworld shares closed unchanged at P0.59 apiece yesterday. — K.J.R. Liu


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