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Ortigas optimistic on Circulo Verde, eyes more ‘vertical’ projects

Friday, June 19, 2009 | MANILA, PHILIPPINES [ BusinessWorld Online ]


PROPERTY COMPANY Ortigas & Co. Ltd. Partnership is bullish that it will defy the slowdown in the real estate sector, citing warm reception for its first high-rise condominium project in Quezon City.

Joey Santos, Ortigas deputy chief operating officer, said in an interview the property developer expects to presell this year at least 90% of the first two towers of its 12-hectare Circulo Verde, which targets the middle and upper middle markets.

"We have started preselling during the early part of the year and everything is still looking good. We have also sold over 50% of our 330 units," Mr. Santos said.

Most of customers are locals who have also been buyers in the company’s past projects, he said.

The P18-billion project is the company’s first venture into the "vertical" residential sector, having opted to develop subdivisions like Valle Verde in Pasig before.

"The group plans to venture into vertical city [projects]. There is still no plan to go to the provinces since there is still a high demand for projects that have amenities," Mr. Santos said, pointing out that most residential projects in Pasig are stand-alone.

"The market is looking for more community development type of projects," he added.

The property company has allotted P60 billion in the next couple of years to finance three major projects such as Circulo Verde, which it expects to complete in the next 10 to 15 years.

Circulo Verde will house 12 residential towers of varying heights. It will have a combined total of 4,000 units, the smallest being 40-square-meter, one-bedroom units. The biggest are 120-square-meter, three-bedroom units to be sold for P80,000 per square meter.

The project, which the company will build in four phases, will also feature amenities such as swimming pools, jogging paths, and dog parks. It will also have a 200-meter zipline and wakeboarding area.

Aside from Circulo Verde, the property company is also developing a master plan for the improvement of its Greenhills Shopping Center. The property developer plans to double Greenhills’s flea market, build a traditional mall, and residential and commercial buildings.

Ortigas & Co. is also seeking to develop its 1.3-hectare land at the Ortigas Center in Pasig, where the property company plans to build what would be the country’s tallest building, One Galleon Place.

The 75-storey structure is expected to beat the 52-storey PBCom Tower in Makati and the world’s eighth-tallest building, the 69-storey Shun Hing Square in Shenzhen, China.

Although Ortigas & Co. still does not know when it will start the project, the skyscraper is envisioned to be divided into two portions — the upper half dedicated to a five-star hotel and the lower half for office units. — Kristine Jane R. Liu

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