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New business district eyed in Cebu

Posted on April 22, 2013 10:28:25 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ]
CEBU CITY -- Ayala Land, Inc. plans to develop a third business district in this city and bring in its Amaia residential brand to the province this year, as its local units build up existing twin business districts here.
Antonino T. Aquino, Ayala Land president, said the company is scouting for a property within the city that is as big as the 27-hectare Cebu IT Park or the 50-hectare Cebu Business Park.
He declined to identify potential locations, but confirmed the firm was looking at South Road Properties, a 300-hectare reclaimed area that hosts the 30-hectare development of SM Prime Holdings, Inc. and the 50-hectare mixed-use project of Filinvest Land, Inc.
“We see within the city three or more business districts. (Ayala Land) participating in the development of a third or fourth business district is something that would potentially happen,” Mr. Aquino said in a news conference after the Cebu Holdings, Inc. (CHI) stockholders’ meeting yesterday.
He added the firm was scouting for a property that could be developed into the first Amaia project in Cebu province. Ayala Land’s three other residential brands, namely: Ayala Land Premier, Alveo and Avida, have already established presence in the two business districts.
CHI, a listed affiliate of Ayala Land, has earmarked some P3.4 billion for new and existing projects, as well as land acquisition this year.
Investments with other Ayala Land units here will total P5.4 billion this year, said CHI President Francis O. Monera.
CHI 76%-owned subsidiary Cebu Property Ventures & Development Corp. (CPVDC), meanwhile, will redevelop this year a five-hectare lot at the heart of Cebu IT Park into a mixed-use block with retail, residential and commercial components.
Mr. Monera, who is also CPVDC president, said a master plan is being drawn up for the area.
“We still have to firm up the master plan. We don’t know the figures yet,” he said.
The area is envisioned to include Ayala’s second mall in Cebu, residential and office towers, and a hotel.
On the site currently stands eOffice, a one-storey modular building that CPVDC built about a decade ago to lure information technology locators.
Mr. Monera said eOffice will be demolished this year and locators have been advised to relocate to other buildings within the park to pave for the redevelopment project.
During the CPVDC stockholders’ meeting yesterday, Mr. Monera said the project “comes at an opportune time, with the strong business process outsourcing industry and the resulting high spending power of the market.”
He said the project is supported by the company’s strong balance sheet.
CPVDC’s mother company, CHI, ended 2012 with record-high net income of P441 million and revenues of P1.6 billion. CHI shares gained 22 centavos or 4.05% to close at P5.65 apiece yesterday from P5.43 each on Friday last week. CHI has two wholly owned subsidiaries, namely: CBP Theater Management, Inc. and Cebu Leisure Company, Inc., according to the company’s page on the Philippine Stock Exchange Web site. -- Marites S. Villamor
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