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Rockwell eyes more areas for development

Posted on December 11, 2012 10:25:37 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ]
PROPERTY DEVELOPER Rockwell Land Corp. aims to expand its land bank to include more lots in Metro Manila and outside Luzon amid plans to launch four new projects in 2013, company officials said last week. 
 “Key areas we’re interested in are Ortigas [Center], San Juan, Quezon City. Outside Luzon, we’re exploring Cebu, possibly Davao, and other key areas there. If ever we will launch something, it will be in those areas,” Valerie L. Soliven, Rockwell Land vice-president for sales and marketing, said in an interview on Tuesday last week at Cantinetta restaurant, Power Plant Mall in Rockwell Center, Makati City.
She declined to give details on the potential sites, noting however that some land has already been purchased.
“Some are already acquired, but majority have yet to be acquired. There’s already one property we own in San Juan area; but for the others, we’re still exploring,” Ms. Soliven said, noting that the company has been eyeing more areas for upscale developments.
“Most of our target market is situated there. Cebu for example remains one of the country’s top metros, Davao is where you have Pearl Farm and the like, and in Metro Manila, you have the CBDs (central business districts). These are where the other high-end customers are,” Ms. Soliven said.
“We may launch four new property projects next year, including the full-blown selling of The Proscenium,” she added, referring to the 3.6-hectare, five-tower mixed-use expansion of its flagship Rockwell Center in Makati City.
“The Proscenium is envisioned to be the embodiment of the next-generation Rockwell. With The Proscenium, we want to raise standards for luxury development.”
The Proscenium, to be designed by world-renowned Uruguayan architect Carlos Ott -- designer of Paris’ L’Opera de Bastille -- will also house the Lopez Tower and Museum, which is intended to be the headquarters of the firms under the Lopez Group.
The Proscenium’s first two towers, containing less than 200 units, are expected to be completed in 2017 and 2018, respectively.
“It will look very different, but timeless. It will complete the Rockwell Center development,” Ms. Soliven shared.
Pre-selling for The Proscenium’s first two towers have been robust so far, she claimed.
Launched last Nov. 27, the project has been met with “very strong and very encouraging” demand, Mr. Soliven noted. She added that demand has been “mostly from local clients, and from a combination of end-users and investors.”
Rockwell Land was incorporated in 1975 as First Philippine Realty and Development Corp., adopting its current designation in 1995 after the shutdown of the Lopez Group’s thermal power plant in Makati City. It debuted on the stock exchange last May by way of introduction. It is primarily engaged in development, sales and marketing, and management of residential towers as well as development and operation of shopping malls, retail areas and office buildings.
The company grew its net income by 14.80% to P706 million as of September from P615 million in the previous year, driven by higher revenues earned condominium sales. In the same comparative periods, revenues -- composed of condominium unit sales, lease income, interest income, cinema and other mall revenues, and miscellaneous income -- rose by 1.03% to P3.92 billion from P3.88 billion, while expenses declined by 1.98% to P2.97 billion from P3.03 billion.
For the full year, the company had said in July that it was confident it could grow its net income by 20% from 2011’s P915 million.
“Drivers for the year would still be residential sales. Residential sales have been up 56% year to date,” Ms. Soliven said.
Shares of the company yesterday lost one centavo to P2.80 apiece. -- Franz Jonathan G. de la Fuente   
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