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Sale of remaining Fort Bonifacio lots faces delays

Posted on 10:10 PM, August 09, 2010 [ BusinessWorld Online ]
BY JESSICA ANNE D. HERMOSA, Senior Reporter

THE PRIVATIZATION of remaining military lots at Fort Bonifacio in Taguig is unlikely be completed this year due to possible leadership changes within the government agency in charge of selling the prime property, an official said late last week.
Companies interested in the rights to develop and lease out the 33.1-hectare lot in “Bonifacio South,” for instance, will have to wait as bidding will be delayed if new board members are appointed to the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), Executive Vice-President Aileen R. Zosa said.
This may mean lower revenues for the BCDA this year but higher bid prices for the properties with the market expected to pick up further in 2011, a property analyst said.
“[We will] probably not [see an increase in BCDA’s disposition proceeds this year] because a new administration results in changes in the board,” Ms. Zosa said in a text message.
Terms of three board members are set to expire this year, BCDA Corporate Secretary Peter Paul Andrew T. Flores said in a telephone interview yesterday, declining to elaborate.
But based on appointment dates stated on the agency’s Web site, BCDA President Narciso L. Abaya is among those whose terms will end in November.
“A new board means policy reviews or changes. [While] proceeds from the past transactions will continue even with the new board, it is the future disposition programs that might be delayed,” Ms. Zosa said.
On top of this possible delay, another remaining lot in the area up for privatization -- the 25.5-hectare property being claimed by the Navy Officers Village Association, Inc. -- is tied up at the Supreme Court.
Ms. Zosa said the delayed disposition of the lots would prevent the state agency from topping the P5.482 billion it raked in from similar deals in 2009.
But for Claro G. Cordero, Jr., head of research and consultancy at Jones Lang LaSalle Leechiu, the lots may fetch higher prices if they are bidded out in 2011 instead of this year.
“I think prices will be better next year, simply because ... full recovery will happen early next year,” Mr. Cordero said in a telephone interview yesterday.
“And there will always be interest in Fort Bonifacio. Major developers want to have a presence there. They will set up fund to invest there [even if the bid is delayed to next year],” Mr. Cordero said.
“The area has a superior master plan which I think is unbeatable and has not been replicated in existing business districts in Metro Manila. A lot of companies are eyeing that area,” he added.
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