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Empire East ties up with Okada for 25-tower condo project

Posted on July 16, 2012 10:52:18 PM [ BuinessWorld Online ]

 EMPIRE EAST Land Holdings, Inc., an Andrew L. Tan-controlled developer, has forged a joint venture with Japan’s Okada group for a P45-billion condominium project in a state-planned casino complex along Manila Bay, a disclosure to the local bourse yesterday showed.

Empire East will assume the majority stake in its partnership with Okada-owned Tiger Resort Leisure and Entertainment, Inc. and Eagle 1 Landholdings, Inc. for the development of a 12.95-hectare luxury resort condominium in the Bagong Nayong Pilipino Entertainment City in Parañaque City, the disclosure read.

The high-end project, which will fall under the Empire East Elite brand, will consist of over 25 towers to be built in several phases.

Tiger Entertainment is the local unit of gaming giant Universal Entertainment Corp., owned by businessman Kazuo Okada, and is one of four groups authorized by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. to build in Entertainment City.

The project, which forms part of Tiger Entertainment’s $2-billion casino resort, will be up for launching this year, Empire East President Anthony Charlemagne C. Yu said in a text message to BusinessWorld.

“Plans are being discussed by the partners and we will have a firm timetable very soon. We are ready to commit a minimum of P10 billion as initial [capital],” Mr. Yu said
Before this, Mr. Tan’s Alliance Global Group, Inc. had partnered with Genting Hong Kong Ltd. for the $1.1-billion Resorts World Bayshore casino resort complex.

The Okada Group, for its part, has also been partnering with local firms of late.

Last Friday, Gokongwei-led Robinsons Land Corp. revealed it was in talks with the Okada Group for the possible management of the latter’s retail and gaming businesses in Entertainment City.

Moving forward, Empire East said it is expected to benefit from the residential demand to be generated from Entertainment City’s completion.

“We foresee that [Entertainment City] will attract one million tourists yearly, and will be a big draw for foreign investors and retirees. Many of these visitors may opt to buy properties for a longer stay or retirement,” Mr. Yu said in the disclosure.

“The [real estate] market is very active now, and Empire East wants to have a piece of the high-end market as well,” Mr. Yu explained.

For 2012, Empire East expects to complete two projects, namely tower one of Pioneer Woodlands, a six-tower, transit-oriented project on the corner of Pioneer Street and EDSA in Mandaluyong City, and tower one of Little Baguio Terraces, a four-tower development on Aurora Boulevard in San Juan City.

The developer is also one of many firms interested in the 120-hectare, state-owned Food Terminal, Inc. agri-indsutrial complex in Taguig City that is slated for bidding next month.

Its shares surged by 11.25% to 89 centavos yesterday. -- Franz Jonathan G. de la Fuente            
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