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

Arca South breaks ground; new Ayala malls, corporate center, Seda hotel soon to rise

(The Philippine Star) | Updated December 1, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - All roads lead down south today, as the retail and mixed-use segment of Ayala Land’s latest development, Arca South, breaks ground in Taguig.

Strategically positioned where the SLEX enters Metro Manila and where C5 begins, this emerging business and lifestyle district is set to create a new and vivid archway or entrance to the metropolis. It is also set to complement and expand on the success of Bonifacio Global City (BGC), which is only five kilometers away.

Beginning today, Ayala’s master blueprint will breathe life into the former FTI complex, transforming it from an idle warehouse depot into a prime CBD (central business district) with several commercial and mixed-use blocks, retail and office complexes.

All these spaces are set to house exciting lifestyle destinations, sprawling gardens, residential spaces, and a highly interconnected city with a forward-looking vibe. With a total area of 74 hectares, Arca South is nearly twice the size of BGC, and is nearly as big as the Makati CBD.

Retail and shopping destinations

Anchoring the entire development are three new lifestyle and retail destinations and community venues.

These shopping centers will include a regional mall and a lifestyle mall, as well as a novel transit-oriented mall, which will provide a focal point to the government’s awaited highway projects — such as the Southeast Intermodal Transport System (ITS) for Manila passengers to and from Laguna, Batangas, Quezon, and Bicol.

The lifestyle mall, scheduled to open by the end of 2017, will occupy over three hectares of Arca South land and will offer a total shopping floor area of 103,000 sq m.  It will showcase top fashion brands, specialty retail stores, and fine-dining establishments, all integrated by a wide park with a garden and open-air vibe.

Prime business spaces

Over the next five years, Arca South will also build a Corporate Center comprising a network of six mid-rise buildings on top of the retail component. It will carry a total of 96,000 sq m of leasable space and offer a prestigious and distinct work environment that is ideal for BPOs, creative ventures, and established companies.

With Arca’s easy access to major transport channels — such as the ITS, the Skyway and C5/C6 connector road program, and the NAIA expressway —this new business frontier will also be fully equipped with a 24/7 Operations Center for efficient road use and traffic management.

An integrated three-level basement parking, covering 40 percent of Arca’s total area, as well as an energy-efficiency program and real-time alerts and emergency response, will further boost Arca’s credentials as the new prime business address in Metro Manila.

New Seda hotel

A new branch of Ayala’s hotel brand, Seda, will also grow on top of the Arca regional mall to accommodate tourists and business travelers, who are expected to flock to Arca South in big numbers given its excellent transport-hub and city gateway location.

This new Seda will offer 10 floors of guest accommodations and the same essence of value, accessibility, and reliability for which the Seda brand is known for in BGC, Nuvali, Cagayan de Oro, and Davao.

For more information about Arca South, visit

ProFriends schedules PSE listing on Jan. 15

By Jenniffer B. Austria | Nov. 30, 2014 at 11:30pm [ ]

Mass housing developer ProFriends Group Inc. has finalized the timetable for the planned P7.7-billion initial public offering, which is expected to be completed in January next year.

The company, according to the latest prospectus filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, set the book building period for the IPO from Dec. 1 to Dec. 12.

The final price will be disclosed on Dec. 15 while the offering period is set from Dec. 17 to Jan 9, 2015.  The company set the listing date on Jan. 15.

Sources said the offer price range would be between P16 and P20 per share.

Several foreign and local investors have expressed interest in investing in the company as cornerstone investors.

ProFriends will offer up to 385.75 million common shares, of which 270.025 million shares will be allocated for qualified institutional buyers through joint lead underwriters.

About 20 percent or 77.15  million shares would be allocated to trading participants while the remaining 38.575 million would be allocated for local small investors.

The company said of the P7.71-billion expected proceeds, P3.1 billion would be set aside to finance real estate projects in Cavite, Iloilo and Cagayan de Oro and P2.5 billion for additional equity investments in Williamton Holdings Inc.

Williamton is a wholly- owned subsidiary of Amicus Holdings, which handles the in-house financing requirements of ProFriends homebuyers.

Another P1.24 billion will be set aside for land acquisition and the remaining P611 million will be allotted for other corporate purposes.

ProFriends will have a 10.91- percent public float after the offering.

BDO Capital and Investments Corp. and First Metro Investments Corp. are the joint issue managers, lead underwriters and bookrunners for the offering.

First solar-powered subdivision soon to rise in Batangas

By Iris C. Gonzales (The Philippine Star) | Updated November 28, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The first solar-powered subdivision in the Philippines will soon rise in Santo Tomas, Batangas, a development that bodes well for the environment and puts the country a step closer to its goal of promoting renewable energy
Imperial Homes Corp. (IHC), a local property developer, has partnered with Enfinity Group, a Belgian solar power provider, for the development of the solar-powered mass housing community of 1,000 homes in Santo Tomas, the first of its kind in the Philippines.

IHC chairman and CEO Emma Imperial, said the company would launch the project in January 2015.

The project aims to alleviate the country’s backlog on mass housing currently pegged at three million as well as provide a greener solution against the worsening effects of climate change, she said.

 “Equipped with 500 watts solar solutions, these solar-powered homes will dramatically reduce the cost of electricity and provide a greener environment for our low-cost housing projects,” Imperial said.

The solar-powered mass housing project, named Via Verde, is located over a three hectare property with a combination of row houses and two-bedroom townhouses.

The 500-watt solar panels are installed in every unit for free to allow buyers to enjoy lower electricity rates through the lease-back program of Enfinity.

Also lending support to the project is the CBL Group, a United Kingdom-registered and China-based company, which provides green panels for pre-fab and modular housing.

Imperial said for its future projects, the goal is to build solar-powered mass housing communities.

Established 31 years ago, IHC is primarily engaged in the development of modern leisure villages as well as middle and low-cost housing projects,

For the Via Verde project, the company earmarked P600 million for the housing component of the mass housing community.

For the solar panels, the Enfinity Group will invest $1 million for solar facilities in 1,000 homes.

Imperial said IHC’s project is anchored on the Transformational Business Model presented by Imperial during the World Bank Housing Conference in May 2014 in Washington, DC in the US.

“We also expect to receive the World Bank’s EDGE Certificate for Green Building anytime soon,” Imperial said.

The company is also working with other property developers to encourage the incorporation of renewable features in their homes.

Imperial launches solar mass housing

By Alena Mae S. Flores | Nov. 27, 2014 at 11:15pm [ ]

Imperial Homes Corp. said Thursday it will build the country’s first solar-powered mass-housing community that will reduce electricity rates by P1 per kilowatt-hour.

“We expect electricity rates to be at least P1 per kWh lower,” IHC president and chief executive Emma Imperial told reporters in a news briefing.

The solar-powered community called Via Verde is composed of 1,000 mass-housing units in Santo Tomas, Batangas.

Via Verde is located on a three-hectare property with a combination of row houses and two-bedroom townhouses.

Each townhouse will have 500 watts of
solar panels
installed for free to enable buyers to enjoy lower electricity rates through the lease-back program of Enfinity of Belgium, Imperial’s partner in the project.

Imperial signed a joint venture with Enfinity Group, a Belgian company that finances, builds, owns, operates and maintains solar panels with operations in the United States.

Imperial said it would spend P600 million to construct the housing while Enfinity allocated $1 million for the installation of the solar panels.

CBL Group, a UK-registered and China-based company, will provide green panels for pre-fab and modular housing.

“These solar-powered homes will dramatically reduce the cost of electricity and provide a greener environment for our low-cost housing projects,” Imperial said.

The project aims to alleviate the country’s backlog on mass housing currently pegged at three million as well as help provide a greener solution against the worsening effects of climate change.

SM Prime raises P18B via share placement

Posted on November 27, 2014 10:48:00 PM
By Daphne J. Magturo, Reporter

SM Prime Holdings, Inc., the holding company for tycoon Henry Sy, Sr.’s real estate businesses, said it raised P18 billion ($400 million) from the placement of treasury shares.

The proceeds will bankroll its capital expenditures and potential acquisitions, including a freshly-minted alliance with the Ayala group for Ortigas properties, it said in a series of regulatory filings.

“The transaction involved a successful overnight bookbuilding process, which saw strong interest from high quality institutional investors in Asia, Europe and the United States,” SM Prime said in a press statement issued on Thursday.

In a special meeting on Wednesday, the company’s board of directors approved the transaction, which involved the sale of 1.06 billion shares at P17 each, the company said in its disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange.

The price represents a 4.9% discount to the P17.88-per-share closing price on Wednesday when the transaction was made. Shares were last traded at P17.02 each, down 4.8%.

J.P. Morgan Securities Plc. and Macquarie Capital Securities (Singapore) Pte. Ltd. were the joint bookrunners, while BDO Capital & Investment Corp. was the domestic lead manager.

On Nov. 7, SM Prime and Ayala Land, Inc. said they had agreed to drop all cases related to their ownership dispute for the vastly landed OCLP Holdings, Inc., deciding instead to enter into a “strategic alliance” and give each other equal control.

OCLP is the holding firm of Ortigas & Co. that owns the Greenhills shopping complex in San Juan, Tiendesitas and Capitol Commons.

SM Prime also earlier said it plans to open four to five shopping malls next year, including one in China, to boost the group’s gross floor area by an annual 8%.

Its commercial unit, meanwhile, said it earmarked around P4 billion in capital expenditure next year to finance ongoing construction of its E-Com buildings at the Mall of Asia complex, as well as two new developments in Quezon City and Ortigas district.

The entire group has set P60.9 billion in capital expenditure this year.

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