By Richmond S. Mercurio (The Philippine Star) | Updated March 20, 2015 - 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines - Megaworld Corp. is making the biggest real estate investment in Negros Occidental with plans to spend P35 billion over the next 10 years for two new townships in the province.
Megaworld said it would transform 84 hectares of properties in Negros Occidental into new business districts expected to generate around 250,000 direct and indirect jobs upon completion.
To be called the Upper East, the first township will be located on a 34-hectare property on the eastern side of Bacolod City that used to be the Bacolod-Murcia Milling company.
Megaworld said the property, which is across the New Government Center, is currently regarded as Bacolod’s booming commercial and business process outsourcing (BPO) district.
The flagship property unit of tycoon Andrew L. Tan said the plan for Upper East is to become Bacolod’s own version of an upscale lifestyle district where residential condominiums, malls and commercial centers, BPO office towers, tourism and leisure facilities as well as recreational parks and open spaces are integrated.
“Finally, the people of Bacolod and Negros will be able to experience what we have offered in Eastwood City, Newport City and McKinley Hill. We are very excited to bring our pioneering live-work-play concept to the City of Smiles. We will build the Upper East with a vision of making it as Bacolod’s new central business district,” said Jericho P. Go, senior vice president of Megaworld.
On the northern part of Bacolod where the famous Sugar Road was built, meanwhile, is where the second township will soon rise, Megaworld said.
To be known as Northhill, the township will be put up on a 50-hectare property along the new Circumferential Road on the boundary of Talisay City and Bacolod City, and will have direct access to the new Bacolod-Silay Airport.
Megaworld said Northhill would be jointly developed with its wholly-owned subsidiary Suntrust Properties Inc. and the Lacson family.
Northhill is targeted to house upscale residential villages, mixed-use office and retail developments, leisure and recreational amenities as well as institutional facilities.
“Just as what we have done with our other developments, we will transform the sugarcane fields into a bustling new district. Within five to 10 years, we envision this area to be the most sought-after business and lifestyle address for Negrenses,” Go said.
Once completed, Go said the two integrated urban townships will generate around 250,000 direct and indirect jobs in BPO, construction, transportation, commercial and retail businesses.
“We are still finalizing the masterplans of the two townships. But one thing for sure, we will be able to provide thousands of jobs to the people of Negros once these two developments are completed,” he said.
The Upper East and and Northhill projects are only two of the five township developments Megaworld will be launching this year.
Megaworld earlier said it would expand its township portfolio across the country from 15 to 20 with a total township land area of 3,100 hectares by the end of the year.
The property giant last year introduced five townships in its portfolio covering almost 1,000 hectares of land.