By Danessa Rivera (The Philippine Star) | Updated June 26, 2015 - 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines - Global Estate Resorts Inc. (GERI) is transforming its 173-hectare master-planned community in Western Visayas into an integrated urban township, making it the 18th township of the Megaworld Group.
Megaworld Corp., the flagship property unit of tycoon Andrew L. Tan, will lend its expertise to subsidiary GERI to develop the vast property into a mixed-use urban community.
GERI president Monica Salomon said in a statement the company has seen the potential of Sta. Barbara Heights of “becoming a full-blown township because of its strategic location near the Iloilo International Airport.”
“In the next five to 10 years, this masterplanned community will help spur economic activities in this town, and we will be able to provide transient passengers and tourists with facilities that are truly welcoming and world-class,” she added.
The development will have direct access to the Iloilo International Avenue, a six-lane highway leading to the province’s international airport.
The existing masterplan calls for Sta. Barbara Heights to be geared towards a more residential project, Megaworld senior vice president Jericho Go said in a briefing yesterday.
“Currently, there’s ongoing sales and development which are mostly residential in nature,” he said.
But under the transformation, Go said more areas will be allocated to commercial development and other amenities that would enhance the township, like schools and medical facilities.
“To be added in Sta. Barbara Heights is definitely retail. On the commercial side, we’re certain to enhance value of residential, taking advantage of its close proximity to airport,” he said.
Go noted that more projects to complete the township offering, like offices, are still being planned and will be announced within the year.
Of the entire development, half is allocated for the Sta. Barbara Heights Residential Estates, a 1,000-lot residential village offered in three phases.
This village will feature a five-hectare Village Center with amenities including a 260-meter swimming pool, tennis and basketball courts, children’s park and picnic ground.
Earlier this month, Megaworld said it is targeting to have 20 townships by yearend.
Prior to the announcement on Sta. Barbara Heights, the property firm has already launched two townships this year, namely Northill Gateway and The Upper East, both in Negros Occidental.
Tan had said the townships will fuel a double-digit profit growth of at least 10 percent annually starting this year.