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DMCI readies new condo, gets flak for Ermita tower

Posted on June 11, 2012 11:42:50 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ]

THE PROPERTY arm of DMCI Holdings, Inc., plans to take advantage of the growing business district in Mandaluyong City and build a resort-themed condominium there, an official said late last week.

“We will be building a resort-inspired condominium on the Sheridan lots,” Cherrie Lyn V. Cruz, DMCI Project Developers, Inc. (DMCI Homes) marketing manager, told BusinessWorld in a telephone interview last Friday, referring to three properties along Sheridan Street in Mandaluyong City, which the firm acquired from Swift Foods, Inc. for P500.22 million in March.

“It will be similar to our other developments like Tivoli Garden Residences and Flair Towers. However, we’re still in the pre-development planning stage, and there is no construction movement yet as we’re still doing feasibility studies,” Ms. Cruz said.

The three lots are currently occupied by the old warehouse facilities of Swift Foods and will eventually be demolished to make way for the planned condominium, she added.

DMCI Homes said the Mandaluyong City was chosen because of plans to develop the industrial district into a future business center.

“The area will be part of the future Mandaluyong CBD (central business district). There is a local government plan where the Ortigas CBD will be extended, spilling over to the Sheridan-Reliance [streets],” Ms. Cruz said.

The project is expected to be unveiled by the fourth quarter, but with no definite month yet in mind, Ms. Cruz added.

Earlier, the company said it expects to spend roughly P8 billion this year to grow its portfolio of residential projects, which could soon include the controversial Torre de Manila condominium in Ermita, Manila.

Cultural activists have protested that the proposed 41-storey development, which will rise on Taft Avenue, would obstruct the view of the nearby Rizal monument when viewed from Roxas Boulevard, as depicted in artistic renderings on the project’s Web site.

“If [DMCI Homes builds] that 41-storey building, it’s going to be the first thing you will see before you see the Rizal Monument. It will impede the sanctity of the landscape,” artist Carlos Celdran, who spearheaded an online petition protesting the building’s design, told BusinessWorld in a telephone interview yesterday

“Imagine if future generations will take a picture of the Rizal Monument and the first thing that they will see behind it is Torre de Manila,” Mr. Celdran added.

The property firm declined to comment yesterday as it was still drafting a statement on the matter, according to a text message sent by Januel O. Venturanza, DMCI Homes marketing manager.

DMCI Homes saw its first-quarter net income surge by 81% to P405 million from P224 million last year, brought about by a 51% uptick in housing sales to P1.7 billion from P1.1 billion last year due to the completion of earlier-sold units in Metro Manila.

Shares of DMCI Holdings fell by 0.18% to P55.90 at the end of trading yesterday from P56.00 at its previous close. -- Franz Jonathan G. de la Fuente
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