PHILIPPINE REAL ESTATE and RELATED NEWS in and around the country . . .

Melco Crown taps IGT for City of Dreams Manila

By Richmond Mercurio (The Philippine Star) | Updated September 30, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Macau-based casino giant Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd. is bringing in New York-listed gaming entertainment leader IGT to provide top-notch technologies in its first gaming foray in the Philippines.

Melco Crown (Philippines)Resorts Corp., the local unit of the casino giant, said the agreement would allow its integrated entertainment resort City of Dreams Manila to utilize IGT’s state-of-the-industry systems solutions.

Melco Philippines said IGT offerings such as Advantage systems, sbX Floor Manager and
Service Window would provide a “comprehensive patron interaction and floor optimization suite of solutions and applications” when the project opens its doors later this year.

 “City of Dreams Manila has carefully selected the latest and greatest innovations, technologies and amenities for its lavish new resort, and the choice of IGT systems is no exception. We’re driving player excitement with personalized communication on the casino floor, combined with IGT’s extensive game library with flexible bonusing technology in a variety of themes,” said Mark Michalko, IGT director of sales for Asia.

 “We’re also empowering the operator with advanced technologies including Asia’s first installation of EZ Pay Mag Card, and the backing of IGT’s Manila office to provide local support,” Michalko added.

City of Dreams Manila will mark the formal entry of Melco Crown Entertainment into the fast-growing and dynamic tourism industry in the Philippines.

The new integrated casino resort at Entertainment City along Manila Bay is being developed and will be operated by Melco Crown Philippines in partnership with SM Group’s Belle Corp.

City of Dreams Manila will offer 365 gaming tables, 1,680 slot machines and 1,680 electronic table games . Previously, the casino planned to offer only 242 gaming tables and 1,450 electronic gaming machines.

DoubleDragon acquires 12th CityMall site

By Richmond S. Mercurio (The Philippine Star) | Updated September 30, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - DoubleDragon Properties Corp.’s mall unit has acquired a 12th site in line with its planned 25 CityMalls by end next year.

In a disclosure, the property joint venture of the founders of grilled chicken chain Mang Inasal and fastfood giant Jollibee Foods Corp. said it has recently cornered an 8,000-square meter prime commercial lot in Tiaong, Quezon under a 26-year lease agreement.

 “CityMall Tiaong, Quezon is the 12th site secured by CityMall Commercial Centers Inc. to date, and puts the company on course to meet the goal of completing and operating 25 CityMalls by end 2015 and 100 CityMalls by 2020, all in prime and strategic locations,” DoubleDragon said.

DoubleDragon said the planned CityMall in Quezon is eyed as a stop-over place for motorist and travellers traversing the Maharlika Highway.

The listed property firm earlier this month was also able to secure through subsidiary CMCCI three commercial prime lots in Cotabato City,Pampanga and Aklan.

CMCCI is 66-percent owned by DoubleDragon while the remaining 34 percent is held by mall and banking conglomerate SM Investments Corp. 

DoubleDragon aims to reach the P1-billion net income level by 2016 and P4.8 billion by 2020.

STI, Ayala Land unit to redevelop QC’s JASMS

Posted on September 28, 2014 10:22:00 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ]

“We are trying to do a community type of development where you have a school, a residential component and a mall,” STI Chairman Eusebio H. Tanco told reporters after the company’s annual shareholder meeting on Friday afternoon in Makati City.

STI President and Chief Executive Officer Monico V. Jacob said during his report to shareholders that a new nine-story building will be constructed to house JASMS, the basic education unit of Philippine Women’s University (PWU), which was acquired by STI in 2011.

Mr. Tanco said the company will spend P500,000 to P800,000 for the school building, which will occupy around 2,000-3,000 square meters (sq.m.).

STI will get rental income from leasing a portion of the land to Ayala Land subsidiary Amaia Land, Inc., which caters to the affordable segment, on which a two-tower condominium and a neighborhood mall will be constructed.

The residential and retail components will occupy around 4,000 sq.m. and 8,000 sq.m., respectively, according to Mr. Tanco.

“We will spend for the school, they (Ayala Land) will spend for the mall,” Mr. Tanco said. “It’s going to be the district mall of JASMS.”

Groundbreaking will take place “in a couple of months,” with the project expected to be complete within “one and a half years,” he added.

Aside from its interest in PWU, the company also has a stake in De Los Santos-STI College, West Negros University, and STI Education
Group, Inc.

The STI group currently has 80 STI-branded schools nationwide composed of 66 STI-branded colleges and 14 STI-branded educational centers.

For the three months to June, the fourth quarter of its fiscal year, the group’s net income fell 78.64% year on year to P39.57 million, while gross revenue dropped 27.26% to P388.79 million.

On Friday, STI shares were unchanged at 80 centavos. -- Daphne J. Magturo       

Ayala seals Jaka Tower buyout

By Jenniffer B. Austria | Sep. 28, 2014 at 11:01pm [ ]

Property developer Ayala Land Inc. has closed the deal to acquire the unfinished Jaka Tower, a long-time eyesore in the Makati central business district and owned by the family of Senator Juan Ponce Enrile.

Ayala Land president Bernard Vincent Dy told the Manila Standard the company completed the acquisition after conducting a due diligence on the said property.

Dy did not disclose the terms of the deal, including the acquisition cost because of a non-disclosure agreement.

Dy said Ayala Land would not tear down the existing Jaka Tower and would just continue erecting the structure, as the tower was still structurally sound despite being abandoned for more than 15 years now.

“Based on our due diligence we don’t need to demolish the existing building,” Dy said.

Jaka Tower was originally designed to be a 49-story office skyscraper by architectural firm Hellmuth, Obata and Kassabaum.  It was supposed to be the first high-rise project of Enrile’s and then fledging Jaka Property Group.

Construction started in 1996 and was scheduled for completion by 1999. However, the project was halted when construction reached the 21st floor amid the 1997 Asian financial crisis, which affected many other property developers.

Dy said the newly-acquired property would be a part of the P65-billion redevelopment plan of Ayala Land within the Makati CBD.

Ayala Land said it was redeveloping three huge blocks of property at the corner of Ayala Avenue and Buendia Avenue, to be called City Gate.

The first development of City Gate will be Ayala Land’s pioneering stacked mixed-use tower located at the Amorsolo Parking lot.

It will vertically combine retail on the first three levels with two office buildings above, and finally a Seda Suites Hotel on top of one of the office buildings.

The project will have a total of 120,000 square meters of gross floor area consisting of 53,000 square meters intended for business process outsourcing firms; 28,000 square meters intended for traditional headquarter-type offices; 25,000 square meters, or 312 keys, for the Seda Suites Hotel ;and 14,000 square meters for the mall.

Once completed, City Gate will cover a land area of three blocks with a total of 2.2 hectares.

Other components of P65-billion Makati’s redevelopment plans are phase 2 of the Ayala Center makeover, which includes the area of Intercontinental Hotel and the parking lot at the back of the hotel.

Real estate sector still strong – CBRE

By Louella D. Desiderio (The Philippine Star) | Updated September 24, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine real estate sector is expected to remain strong beyond 2016, amid sustained demand from the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector, real estate consultancy and service provider CBRE Philippines said.

“The resiliency of the Philippine economy and the real estate sector is expected to continue beyond 2016,” Rick Santos, CBRE Philippines founder, chairman and chief executive officer said in a press conference yesterday.

This, as the sustained momentum of the BPO sector is seen to drive the continued growth of the real estate sector.

“Philippine BPO expansion looks to be on a strong 10-year run in Philippine real estate,” Santos said.

Even as 2016 is an election year and politics is always a factor considered by investors, BPO firms are looking to set-up or expand in the Philippines due to continued demand for
from overseas.

“With the BPO sector, like overseas Filipino workers remittances, it is based on external factors…basically the need to reduce costs and perform jobs in other areas at lower costs. It is pretty easy going to continue well past 2016,” Santos said.
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John Corpus, CBRE director for corporate agency and brokerage said in the same event that based on feedback from clients, there are no signs of a slowdown in demand from the BPO sector with firms already looking to secure office space from new supply expected to come in next year and in early 2016.

“We don’t see signs of slowdown in the next 24 months mainly because our clients are expanding. Those that tested market initially are looking at second sites…2015 and early 2016 stocks are now on the radar of these companies,” he said.

For his part, Jason Abraham, CBRE associate director for corporate agency and brokerage said the demand for BPO services is not only coming from US firms, but also from Japanese companies.

With strong demand for BPO services and office space, Joanie Mitchell, CBRE consultant for corporate agency and brokerage, said clients want developers to build at a much faster pace.

“Demand is so much. Speed to market is what it is all about,” she said.

Of the 700,000 square meters (sqm) of new office supply expected this year, about 600,000 sqm would be taken up, with 80 to 90 percent to be accounted for by the BPO sector.

Apart from the BPO sector, expansion among multinational firms is also driving demand for office space.

CBRE associate director Morgan McGilvray said an important factor in the strong demand seen for office space here is Metro Manila’s rental rate which is by far, the cheapest in the region at $29 per square foot per annum.

“The difference is about five times. Even if rates rise, there is still cushion,” he said.

The country’s strong macroeconomic fundamentals and available young talent pool are also factors driving continued growth in the BPO sector as well as expansion of foreign firms.

As the BPO sector grows, demand for retail space and residential properties are expected to follow.

CBRE senior director for research and consultancy Jan Paul Custodio said the country’s retail sector, like the office sector offers the lowest rate at $38 per square foot per annum, making it an attractive location for brands.

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