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Economic zone status expected to spur buildup at Cebu Business Park

Posted on 09:32 PM, May 02, 2010 [ BusinessWorld Onine ]
BY MARITES S. VILLAMOR, Visayas Bureau Chief

CEBU CITY -- Property developer Cebu Holdings, Inc. plans to relaunch the Cebu Business Park as soon as a presidential proclamation declaring the property as a special economic zone for information technology is signed.
Francis O. Monera, Cebu Holdings president, said an ecozone status for the company’s 50-hectare flagship product would entitle lot owners to fiscal incentives and encourage them to build.
“We would like to think that a number of lot owners will look at this (ecozone status) as an opportunity,” Mr. Monera said after the stockholders’ meeting last week.
Cebu Holdings applied for Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) accreditation last year and expects to get a presidential proclamation this year, Mr. Monera said.
There are presently seven buildings within the park that are registered with the government as IT ecozone buildings, including a high-rise office tower and seven-storey advanced technology center built by printer maker Lexmark Research and Development Corp.
The others are the HDMF-WTCI IT Tower, Keppel Center, Cebu IT Tower (which hosts the Wipro BPO Philippines call center), Innove Plaza, and Pioneer House (which hosts Accenture’s delivery center in Cebu).
On top of the incentives provided by PEZA, a Cebu City ordinance in 2004 exempts these buildings from local taxes, except real property tax.
Cebu Holdings and its mother company Ayala Land, Inc. will lead the buildup, starting with the construction of two residential condominium buildings that will carry the Ayala Premier and Alveo brands.
Cebu Holdings will also further expand the Ayala Center Cebu shopping mall, considered the centerpiece of the park, to complete its full-circle design.
The buildup is also part of the company’s strategy to increase its leasing portfolio and ensure long-term recurring income given the dwindling inventory of prime land.
“As we use our existing properties to increase our leasing portfolio, we ensure appreciation of land and shareholder value. This is one of our strategies for sustainable growth for the company,” Mr. Monera told stockholders.
The Cebu Business Park complements Asiatown IT Park, flagship product of Cebu Holdings subsidiary Cebu Property Ventures and Development Corp.
There is also limited land for sale at the Asiatown park and Cebu Property Ventures has adopted the same strategy to build up together with Ayala Land while developing a five-hectare expansion area.

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