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Puerto Azul owners eye new dev’t

By Neil Jerome C. Morales (The Philippine Star) | Updated April 4, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Panlilio-owned property firm Boulevard Holdings Inc. (BHI) has entered into talks with a company willing to put up a new hotel and residential segment in Puerto Azul in Cavite even as the due diligence and permitting process of Ayala Land Inc. (ALI) is progressing well.

BHI said it expects the Puerto Azul deal to boost the company’s cash by P1 billion despite the continuing operational troubles in its Boracay resort.

“BHI has received a letter of intent from a very reputable realty developer, who have current dealings with ALI,” the firm said in a disclosure.

The property company said it might allow a pocket deal of hotel site lease and residential of around 30 hectares if the interested party moves fast enough with a downpayment.

Last month, the Panlilio family agreed to sell certain parcels of the 3,000-hectare Puerto Azul complex in Ternate, Cavite to BHI. The transaction, which encountered several delays, was valued at P2.3 billion.

“After the ALI final closing, we shall not allow too many other interested parties, since Ayala Land Premier is quite the super premium developer with the best reputation, whilst there would be really very few who could guarantee the same quality product,” BHI said.

The deal is expected to be finalized in the next three to four months following requisite approvals and completion of the due diligence.

BHI said it expects the first delivery of several hundred resort realty products, transforming the area as a residential space outside Metro Manila, as early as 2017.

BHI said there are weekly meetings and constant communication between the two firms’ managers.

“We are doing great here, and hope adding nearly a billion pesos in cash directly and indirectly to our market value in June to August at the latest will help the company with yearly recurring income and modestly move up shareholder satisfaction,” BHI said.

The Panlilio family is keen on reviving Puerto Azul, which was once dubbed “Asia’s Paradise Resort” and the “World’s Golfing Capital.”

Meanwhile, the company said it continues to suffer from the disruption of operations in Friday’s Boracay Beach Resort of subsidiary Friday’s Holdings Inc. (FHI).

In February, almost a third of the land frontage up to the back portion of the resort was overrun by 200 armed civilian men led by Datu Yap and other children of the lot’s former owner.

The armed men have walled off half of the restaurant, occupied 17 rooms in the building, drained the pool, and started walling with hollow blocks lot, BHI said.

BHI said its directors agreed to pay an additional P95 million to Yap and his siblings. However, Yap then cut the discussion, opting to look for other buyers.

In 2009, BHI bought the 1,538 square meter lot for P40 million through a final and executory court settlement.

“Our business during this high season has fallen off rapidly,” BHI said, adding that its general manager has left while 150 staff were also affected.

“From the usual P4-5 million in sales per week with P2 million gross profit, we are now down to almost zero in profit,” BHI said.

The company earlier projected P40-50 million income from Friday’s Boracay in the fiscal year 2013-2014 that will end in May.

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