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Belle Corp. eyes mall as part of $750-M Pagcor City dev’t

By Danessa O. Rivera
04/25/2012 [ tribune.net.ph ]

Listed high-end residential and leisure properties developer Belle Corp. is set to build a mall beside its $750-million casino development in Pagcor City.

Beside Belle Grande is a 2.5-hectare free lot where the “Belle Grande mall” will be built and construction for this mall will commence next week and will take 12 to 18 months to finish and will be 100-percent completed by 2014, Belle Corp. vice chairman Willy Ocier said.

Belle Corp. CFO Manuel Gana said the structure cost is P2 billion, and is included in the P4.4 billion to P4.5 billion capex for the casino and hotels development. He noted that the hotel and casino operation can start its operations while construction is ongoing for the mall.

The mall, to be operated by Leisure and Resorts World Corp. (LRWC) which is also the operator of Belle Grande, will have a gross floor area of more than 260,000 sqm, and while there are no final plans yet on how big the leasable area will be, it is estimated to be roughly 70,000 to 90,000 sqm.

Belle Grande is one of the licensees in the Pagcor City alongside the casino projects of Travellers International, Bloomberry Resorts Corp. and Aruze Group of Japan. Belle Corp. owns the land and the license for the casino and LRWC will lease the land from the former.

In terms of revenues in 2011, Ocier said Pagcor’s own operations is P2.5 billion plus P1.2 billion, from other operations like from ResortsWorld and PhilWeb. Meanwhile, last month, Pagcor made about P3 billion. “If you annualize it, it will be a total of P36 billion,” he said.

For gaming revenues in 2016, Ocier noted that Pagcor will be able to reach $3 billion gaming revenues on the back of the four licensees in Pagcor City plus other operations, gaining 8 to 10 percent of market share from Macau market, and this is an increase from 2011’s $1.2 billion, noting that ResortsWorld was able to double revenues from $600 million in just three years.

For the opening of Belle Grande, Gana said the start of operations for the casino and the hotels will be sometime next year with “delay due to new guidelines released by Pagcor in July 2011.”

“We were hoping a soft opening this year until Pagcor released new guidelines in 2011 to have 800 hotel rooms and 250,000 sqm requirement,” he said, noting that the structure is almost complete and they are currently doing the podium and the six hotels with their main concerns are to do things right and operate successfully.

Meanwhile, the company chairman said the casino may have the grand opening by second half of 2013.

For the NAIA-Pagcor City connector expressway, Ocier said it is not yet thoroughly approved but the project will cost about P15 billion. “Pagcor will put in P6 billion to P6.5 billion from the four licensees while the rest of amount will be bidded out, which will be announced by the Office of the President,” he said, adding that the P6 billion to P6.5 billion will be part of the $1 billion budget for resort complex development of each licensee. The proponents of the connector road are DPWH and APP which will still be approved by Neda and Office of President.

For Highlands Prime, Belle Corp. plans on expanding the Japanese-inspired community of Yume and Asian-contemporary-themed Sycamore Heights in Lakeside Fairways. The company also plans to bring the number of 18-hole international championship golf courses in Tagaytay Highlands to a total of three.
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