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Robinsons Land pushes mixed-use development

Posted on November 19, 2012 10:28:02 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ]

GOKONGWEI-LED property developer Robinsons Land Corp. has moved to broaden its mixed-use development portfolio, launching yesterday The Sapphire Bloc, an upscale project that was described as the company’s biggest development in Ortigas Center yet.

Robinsons Land yesterday unveiled The Sapphire Bloc in a press briefing at Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria, a four-tower complex that will rise on an 8,400-square-meter property bounded by Sapphire and Garnet Roads in Ortigas Center, Pasig City.

“This is our biggest project to date in Ortigas,” May L. Precilla, Robinsons Land vice-president for sales and marketing, said during the briefing.

Ms. Precilla noted in an interview after the briefing that Robinsons Land’s biggest development in the area had been the 5,000-square-meter Robinsons Galleria complex at the corner of EDSA and Ortigas Avenue.

LIFESTYLE BLOC
Robinsons Land said that as a so-called lifestyle bloc, the 38-storey The Sapphire Bloc will be a “centrally located, integrated development close to office and commercial institutions, a showcase of unique dining and retail conveniences, and complemented by a residential enclave.”

The Sapphire Bloc will offer 30- to 37-square-meter, one-bedroom units at P3 million-P4.16 million each; 45.50- to 60-square-meter, two-bedroom units at P5 million-P6.74 million each; and 97-square-meter, three-bedroom units at P10.59 million-P10.77 million each, a statement yesterday read.

“The first building is expected to bring P1.6 billion in sales, with turnover in 2016,” Mybelle V. Aragon-Gobio, Robinsons Land vice-president for business development and financing, said at same the briefing.

“[W]e have yet to estimate (sales from) the three other buildings, but the other buildings will be taller and have more units, so they will fetch higher sales.”

Ms. Gobio declined to cite investment cost.

Robinsons Land has also allotted a 2,000-square-meter area at The Sapphire Bloc’s ground level for retail tenants.

UPBEAT
The Sapphire Bloc will absorb Robinsons Land’s Sapphire Residences --- currently under construction -- after the company bought additional properties toward Onyx Road which crosses Sapphire and Garnet Roads from Meralco Avenue.

“We were fortunate to be able to acquire the properties beside that (Sapphire Residences). We expanded that lot and we now have this development,” explained Trina B. Cipriano, Robinsons Land assistant vice-president for leisure and retirement.

Robinsons Land had said last April that it was confident it can sustain growth of its business in Ortigas Center, where bulk of office properties were developed by the company.

One of the company officials reiterated this view during the briefing yesterday.

“We continue to be very bullish about Ortigas. We started here, we’ve grown here, and we know the market quite well. We are confident our projects will continue to sell,” Ms. Cipriano said.

FUNDING
Robinsons Land, incorporated in 1980, is the property arm of listed conglomerate JG Summit Holdings, Inc.

The property developer has built 32 malls, 33 residential projects, eight office buildings, and nine hotels to date.

For the 2012 fiscal year, the Gokongwei-led company has allotted P13 billion for capital expenditures -- just a little over the P13.9 billion the previous year -- which will be sourced from cash operations and debt, Frederick D. Go, Robinsons Land president, had said last April.

More than 60% of the funding will go to malls, office buildings, and hotels, while the remainder will be earmarked for residential condominiums and housing units, he explained.

Robinsons Land shares gained 40 centavos or 2.14% to P19.10 apiece yesterday from P18.70 last Friday. -- Franz Jonathan G. de la Fuente       
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