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Empire East, Okada still in talks over housing project

By Jenniffer B. Austria | Posted on Jul. 11, 2013 at 12:01am | manilastandardtoday.com
Empire East Land Holdings Inc. said Wednesday it remains in talks with the Okada group for the residential component of the planned integrated casino and resort project in Entertainment City in ParaƱaque.
Empire East president Charlemagne Yu said in an interview following the annual stockholders’ meeting the company was still interested in the residential component of the project, despite the collapse in talks between Japanese billionaire Kazuo Okada’s Tiger Resorts Leisure and Entertainment Inc. and taipan John Gokongwei’s Robinsons Land Corp.
Yu said the company was just verifying with Okada whether the casino project would proceed, as earlier announced.
Yu said Empire East was only interested in the residential component of the project and not the casino. “There was a memorandum of agreement signed, in so far as residential component of the project [is concerned]. Empire East will not enter into casino operations. Right now, we are watching the developments happening, on the casino side,” he said.
“We would like to verify whether other parties [Okada group] are pushing through with the casino, which is the main thrust of the partner. If the project will push through, then we are in,” Yu said.
Empire East signed a joint venture agreement with Okada group last year for the development of a 12.95-hectare residential resort condominium project in Entertainment City of state-run Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.
The partnership involves the construction of more than 25 residential towers in several phases with development cost estimated to reach P45 billion.
Empire East’s joint venture agreement with Okada group was separate from the latter’s joint venture with Robinsons Land Corp. that was recently terminated.
Okada group was reportedly in talks with other potential partners for the casino project after negotiations with Robinsons Land ended in May.
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