PHILIPPINE REAL ESTATE and RELATED NEWS in and around the country . . .

Camp John Hay status quo pressed

by Dexter A. Se
[ ] March 1, 2012
BAGUIO CITY — The Bases Conversion and Development Authority and the Camp John Hay Development Corp. have agreed to observe a status quo inside the 247-hectare John Hay Special Economic Zone until a local court rules on a pending petition for injunctive relief.
On open court last Monday, Judge Mona Lisa Teongso-Tabora of the Regional Trial Court Branch 7 issued an order which eased the tension inside the zone.
Lawyers Remegio Custudio, Eloisa Sicam and Kimberlie See of the Ongkiko Law office appeared for BCDA while counterparts Gilbert Raymond Reyes and Christian Mendoza of the Poblador Law office represented the Sobrepena-owned CJHDevCo.
Because of the status quo agreement, BCDA will not forcibly take over the 247-hectare zone while CJHDevCo remains leasee of the government property under a contract signed in October 1997 and the revised memorandum of agreement in 2008.
Baguio Mayor Mauricio Domogan said the legal controversy had delayed the release of the city’s 25 percent share from the annual rental out of payment made by the developer to BCDA, further stalling development projects.
“We hope that both parties will be able to amicably settle their differences so that the national and local governments will be able to get their long overdue share from the unpaid lease rentals,” he said.
BCDA has billed CJHDevCo P3.04 billion for lease rentals over the past 16 years.

Filinvest Land bags deal to develop Cebu lot

Posted on February 28, 2012 10:04:31 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ]

LISTED DEVELOPER Filinvest Land, Inc. has won the contract to develop a state-owned lot in Cebu City into an office complex, adding to a growing list of commercial structures the firm is looking to construct, a disclosure released yesterday showed

The lot, formerly the site of the Bagong Buhay Rehabilitation Center and the Cebu City Treatment and Rehabilitation Center, is located on Salinas Drive and will soon be occupied by a series of business process outsourcing (BPO) buildings, the Gotianun-led firm said.

Filinvest Land added it has complied with the award notice requirements for the lot from Cebu’s Economic Enterprise Council, which operates under the Office of the Governor of Cebu.

The new property is expected to add to Filinvest Land’s BPO office portfolio, which had already exceeded 170,000 square meters (sq. m.) by the end of 2011.

Vector Two, the company’s 12th building in the so-called Northgate Cyberzone office complex in Alabang, is already fully taken-up and has been turned over to tenants, Filinvest Land said in the same disclosure.

Earlier, the developer had said that it is keen on bidding for an 18,498-sq.-m., state-owned lot in the Ortigas business district for a similar BPO development, joining other rivals Robinsons Land Corp., SM Development Corp. and Ayala Land, Inc. in expressing interest.

In the meantime, Filinvest Land said the construction of the five-storey, 10,000-sq.-m. Filinvest Building across the Asian Development Bank along EDSA is underway and is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

Filinvest Land has been ramping up its presence in Cebu.

In addition to the ongoing construction of the commercial strip called Il Corso at the Citta di Mare in South Road Properties, two mid-rise buildings Amalfi Oasis and San Remo Oasis are currently being built under a joint-venture with the Cebu City government.

Also, the third structure of the 3.7-hectare, 10-building One Oasis Cebu is expected to be completed by yearend, Filinvest Land said.

Earlier this year, the real estate firm opened a three-star hotel in the city under the Grand Cenia Hotel and Residences brand.

Moving forward, Filinvest Land is looking to spend up to P12 billion this year, nearly similar to the amount of P12-billion capital expenditures it allotted for in 2011.

A bulk of this will be channeled toward Filinvest Land’s investments in its core residential businesses, namely the affordable and middle-income housing segments, earlier reports show.

Filinvest Land hiked its net income by 15% in the January to September period last year to P1.66 billion from P1.45 billion during the same period in 2010 on brisk real estate sales and rental income from commercial parties, latest reports show.

Shares of Filinvest Land stood unchanged yesterday at P1.20 apiece. -- F. J. G. de la Fuente

John Hay developer cries harassment over BCDA charges

By Benjamin B. Pulta
02/29/2012 [ ]

The developer of Camp John Hay has deplored strong arm tactics being employed by the government through the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) as

CJH Devco denied it had illegally occupied a small portion of the former US recreational facility and described the purported filing of a criminal case against its officials as part of the strong arm tactics, including continued harassment and intimidation being employed by the state-run firm to justify an illegal takeover.

CJH Devco, which has poured in close to P3 billion in development projects, including the popular Camp John Hay Manor Hotel, said accusations by BCDA that it illegally occupied some 600 square meters of prime land near a sewage treatment plant (STP-6) within the John Hay Special Economic Zone are untrue.

“As far as we are concerned, there is no squatting here,” said CJH Devco Chief Operating Officer Alfredo Yniguez in a statement.

The CJHDevco stressed that the security facilities BCDA claimed to have been illegally constructed actually falls within the 247-hectare leased area that CJH Devco has been developing.

“We deplore the strong-arm tactics being resorted to by BCDA in its bid to justify a takeover of John Hay,” Yniguez said, adding that the filing of the case before the Department of Justice is just the latest in a series of actions aimed at seizing control of CJH Devco projects that include the popular Camp John Hay Manor Hotel and the Camp John Hay Golf Club.

The statement came after BCDA filed criminal complaint before the Department of Justice against CJH Devco and Warbird Security and Investigation Agency for “professional squatting” and required them to dismantle structures in Camp John Hay in Baguio City.

The government agency charged that CJH Devco built housing for their guards and K9 units within the BCDA property without BCDA’s consent.

Yniguez lamented that the filing of the case for alleged violation of Section 27 of the Urban Housing Development Act of 1992 was an offshoot of the company’s recent success in securing a temporary restraining order (TRO) from a Baguio court from any takeover by the state-run firm, BCDA. Yniguez said CJH Devco was able to secure the TRO after providing evidence that BCDA was amassing security forces in preparation for an illegal takeover.

“The motives of BCDA in this latest attack on CJH Devco’s security personnel are clear,” Yniguez said. “BCDA seeks to deplete the security forces of CJH Devco to forcibly and illegally take over John Hay.”

Responding to BCDA’s latest statement, Yniguez said what its service provider, Warbird Security and Investigation Agency, actually erected were outposts and other temporary security facilities that were primarily intended to secure the Camp John Hay Manor and other vital facilities within the CJH Devco area such as sewage treatment plant (STP- 6) and the popular Eco-Trail area.

“Considering the importance of the sewage treatment plant and the fact that the Eco-Trail is a fairly isolated area, security facilities were erected there to help secure not only that facility but also the many John Hay visitors who walk through the Eco-Trail every day,” Yniguez said. These latest attempts by BCDA to take out CJH Devco’s security contractor, Warbird, in the 247-hectare leased area will result in the loss of CJH Devco’s security controls and safety measures which threatens the safety and security not only for 2,600 employees working within the camp but also for thousands of tourists and visitors who frequent the camp on a daily basis.

“Setting up temporary security facilities in strategic locations within an area being secured is a standard practice in the security industry,” he said, adding that contrary to BCDA claims, there were neither families nor roosters in the temporary facilities.

MPC readies hospital buyout

by Jenniffer B. Austria
[ ] February 28, 2012

Metro Pacific Investments Corp. said on Monday it plans to purchase more shares in Asian Hospital Inc. to complete its takeover of the Alabang-based hospital.

Metro Pacific told the stock exchange it would conduct a tender offer for the remaining 842.45 million common shares representing 43.50 percent of the total capital stock of Asian Hospital.

The tender offer was made after Metro Pacific had acquired 56.50 percent of Asian Hospital for P1.46 billion.

Metro Pacific said it had acquired directly from Thailand’s Bumrungrad International Limited and indirectly from Bumrungrad International Philippines Inc. and Neptune Stroika Holdings Inc. a total of 1.094 billion common shares in Asian Hospital.

“All the shares tendered shall be purchased by the bidder at the highest price per share paid for the AHI shares acquired from the sellers. The terms of the tender offer shall be announced separately after final determination thereof,” Metro Pacific said.

Asian Hospital, which began operations in 2002, is a 219-bed tertiary hospital in Filinvest Corporate City in Alabang founded by the renowned Filipino heart surgeon Jorge Garcia. It is currently building a 14-story second tower at cost of P1.2 billion.

Metro Pacific Hospital Group president and chief executive Augusto Palisoc said earlier the second tower would house additional 144 beds, increasing the hospital’s capacity to 363 beds.

Asian Hospital will be the sixth hospital of Metro Pacific in the country and the fourth in Metro Manila. It has previously acquired Makati Medical Center, Cardinal Santos Medical Center in San Juan and Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Sta. Mesa, Manila.

Century Properties unveils designer condo project

Published : Monday, February 27, 2012 00:00 [ ]

Century Properties Group Inc. has unveiled plans for a P1.5-billion designer condominium building, the fourth of a six-tower development in its middle-income Acqua Private Residences project in Mandaluyong City.

Marco Antonio, project head and managing director of Century Properties, told reporters that the company has tapped Missoni Home to provide exclusive design service for the 52-storey Acqua Livingstone, the first residential brand in the world to feature the Italian fashion brand’s creative use of patterns and prints.

“At the end of the day, real estate is aspirational buying and people want to buy something that is unique. By virtue of Acqua Livingstone, we’ll actually be providing really collectible real estate,” Antonio said.

Projected sales value of Acqua Private Residences may increase to P15 billion from the earlier announced P13.5 billion because of the branding effect with Missoni Home. Acqua Livingstone will account for P3.5 billion in sales.

Century Properties have sold 96 percent of the first three Acqua towers, equivalent to 1,800 units, generating P7 billion in sales since its launch last year.

Acqua Livingstone is Century Properties’ fourth brand collaboration for a residential project after The Milano Residences with world-renowned fashion brand Versace, The Trump Tower Manila with American real estate mogul Donald Trump and Azure Urban Residences whose beach club was designed by hotel heiress Paris Hilton.

The brand collaborations have enjoyed brisk sales take-up: Milano is 80 percent sold in a year, while The Trump Tower is 55 percent sold. After the partnership with Hilton was announced, Azure saw a 40 percent increase in sales and has been sustained since.

“Behind the brand is a quality that people are familiar with. It’s not just an endorsement that we’re actually after, we’re actually after a value-add collaboration that will [go down as] a consumer benefit,” said Antonio.

Nearly a third of Century Properties’ branded developments are sold to non-Filipino foreigners and the company will continue to tap this market for Acqua Livingstone, he added. The latest residential project will also cater to domestic Filipinos and overseas Filipino workers.

Slated for completion in four to five years times, Acqua Livingstone will have 645 units with one to three-bedroom configurations at 27 square meters to 140 square meters. Prime units in various sizes and layout include Townhouse, Sky Garden, Private Garden, and Penthouse units.

The multi-level amenity area called The Canopy, located at the building’s skydeck, serves as the pinnacle of Missoni Home’s design imprint.

Based on internal calculations, Century Properties has cornered a 35 percent market share in terms of international sales in the last five years, ranked second behind home builder Vista Land & Lifescapes Inc. The company has about 3,000 agents selling across 50 countries in five continents.

Century Properties is targeting to hit at least P20 billion in pre-sales this year, nearly a 10 percent increase from the P18.4 billion last year, Antonio said.

The listed property developer also intends to grow its leasing business. Apart from its property management business, the company plans to put up offices on its land bank and establish “convenience retail” projects within its residential developments.

By the time its lifestyle center in Century City, an integrated community along Kalayaan Avenue in Makati City, opens, the company will have over a 5 percent recurring income base.

“We hope to grow recurring income base to more than 10 percent of the portfolio. With opportunities in the pending real estate investment trust law, it may serve as an impetus for us to create a recurring income stream,” Antonio said.

Sobrepeña camp denies squatting accusations

Posted on February 26, 2012 09:37:10 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ]

SOBREPEÑA-led Camp John Hay Development Corp. (CJHDevco) yesterday denied accusations it was squatting on a site inside a Baguio economic zone, saying structures it built beyond its leased land were meant to be temporary.

This, after a criminal charge was filed against Robert John L. Sobrepeña and Enrique A. Sobrepeña, Jr., along with other officers of CJHDevco and Warbird Security and Investigation, for illegally occupying 600 square meters of land within the John Hay Special Economic Zone.

But for Alfredo R. Yñiguez III, CJHDevco chief operating officer: “BCDA seeks to deplete... [our] security forces to give it the opportunity to forcibly and illegally take over John Hay,” a statement read.

“Considering the importance of the sewage treatment plant and the fact that the Eco-Trail is a fairly isolated area, security facilities were erected there to help secure not only the facility but also the many John Hay visitors who walk through the Eco-Trail every day,” Mr. Yñiguez explained, referring to the facilities that were constructed on the disputed site.

“Setting up temporary security facilities in strategic locations within an area being secured is a standard practice in the security industry,” he continued.

Furthermore, Mr. Yñiguez denied the existence of residential homes and a farmhouse in the temporary facilities.

The lawsuit comes as CJHDevco is said to have failed to pay back some P3 billion in debt to BCDA for its lease at the ecozone.

Earlier, they had argued that a contract restructuring their debt to the BCDA should be voided after the state agency allegedly failed to fulfill its commitment to create a one-stop action center that would provide permits to ecozone locators that would have paid rent.

The BCDA, however, said that the office it set up has actually been issuing around 80 permits each year to CJHDevCo.

CJHDevco is managed by Fil-Estate Management, Inc., a joint venture of Bank of Commerce in trust for College Assurance Plan Philippines, Inc., CAP Annuity Plans & Pension Corp. and Northwood Resources Corp. -- Eliza J. Diaz

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