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Ayala Land puts up IT complex in Iloilo

Posted on April 27, 2011 07:56:50 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ]
LOCAL DEVELOPER Ayala Land, Inc. is building a three-building complex in Iloilo City to house business process outsourcing firms (BPO), signaling continued interest in growing office spaces in the provinces, a statement released last week showed.
The complex will be adjacent to Smallville Business and Leisure Park and the Boardwalk Leisure Center that accommodate restaurants and entertainment facilities.
Already, the complex has reportedly secured a tenant for a 2,500-square-meter (sq. m.) area in the BPO hub: Hinduja Global, one of India’s biggest BPO firms offering client servicing to firms in the Western countries in the insurance, telecommunications and consumer electronics sectors.
Lylah Fronda, senior manager of property consultancy Jones Lang LaSalle Leechiu (JLLL), said Hinduja considered three factors for its Iloilo branch: the presence of 17,000 graduates per year who have a natural proficiency to speak English; the opening of the Ayala Land-developed Iloilo Technohub and the recent completion of the 164-megawatt, coal-fired plant Global Business Power Corp., which allows competitive power rates in the region.
“All these developments were accomplished with the encouragement of a proactive local government focused on availing of opportunities for pump-priming the local economy,” said Phillip G. AƱonuevo, associate director of JLLL.
Mr. AƱonuevo said the key factor in looking for a BPO space is that the area is accredited by the Philippine Export Zone Authority, allowing tax incentives.
“Opportunities in the real estate office market have never been more attractive even in the key cities outside of Metro Manila like Iloilo, Lipa, Bacolod and Davao,” the statement read.
The project comes in line with Ayala Land plans to start the construction of additional 200,000 sq. m. of office space gross leasing area (GLA) and start the operation of five new BPO buildings in Baguio, Nuvali, Iloilo, Bacolod and Cebu totaling 55,000 sq. m. of GLA, according to earlier reports. Last year, it launched 103,000 sq. m. of new BPO GLA.
As of end-December, total available BPO GLA of Ayala Land hit 272,676 sq. m. with an occupancy rate of 70% compared with 55% a year ago.
The BPO industry posted almost $9 billion in revenues last year, up by 26% from 2009. The BPO sector drives the growth of the office market in the country.
BPO firms have increasingly set up outside metropolitan centers like Manila and Cebu as they seek to utilized untapped work force. -- N. J. C. Morales
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