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P50-b Araneta project up

by Jenniffer B. Austria
August 23, 2010
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The Araneta group of companies plans to spend P50 billion to redevelop the Araneta Center in Cubao, Quezon City into a mixed-use office and commercial complex.

Araneta Center Inc. president and chief executive and Araneta group patriarch Jorge Araneta told reporters the development plan involved the construction of a four-star hotel, an office tower and the expansion of the Gateway Mall.

The company has tapped Accor to manage the 400-room hotel, to be called Novotel, on a 5,000-square meter property within the Araneta Center. The group expects to complete the construction of the hotel within the next two years.

The company will expand the Gateway Mall by adding another five floors to accommodate more retail shops and offer more office spaces.

The Araneta group is also constructing a 25-story premium office tower that will target business process outsourcing companies and corporate offices.

Araneta said the group was expanding Araneta Center because it remained bullish on the prospects of the domestic economy.

He said the company was also interested in participating in the Real Estate Investment Trust, citing the company’s nearly 1 million square meters of leasable area within the Araneta Center. The group currently leases spaces in the Gateway Mall, Farmers Plaza and other small retail outlets within the area.

Araneta generates income from the Araneta Coliseum, the venue for most live concerts, shows and sports events like basketball and boxing.

Reit is a recently enacted law that allows income-generating real estate companies to list in the stock market.

Other real estate companies that have expressed interest in listing their income-generating assets include Ayala Land Inc., SM Prime Holdings Inc. and Robinsons Land Inc.

Araneta Center earlier tied up with Megaworld Corp. for the construction of residential condominiums within the 35-hectare Araneta Center.

The Araneta Center, which was established by the Araneta family 40 years ago, is strategically located at the crossroads of Metro Manila’s two busiest light railway systems—MRT-3 and LRT-2—as well and major thoroughfares Edsa and Aurora Boulevard.

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