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AMA Group’s property unit preps projects worth P60B

Posted on July 10, 2012 09:44:44 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ]

PICAR DEVELOPMENT, Inc., the real estate arm of the AMA Group, plans to spend P60 billion in 10 years to expand its property reach nationwide, beginning with developments in Makati City and Alabang, officials announced yesterday.

The amount, which will be sourced from the AMA Group, will be used to develop the company’s 630,000-square-meter land bank spread out all over the country.

“I think everyone believes that the local property market is still bullish. We believe in the next 10 years, the property market will still be in demand. When [the Philippines] gets an investment grade, hopefully in the next 12 months, that will help us a lot,” Danilo N. Jugno, Picar Development general manager, told reporters at a briefing.

Picar Development will be allotting P11 billion for Picar Development Place, the company’s 1.5-hectare flagship district in Bel-Air, Makati City which already houses the luxury Buddha Bar Manila lounge bar and restaurant. Joining Buddha Bar will be a 70-storey, 600-unit Mövenpick hotel, which is a joint venture with Swiss-based Mövenpick Hotels and Resorts, as well as a high-end, three-tower condominium project dubbed The Stratford Residences, which is expected to be completed in 2015.

Elsewhere, Picar Development is earmarking around P1.7 billion for Chelsea Residences, a 32-storey, mid-range condominium that will rise on a 1,408-square-meter lot in Alabang, Muntinlupa City. Chelsea will be launched by end-July, and is likely to be completed by 2016, Mr. Jugno said.

In the meantime, Picar Development said it will be expanding its mixed-use Ara Vista Village in General Trias, Cavite, which is said to be the country’s first WiFi-enabled township.

“Phase one is already completed, while phase two is almost 50% sold.

Phase three, on the other hand, will begin before the end of the year and will be finished before 2014,” Stephen P. Reyes, Picar Development senior assistant vice-president, said at the same briefing.

Moving forward, Picar Development said it was looking to expand into Laguna, Quezon City, Davao, Cebu, and Aklan, where the company is aiming to build a mix of office, hotel and mall developments, Mr. Jugno said.

In addition, the company is also interested in beefing up its land bank for future developments.

“We are looking at Laguna, Tagaytay [City], and other provinces in the south,” Mr. Jugno said.

Picar Development, established in 2007, revealed last year that it planned to list on the Philippine Stock Exchange to fund more residential projects, but it has set aside these plans in the interim.

“We’re looking at going public, maybe not in the near term, but in the medium term. It’s not a priority,” Mr. Jugno said, declining to elaborate. -- Franz Jonathan G. de la Fuente         
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