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SM Keppel Land boosts Podium investment by $30M

Posted on October 14, 2014 10:35:00 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ]

SM KEPPEL LAND, Inc. (SMKL), the joint venture of Keppel Philippines Properties, Inc. and Banco de Oro Unibank, Inc., is pouring an additional $30 million for the expansion of The Podium complex in Ortigas district, bringing the total investment to $265 million.

Keppel Philippines said in a disclosure to the stock exchange on Tuesday that the second phase involves the expansion of The Podium, the existing five-storey retail mall, along with the construction of a 42-storey office building. The first phase, on the other hand, will include five basement levels for parking and six retail levels.

Keppel Philippines referred BusinessWorld queries to a Keppel Land spokesperson, who said in an e-mail: “The increase in construction costs to US$265 million (S$336 million) was due to an increase in the gross floor area of the development.”

In an e-mail last June, Keppel President Lee Foo Tuck said the development cost for the basement car park and retail mall is $80 million, while the office tower is expected to cost $155 million, for a total of $235 million.

“The retail expansion will add over 34,000 square meters (sq.m.) of retail space to The Podium, bringing the total leasable space to over 50,000 sq.m. when the expansion is completed in 2016,” the disclosure read.

“To be completed in 2019, the new office tower will offer a net leasable area of over 89,000 sq.m. of premium grade office space and will be sited above the expanded retail mall.”

Keppel Properties holds a 40% stake in SMKL.

The Podium is a mixed development with office, retail and serviced apartments. It started commercial operations late in 2001 and hosts more than 150 specialty stores and restaurants.

Keppel Properties reported a first-half net loss of P3.55 million against a year-earlier profit of P8.85 million, while gross revenue declined to P10.05 million from P20.79 million.

Its shares were last traded on Oct. 3 at P4.60. -- Daphne J. Magturo           
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