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Megaworld fast-tracks Iloilo BPO buildings

Posted on June 30, 2014 09:35:23 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ]

MEGAWORLD Corp., the flagship unit of property developer Andrew L. Tan’s Alliance Global Group, Inc., is fast-tracking the completion of its business process outsourcing (BPO) towers in Iloilo City, citing strong demand from companies that prefer the provinces for being cost-efficient.

“Being cost-efficient means going outside Metro Manila and exploring provincial locations with lower rental rates and lower manpower cost,” Megaworld Senior Vice-President Jericho P. Go said yesterday in a phone interview.

Its three towers in Iloilo Business Park -- One Global Center, Two Global Center and Richmonde Tower -- are set to be completed this year. They have a total of 25,000 square meters (sq.m.) of leasable space and will be able to accommodate around 10,000 full-time employees (FTEs) for the BPO companies.

Mr. Go said One Global was originally due to be completed by December, and Two Global, three months after that.

By August, Megaworld will start constructing two more office towers -- One Techno Place and Two Techno Place.

“The construction should start mid-2015, but because of demand, we started construction this year and will try to complete it early 2016. It should have been up and running by late 2016, but now, early 2016 na, possibly by 2015 pa nga,” Mr. Go said.

The Techno towers have a total of 19,000 sq.m. of leasable spaces and will accommodate an additional 8,000 FTEs in the township.

StarTek, Inc., a US-based BPO company, started operations in the Richmonde Tower in June and is poised to launch its stand-alone BPO office building at Two Global Center by the fourth quarter.

Megaworld has also started constructing the Megaworld Central Mall and Festive Walk, a 1.1-kilometer commercial and retail strip parallel to Iloilo’s Diversion Road. The mall and the first phase of Festive Walk are expected to be completed by second half next year.

Richmonde Hotel Iloilo, a 151-room business hotel, will also open early next year, in time for the city’s hosting of some events of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference.

Another hotel, Courtyard by Marriott, has begun construction and is expected to be completed by end-2015.

Construction of the Iloilo Convention Center, which has a 3,700 seating capacity, has also begun and is expected to the biggest and most modern convention facility in Region 6.

Other Megaworld projects outside Metro Manila are the 11-hectare Davao Park District in Lanang, Davao City, and the 28.8-hectare The Mactan Newtown in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu.

Over the past 24 years, Megaworld has completed more than 320 residential and office buildings with a total area of around 5.6 million sq.m.

About 185 residential, office and hotel buildings with a total area of around 5.4 million sq.m. are currently under development.

Megaworld grew its first-quarter net income by 49% year on year to P2.69 billion.

Total revenue of the company and its subsidiaries Empire East Land Holdings and Suntrust Properties surged 22% in the first three months, hitting P9.94 billion.

Megaworld shares on Monday gained two centavos or 0.45% to end at P4.50 apiece. -- Daphne J. Magturo       
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