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

ORCA set to open cold storage facilities in Taguig, Caloocan in 1st half of 2019

ISOC Holdings, Inc. said its subsidiary ORCA Cold Chain Solutions is scheduled to open cold storage facilities in Taguig and Caloocan in the first half of 2019, as part of the expansion of its food storage business.

“For Luzon, we have Taguig and Caloocan that are under construction and expected to open first to second quarter of next year,” ORCA Chief Executive Officer Yerik C. Cosiquien said in a text message on Sunday.

Mr. Cosiquien said the company is finalizing plans to open facilities in Cebu, Bohol, Davao and Cagayan de Oro, as wants to establish its presence in the Visayas and Mindanao.
“These are potential sites and we are still working on finalizing them,” he said.

Last Thursday, ORCA opened its first facility in Alabang, which has a capacity of 6,189 pallets for food products such as fruits, vegetables, seafood, meat and poultry.

The site includes a blast freezer and chiller. Customers have access to the product inventory information and have real-time updates via an app-based site.

The Alabang site also implements a paperless transaction where pallets are given unique QR (quick response) codes that digitally record the product codes, description, weight, and expiration dates.

“The investment comes when food security is a top priority of both government and the private sector,” Mr. Cosiquien said. “ORCA Alabang is a teaser for the bigger and more exciting ORCA sites in the next few months.”

ISOC Holdings has interests in infrastructure through ISOC Infrastructure, Inc., in property management through its iLand, Inc., and in power through ISOC Energy, Inc. — Reicelene Joy N. Ignacio

Aboitiz bags original proponent status for Bohol airport

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THE Department of Transportation (DoTr) granted original proponent status to Aboitiz InfraCapital, Inc. (AIC) for the operations, maintenance, and future expansion of the New Bohol International Airport in Panglao, the company said on Friday.

“We believe our proposal provides an expedient and comprehensive solution for the immediate and long-term needs of the New Bohol International Airport. We also remain committed and ready to support the government in its initiative to develop and enhance other regional airports throughout the country,” AIC president and chief executive officer Sabin M. Aboitiz said was quoted as saying in a statement.

Located on Panglao island, the new airport is seen as the replacement for the one currently operating in Tagbilaran City.As an unsolicited proposal, the New Bohol International Airport project will have to go through a Swiss challenge, where other groups may submit counterproposals that AIC has the option to match.

The Bohol airport project was part of the unsolicited proposal submitted by AIC last March for the P148-billion upgrade of four regional airports. This included airports in Iloilo, Bacolod-Silay, and Laguindingan.

However, AIC’s unsolicited proposal was rejected by the DoTr in April, as the government does not support bundled proposals.

“In line with AIC’s commitment to support the Philippine government’s efforts in advancing infrastructure with the country, we look forward to moving ahead with our proposal to provide a long-term solution for the operations, maintenance, and future expansions of the New Bohol Airport,” Mr. Aboitiz said.

The Aboitiz-led company edged out businessman Dennis A. Uy’s Chelsea Logistics Holdings Corp. which also submitted a proposal for the New Bohol International Airport and the Davao International Airport.

AIC is also part of the “super consortium” was granted original proponent status by the government for its P102-billion proposal to rehabilitate and expand the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

Aside from AIC, the NAIA consortium includes AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp.; Alliance Global Group, Inc.; Asia’s Emerging Dragon Corp.; Filinvest Development Corp.; JG Summit Holdings, Inc. and Metro Pacific Investments Corp. Changi Airports International Private Ltd. is the technical partner. — R.J.N.Ignacio

Reshaping the skyline of the bustling Ortigas Center

Within the joint boundaries of the cities of Pasig, Mandaluyong and Quezon is a bustling central business district, much-admired for its eclectic mix of towering behemoths and mind-boggling profusion of offices, residences and commercial institutions. Its busy streets, filled with vivid colors of yellow and red from taxi cabs and cars going to and fro in numerous directions, perfectly blend with high-rise buildings that exhibit modern elegance, class and style.

The grandeur of the skyline of Ortigas Center is a reflection of its fast-track route to progress from a once unused and barren estate in early 1900s. After the tremendous transformation the district has undergone, iconic and valuable structures that epitomize its rich growth story have come to define its skyline. These structures, amid other lofty developments, are gems in their own rights and witnesses to the center’s extraordinary progress.

Sprawling at the northernmost tip of the Ortigas Center is the historical Archdiocesan Shrine of Mary – more popularly known as the EDSA Shrine – that evokes the freedom of movement and celebratory spirit of the People Power Revolution in 1986.

The sacred shrine symbolizes various works of art including the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary on top of its roof. Crowned and clad in golden robes, the Virgin Mary is holding a dove and an olive branch that are traditionally known as symbols of peace. The holy place is accessible through cascading stairs and ramps from both EDSA and Ortigas Ave. with an open space in the center, where Eucharistic celebration is held each year to commemorate the peaceful revolt.

Located about two kilometers away from this historical site is another prominent landmark, considered as one of the icons of the Philippine modern architecture, the Meralco Building.
The architect of the now 50-year- old structure is said to have used the 1960’s brise-soleil architectural medium for the building design, where vertical shutters curve their way along the facade of the 13-storey establishment. The element works not only as an embellishment but as well as a protection from direct sunlight.

South of the Meralco Building is the home of professional Filipino athletes and some of the country’s sports associations, the Philippine Institute of Sports Complex, or simply PhilSports Complex. It houses various sports facilities, including the PhilSports Arena, formerly known as the University of Life Theater and Recreational Arena or ULTRA, which is considered an important destination for concerts, sporting and religious events.

The blooming financial center of Ortigas has been known not only for these iconic structures but also for the presence of various shopping centers, entertainment hubs, dining strips, hospitals and academic institutions, scattered throughout or located in close proximity to the district.

A few years down the road, the stunning backdrop of the thriving commercial district will be painted with more skyscraping towers as property developers secure their spots on the prime land. For instance, Megaworld subsidiary Global-Estate Resorts, Inc. (GERI) is constructing a resort-inspired development, to be called The Fifth, with the aim of redefining the cosmopolitan living in the busy district.

This first condominium project of GERI in Metro Manila is the fifth residential cluster to rise within the Renaissance complex along Meralco Ave. It is comprised of 32- and 35-storey-high towers (Astra and Luna), with more than 700 units of studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom units that offer cityscape views of Ortigas, Quezon City and the Antipolo mountains.

The Fifth is envisioned to become the perfect oasis for young professionals, millennials and start- up families that allows them to slow down and relax at the end of each busy day. With its unique aesthetics, the development is primed to join the prestigious list of iconic structures in Ortigas Center, reshaping the district’s modern skyline.

For more information, visit The Fifth’s official Facebook page (www. or contact (+63) 917-836-3278.

SM Prime leases out 97% of yet-to-open office building

SM PRIME Holdings, Inc. will be unveiling its newest office building in the Mall of Asia complex in Pasay City this Friday, alongside the topping off of its other office project in the area.

The listed property developer and mall operator said in a statement on Wednesday that it would launch ThreeE-Com Center, opening with 97% of its 114,000-square meter floor area leased out.

At the same time, the Sy-led firm will hold the topping off ceremony for FourE-Com Center, which is slated to be its largest office building to date with a gross floor area (GFA) of 190,000 sq.m.

“The launching of ThreeE-Com Center and the topping off of FourE-Com Center mark another milestone for SM Prime as these uniquely designed business centers add to the already captivating architectural landscape in the Mall of Asia Complex, as well as offering ample office space suitable for the growing needs of the outsourcing industry and other businesses,” SM Prime President Jeffrey C. Lim said in a statement.

Located at the corner of Harbor Drive and Bay Shore in the MOA complex, ThreeE-Com Center is a 15-storey twin-tower development accredited by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority. Its office spaces are located from the fifth to 15th floors, with the second to fourth levels dedicated for podium parking.

The project will also house retail establishments like Alfa Mart, Starbucks, Tim Hortons, Mei Yu Restaurant, and a BDO bank on the ground level.

ThreeE-Com Center carries a Gold certification in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), indicating that its facilities are environmentally friendly.

The opening of ThreeE-Com Center will bring SM Prime’s total GFA to around 595,000 sq.m., as it currently operates 10 office buildings situated across Makati, Pasay, Quezon City, Taguig, Clark in Pampanga, Taytay in Rizal, and Sta. Rosa in Laguna.

Meanwhile, FourE-Com Center will feature three towers with 15 storeys each. It offers a 3,000 sq.m. floor plate which is the typical demand for various companies, primarily technology-based ones.

The project boasts of a crystal-like design, and is in the process of getting certification for LEED standards as well. SM Prime expects to open the building in 2019.

The E-Com Center projects form part of SM Prime’s Commercial Properties Group, which handles the development and leasing of office buildings in the country. The company’s core business is in the development of malls, 71 of which are located in the Philippines and seven more in China.

SM Prime grew its net income by 16% to P16.62 billion in the first half of 2018, driven by the provincial expansion of its mall business as well as higher demand for residential properties. Revenues also picked up 15% to P49.77 billion during the period.

Shares in SM Prime jumped 3.22% or P1.15 to close at P36.85 each at the stock exchange on Wednesday. — Arra B. Francia

DMCI Homes posts P7.5-B sales from Pasig City condo project

THE property unit of DMCI Holdings, Inc. has almost sold out its condominium development in Pasig City, bringing in more than P7.52 billion in sales.

In a statement issued Wednesday, DMCI Homes said Fairlane Residences in Kapitolyo, Pasig City has recorded the figure after selling 99% of the 1,140 units in the residential condominium. The project now has only eight units left in its inventory.

The 51-storey project offers two-bedroom and three-bedroom units covering 52 to 81 square meters each. These are sold from P7.14 million to P12.88 million, according to prices listed on the company’s website.

Fairlane Residences sits on a 6,105-sq.m. lot in West Capitol, Kapitolyo. The project is accessible through Boni station of the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 and major roads such as EDSA, Pioneer Street, Shaw, and Pasig boulevards.

Aside from the existing infrastructure projects surrounding the property, the company is also banking on the construction of the Bonifacio Global City-Ortigas Center Link Road, which is expected to improve travel within the cities of Pasig, Mandaluyong, Taguig, and Makati.

DMCI Homes targeted urban dwellers and young families for the project, who can benefit from the resort-inspired amenities and spacious living areas. The company expects to complete the single-tower project by 2024.

Fairlane Residences is among DMCI Homes’ projects that is expected to boost the earnings for this year. In the first six months of 2018, the company delivered a net income of P2.49 billion, 41% higher than the P1.76 billion it posted in the same period a year ago.

Reservation sales stood at P23.01 billion from January to June, accounting for more than half of its full-year target of P40 billion. DMCI Homes earlier aimed for P31 billion in reservation sales for 2018, but upgraded its target after seeing higher sales in the first half.
The company attributed its performance to the positive feedback of former clients, enhancing the value of the brand for potential customers.

“We’d like to think we have gained a strong following because of our track record of building homes that are of high-quality and value for money. For us, it has always been about whether we are making our customers happy. With the consistent strong sales of our projects, we feel this is bearing fruit for the company,” DMCI Homes President Alfredo R. Austria said in a statement.

DMCI Homes expects to maintain the pace of reservation sales for the second half of the year, banking on the projects set to be launched in Parañaque, Manila, Quezon City, Las Piñas, and Pasay. — Arra B. Francia

Sta. Lucia Land Expands offering

By: - Reporter / @amyremoINQ
/ 05:26 AM September 15, 2018

Sta. Lucia is looking to put up new townhouse developments in Batangas, Pampanga and Davao.

Property developer Sta. Lucia Land Inc. is eyeing to capture a bigger share of the townhouse market with a planned expansion of its offerings over the next several years.

Sta. Lucia president Exequiel Robles disclosed that they are looking to put up new townhouse developments in the provinces, including Batangas, Pampanga and Davao.

Currently, Sta. Lucia has several ongoing and completed townhouse projects including the Nottingham Villas Taytay (72 units) and The Hamptons Place (164 units), both of which are located in Rizal; Nottingham Villas Palawan (150 units); and Nottingham Villas Iloilo (216 units). All units at the Nottingham Villas Taytay are already completed and occupied.

The property developer offers mostly subdivision lots as well as condominium units. It was only in 2012 that Sta. Lucia started to offer ready-to-move in townhouses, through the Nottingham Villas in Rizal, to cater to a growing demand.

“The move to build townhouse projects was meant to cater to a growing demand from our homebuyers, who are looking for homes that are already designed and fitted with features, fixtures and amenities that would suit their lifestyle needs. Today, we already have four ongoing townhouse projects and we expect to do more similar developments in the future as these can provide the company with additional revenues,” Robles explained.

“Sta. Lucia’s townhouse projects are ideal and well suited for start-up families and the go-getter urban professionals who seek for nature-inspired living with a modern twist. Our units, with sizes ranging from 52 sqm to 124 sqm, come with two bedrooms, two toilet and bath, a living area, a one-car garage, as well as a kitchen, laundry and service area,” he further said.

Townhouse projects under the Nottingham Villas brand comprise of well-planned, carefully thought-out units that were designed to cater to the emerging and diverse needs of a contemporary lifestyle.

These townhouse developments evoke a certain rustic European charm and elegance, but are bedecked with modern features and world-class amenities, thus giving the residents the best of both worlds.

The Nottingham Villas Taytay is accessible via Felix Avenue, Marcos Highway, Ortigas Avenue Extension, Circumferential Road 5 (C5), and Circumferential Road 6 (C6), making it highly convenient to reach central business districts such as Ayala Center in Makati, Ortigas Center in Pasig City, and Eastwood City in Quezon City.

Nottingham Villas Iloilo is nestled in the thriving province of Iloilo, which offers not only a modern business environment for investors, but also stunning land and seascapes as well as a delectable local cuisine for both residents and tourists. A province of warm-hearted people, Iloilo should definitely deserve a spot in your list of top residential picks.

Nottingham Villas Palawan, meanwhile, is located in Puerto Princesa Palawan, home to the famed Subterranean River National Park (Underground River), among other breathtaking tourist attractions in the said city.

With its awe-inspiring sceneries, pristine beaches, freshly-harvested products from both land and sea, wildlife sanctuaries and welcoming people, it surely is one of the perfect spots where you can live life the way you want and deserve.

SNAP set to finish floating solar power project by early 2019

solar panels renewables

By Victor V. Saulon, Sub-editor

SN Aboitiz Power (SNAP) expects to complete by early next year its pilot floating solar project on Magat dam in partnership with state-led National Irrigation Administration (NIA), its top official said.

“What we want to do is number one: make sure it works; and number two: stress test it,” Joseph S. Yu, SNAP president and chief executive officer, said during a gathering with reporters on Wednesday night.

He said the pilot project, which will initially have a capacity of 200 kilowatts, will be used by SNAP for its own power requirements. It is being deployed at the Magat dam in Isabela, where SNAP has an existing project.

“If it’s viable, siyempre (surely) we would want to scale it up. My feeling is you can scale it up as quickly as you can,” he added.

The SNAP group, the joint venture of Norway’s SN Power AS and Aboitiz Power Corp., owns a number of hydroelectric power plants in North Luzon.

Under SN Aboitiz Power-Magat, Inc., it operates the 380-megawatt (MW) Magat hydroelectric power plant at the border of Isabela and Ifugao. Its 8.5-MW Maris Main Canal 1 hydroelectric power plant started commercial operation in November last year.

“We feel floating [solar] has a place in the portfolio because we want to provide a solution for the country to not have to give up agricultural land and trade it for energy security,” Mr. Yu said.

In June, NIA announced it was venturing into floating solar power projects in its dams and reservoirs with a proposal from SNAP.

NIA said SNAP would conduct a 2,500-square meter pilot project over the reservoir. It described the project as a small-scale preliminary study before a possible large-scale project. The initial project will feature solar panels fixed to floats on the water surface.

The government agency said Magat dam has a reservoir of 4,500 hectares, thus if 200 hectares will be utilized for water-based solar power, 200 MW will be generated and 200 hectares of agricultural lands will be saved.

NIA said the project could be beneficial to the government by providing additional income.

The floating solar facility can prevent the decrease of the water level in the dams and reservoirs due to evaporation, it said. It can also provide sanctuary for marine life as it prevents fishes and other species from dying due to hot temperature, it added.

“It’s one of the three reservoirs we manage,” AboitizPower Chief Operating Officer Emmanuel V. Rubio told reporters. “The reservoir is not owned by NIA. The permit is with NIA.”

Sustainable construction course in UP

Photo from collegeconnect.
Building solutions provider Holcim Philippines, Inc. has tied up with the University of the Philippines for an elective course this year on how the construction industry can have a more positive long-term impact on development.

The course will include topics such as sustainable design, environmental and social issues in construction and the latest in building solutions and innovations.

Holcim Philippines’s Sustainable Construction course (CE197 Elective), offered to UP-Institute of Civil Engineering (UP-ICE) students, aims to teach the next generation of builders the advantages of sustainable construction or designing and executing projects that balances economic, environmental and social interests. This concept is the primary advocacy of the global LafargeHolcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction, which encourages the building industry to play a bigger role in shaping a sustainable future.

Guest lecturers from Holcim Philippines as well as other industry experts will discuss the topics under the course for the first semester of the current academic year. The course will include topics such as sustainable design, environmental and social issues in construction and the latest in building solutions and innovations.

Holcim Philippines president and CEO John Stull thanked UP-ICE for the partnership and encouraged more young professionals in the building industry to take on the challenge of executing projects with sustainability in mind.

SM Prime opens shopping mall in Legazpi City

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SM CITY LEGAZPI will have a food hall with a view of Mayon Volcano. — SM PRIME HOLDINGS, INC.
IN A statement issued Tuesday, the Sy-led mall operator and property developer said SM City Legazpi will open its doors on Sept. 14. Located along Imeda Roces Avenue in Albay, the mall will have a total gross floor area of almost 88,000 square meters (sq.m.) and will be the company’s second mall in Bicol following SM City Naga in Camarines Sur.

“SM Prime joins the City of Legazpi in bringing fun and adventure to the picturesque province of Albay with the opening of SM City Legazpi… Together with SM City Naga in Camarines Sur, this new lifestyle destination in Bicolandia will elevate the malling experience of both the locals and tourists with offerings from top local and global brands,” SM Prime President Jeffrey C. Lim said in a statement. 

The three-storey mall will open with 85% of its leasable space already taken up by a mix of shopping, dining, and entertainment concepts. Tenants will include The SM Store, SM Supermarket, SM Appliance Center, Ace Hardware, Our Home, Watsons, Surplus, Sports Central, Bata Shoes, Miniso, The Body Shop, Uniqlo, and Banco de Oro.

The mall will also feature a food hall with a view of Mayon Volcano, six SM Cinemas, and SM Cyberzone.

The listed firm chose to locate in Legazpi City as it is considered Bicol’s center for tourism, education, health services, commerce, and transportation. SM Prime also noted Legazpi, with a population of more than 200,000 people, is one of the top provincial cities with remittances from overseas Filipino workers. 

SM City Legazpi is the fourth mall that SM Prime will be opening this year, after SM Center Imus in Cavite, SM City Urdaneta Central in Pangasinan, and SM City Telabastagan in Pampanga. This will bring the company’s total mall count to 71.

SM Prime will open SM Center Ormoc in Leyte in the fourth quarter, bringing its total to 72 stores across 9.6 million sq.m. by end-2018. The expansion is part of the company’s goal to have 10.8 million sq.m. of gross floor area across all its shopping malls by 2022, with around 86% located in the Philippines and the balance to be seen in China.

The company generated a net income of P16.62 billion in the first six months of 2018, 16% higher year-on-year as consolidated revenues likewise grew 15% to P49.77 billion for the period.

Shares in SM Prime ended flat at P36.50 each at the Philippine Stock Exchange on Tuesday. — Arra B. Francia

Banks increase exposure to real property sector

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By Melissa Luz T. Lopez, Senior Reporter

BANKS lent out more funds to the real property sector as of June, although growth slowed from the previous quarter as interest rates climbed.

Banks’ overall exposure to the real estate sector reached P2.139 trillion as of end-June, 11.2% more than the P1.924 trillion recorded in the same period last year, according to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). The latest growth pace compared to a 13.3% year-on-year increase recorded as of end-March.

Broken down, credit extended by banks for property acquisition and development reached P1.837 trillion, up 11.7% from the P1.644-trillion loans as of June 2017, data showed. This credit segment accounted for bulk of banks’ total exposure to this industry.

Bank investments in real estate-related securities grew 8.1% to P302.518 billion from P279.832 billion in the same comparative periods. Lenders placed P195.836 billion in real property-related debt papers and P106.682 billion in property-related equities.

Bulk of the approved property loans went to commercial real estate projects, growing by a tenth to P1.192 trillion as of the first semester. Home loans increased by 15% to P645.247 billion from the P561.311 billion.

Despite the increase, property loans actually saw a smaller share in total bank lending. Such credit took a 19.92% share of banks’ total loan portfolio, down from 20.48% as of end-March and 20.79% as of end-June 2017.

The BSP has been tightening rules on banks’ real estate exposure as it sought to temper rapid credit growth, which some credit raters have flagged as a possible sign of an overheating economy.

BSP Circular 976 issued last year requires banks to report details of real estate loans covering mid- and high-end housing units, as well as socialized and low-cost housing within a month after the end of every quarter starting this year. Reporting deadlines were pushed back to the second half of this year to give lenders more time to comply.

Back in April, the BSP also relaxed lending ceilings on banks and allowed construction firms implementing major infrastructure projects to have a separate borrowing limit from their parent companies. In effect, this move lets such projects secure bigger loans from banks and quasi-banks and serves as the BSP’s way to support the “Build, Build, Build” program of the Duterte administration.

At the same time, soured property loans increased by 11.9% to P33.087 billion, accounting for 1.8% of total borrowings, a steady share from the previous year.

The slower rise in property lending came after the BSP introduced back-to-back rate hikes in its May and June meetings, which drove benchmark interest rates 50 basis points higher. Total bank lending growth eased to 19.1% in June from 19.3% in May, according to central bank data.

Megawide looking to participate in bid for Pasig River Expressway contract

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MEGAWIDE Construction Corp. is looking to participate in the bidding for Pasig River Expressway with Philippine Skylanders International, Inc. (PSI).

In a disclosure to the stock exchange on Monday, Megawide said it signed a memorandum of agreement (MoA) with the Philippine Skylanders.

“The MoA sets out the preliminary terms and conditions of Megawide and PSI in relation to the possible participation of Megawide for the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC), and operation and maintenance (O&M) of the Pasig River Expressway project,” the listed firm said.

Megawide did not give any details on the Pasig River Expressway project.

In July, Megawide said it is eyeing to secure P24-billion worth of new construction contracts by the end of the year, double the P10.8 billion worth of projects it had in 2017.

In January, its joint venture with Indian company GMR Infrastructure Ltd. bagged the P4.9-billion engineering, procurement and construction contract for the new terminal building at the Clark International Airport. The GMR-Megawide tandem also operates the Mactan-Cebu International Airport.

Megawide is also considering making a bid for the operations and management (O&M)of the Clark airport.

For the first six months of 2018, Megawide’s attributable profit was flat at P926.54 million, after a six percent drop in revenues to P8.96 billion.

Construction revenues for the first half fell by 11% to P7.36 billion, which the Megawide said was due “varying stages of construction of projects in the order book and scheduled start of construction of the new projects booked towards the end of 2017.”

Megawide booked P14.2 billion worth of new contracts in the first semester, constituting 59% of its full year guidance of P24 billion. — D.A.Valdez

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