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Work on new PSE building seen to start next quarter

Posted on September 06, 2012 10:11:30 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ]

CONSTRUCTION of the new Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) building by developer Ayala Land, Inc. and Fort Bonifacio Development Corp. (FBDC) in Bonifacio Global City (BGC), Taguig City is likely to commence next quarter, an executive involved in the project said in a recent interview. 

“Groundbreaking is targeted in the fourth quarter of 2012,” Manny A. Blas II, FBDC commercial operations head, said earlier this week when asked for a timetable for the project’s construction.

He said the project will financed by FBDC, while Ayala Land serves as project development manager. FBDC, a joint venture between Ayala Land and Campos-led Evergreen Holdings, Inc., is the company behind the 240-hectare BGC, which formed part of a former military base until the 1990s, according to the firm’s Web site.

PSE, the country’s sole stock exchange, was incorporated in 1992, replacing the now-defunct Manila and Makati Stock Exchanges. Last April, the PSE formally approved the transfer of its corporate headquarters to BGC from its present location along Ayala Avenue, Makati City, inking a partnership with listed developer Ayala Land for the project.

The new PSE offices, which will be housed in a P3.5 billion, grade AAA multi-tower complex, will rise in the planned One Bonifacio High Street district, a 3.2-hectare, premium mixed-use block west of the existing Bonifacio High Street commercial strip.

Once the new building is completed within an estimated five years, PSE said it will consider selling its two properties in Pasig and Makati cities which will be vacated by then. The PSE Centre in Pasig City which had been the subject of two failed auctions by the bourse last year has been tagged as prime office space, while the PSE Plaza in Makati City has been cited as a possible office space or concert hall venue.

The PSE’s planned transfer to BGC comes amid the attention the district has been receiving from property analysts touting the area as one of the faster-growing commercial and business districts in the country today.

Rental activity in BGC, for one, has been robust, with rents there increasing by an average of 9.2% in the first quarter from year-ago levels, on the back of tightening supply for business process outsourcing developments, according to a report released by real estate services firm CB Richard Ellis Philippines, Inc. last June.

Moreover, over a quarter of BGC will have been occupied by various establishments by yearend, covering a larger area than its neighboring rival, the Makati Central Business District (CBD), FBDC claimed.

“By the end of the year, BGC will have reached 3.4 million square meters of gross floor area. This is roughly 28% of the total build-out of BGC. That is equivalent to about half of Makati’s current CBD,” Mr. Blas said.

Shares of Ayala Land, which is listed at the PSE under the property subindex, yesterday shed 20 centavos or 0.89% to P22.15 apiece from P22.35 last Wednesday. -- Franz Joseph G. de la Fuente   

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