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Filinvest Land, BCDA seal JV for Clark Green City

Posted on January 10, 2016 08:25:00 PM [ bworldonline.com]
 By Victor V. Saulon

THE Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) on Friday inked a joint venture deal with Gotianun-led Filinvest Land, Inc. to develop a 288-hectare land within the envisioned “Green City” at the Clark Special Economic Zone in Tarlac province.

Arnel Paciano D. Casanova, BCDA president and chief executive officer, said the state-owned entity would receive P160 million from Filinvest Land for the right to develop the property.

The partnership was signed by Mr. Casanova and Filinvest Land President and Chief Executive Officer Josephine Gotianun-Yap at the BCDA Corporate Center in Taguig City on Jan 8.

The joint venture agreement calls for the creation of a company that will be 55% owned by Filinvest Land and 45% by BCDA, which handles the conversion of former military bases into commercially sustainable development.

“We will develop the property through the years and generate value just like what we did with Bonifacio Global City (BGC),” said Mr. Casanova in a telephone interview yesterday, referring to the now-booming financial district at the former Army camp.

“We will be doing it together,” he said, adding that the financing and marketing will be done by Filinvest.

The agreement, which will have a term of 50 years and renewable for another 50 years, is expected to jump-start the development of Clark Green City into “the country’s first smart, green and disaster-resilient metropolis.”

Last September, Filinvest Land was the only company to submit a bid, amounting to P160 million, to become BCDA’s joint venture partner in developing part of the 9,450-hectare Clark Green City.

“As the pioneer developer involved in Clark Green City, we are excited to be a catalyst of growth in such a visionary endeavor. At the same time, this is also a prime opportunity for us to expand our geographic footprint in Northern Luzon,” Filinvest’s Ms. Gotianun-Yap said in a statement.

Mr. Casanova described the joint venture as a landmark deal because “it is a start of a new city outside Metro Manila.”

The project is as big as BGC, even bigger than the Makati central business district and similar in size to Filinvest City in Alabang, he said. Its market is expected to be the 12 million population of Central Luzon and the 85,000 workers in Clark.

“Once site development begins, property values will increase and generate cash flow,” the BCDA chief said, adding that project will be built on a “phased” basis to avoid flooding the market with an oversupply of real estate products.

Ms. Gotianun-Yap said Filinvest Land will soon be mapping out development plans for the property, which will be divided into two components: an industrial zone, and a mixed-use development with residential, office, commercial and institutional elements.

The comprehensive planning for the project is expected to be done in the next nine months, with development to start within the next two years.

Filinvest Land has had experience in developing large master-planned township projects, such as the 244-hectare Filinvest City in Alabang and the P5-billion Filinvest Cyberzone Cebu business process outsourcing complex.

The property company has over 100 projects in 39 cities and municipalities nationwide.

At full development, the BCDA expects Clark Green City to have around 1.12 million residents, 800,000 workers and contribute a gross output of approximately P1.57 trillion per year to the national economy or roughly 4% share in the county’s gross domestic product.

Mr. Casanova said BCDA would do its best to make the project “take off” but at the same time “open to new innovative projects and new opportunities that will come our way that will not compete directly” with the venture with Filinvest.

“We are welcome to other developers,” he said, citing possible complementary projects such as industrial zones that could bring in thousands of workers to the new metropolis.
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