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

Ayala Land to revive bid for Bonifacio South Pointe

Posted on November 09, 2014 10:48:00 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ]
By Daphne J. Magturo, Reporter

AYALA LAND, Inc. remains interested in Bonifacio South Pointe, its chief executive said on Friday, reviving an earlier bid for that prime property in Fort Bonifacio in Taguig City that pit it against rival developers Robinsons Land Corp. and the SM group as far back as 2010.

The 33.13-hectare property is the subject of a legal battle between state-owned Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) -- who wants to sell it through a competitive bidding -- and the SM group, whose unsolicited proposal was approved by the former BCDA board.

“We will consider any significant parcel of land in the Bonifacio area,” Bernard Vincent O. Dy, Ayala Land president and chief executive officer, said in a chance interview on Friday.

Mr. Dy said his group would join a competitive bidding for the project, noting that its interest was not dampened by a failed earlier attempt to buy the property after the group of tycoon Henry submitted a better offer.

Documents obtained by BusinessWorld showed that Gokongwei-led Robinsons Land was the first to submit an unsolicited proposal in October 2009, preceding SM Land, Inc.’s proposal in December the same year.

Ayala Land then submitted its own proposal “around February 2010,” BCDA President Arnel Paciano D. Casanova said in a phone interview on Nov. 5.

“There were so many changes in their [SM] proposal, which proved that there should be a competitive bidding,” Mr. Casanova said, noting that SM eventually emerged with the highest offer at P38,500 per square meter (sq.m.).

“But there was no contract yet, they just accepted SM’s proposal to accept its unsolicited proposal,” he said, noting that none of the three property giants had matched the BCDA’s “conservative appraisal” of P78,000 per sq.m for the property.

Mr. Casanova added that properties “near the McKinley area” are now estimated to be at P120,000 per sq.m.

A filing with the BCDA in October 2009, signed by Robinsons Land President and Chief Operating Officer Frederick D. Go, showed that the company’s first offer was P14,000 per sq.m. Robinsons Land then increased its offer to P32,000 per sq.m. in April 2010.

Mr. Go refused to comment on whether they are still interested in the project, which was intended to be a public-private joint venture with BCDA, whose equity contribution would be the land. Robinsons Land, on the other hand, would shoulder the development cost and contribute its services and expertise as the developer and project administrator.

Meanwhile, Supreme Court records showed that SM’s first offer in December 2009 was P15,985 per sq.m. “Barely three months after,” it was upgraded to P31,139 per sq.m., and in May 2010, to P32,501 per sq.m.

“I think everyone wants a public bidding. We are not favoring anyone, we want to allow a level playing field so the government can get the best value,” Mr. Casanova said, noting that SM is welcome to join the process.

But BCDA’s clamor for a competitive bidding is stalled in court. It has yet to get a decision from the Supreme Court over its motion for reconsideration filed on Oct. 1, seeking to overturn the high court’s earlier ruling that favored a Swiss challenge instead.

In early September, the high court compelled the BCDA to go forward with the process of entertaining SM Land’s unsolicited bid for the Bonifacio South Pointe, blocking the agency’s plans to conduct a public bidding for the lot.

“You can safely assume that this is now the most expensive piece of real estate in the Philippines so all the biggest players want a piece of it,” he added.

According to the BCDA Web site, the property is located at the south of Bonifacio Global City and consists of lands presently occupied in part by the Army Service Command and Security Services Unit of the Philippine Army, as well as the Bonifacio Naval Station and Philippine Marine Corps of the Philippine Navy.

Under the Bonifacio South master plan, the area would be developed into a medium- to high-density residential and mixed-use complex, with a “strong institutional component” and a maximum allowable gross floor area of 1.355 million sq.m.

The property is located along Lawton Avenue and is separated from the JUSMAG property by the NAMRIA area and a six-hectare strip of land retained by the Philippine Army.

real estate central philippines
Copyright ©2008-2018