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

CPG’s Azure makes beach resort experience in the city possible

November 26, 2019 | 12:06 am [ ]

By Cathy Rose A. Garcia
Associate Editor

CPG’s Azure makes beach resort experience in the city possible

Azure Urban Resorts Residences features a man-made beach and wave pool. A ceremony marking the completion of Azure’s nine towers was held on Nov. 16.

WHEN Century Properties Group, Inc. (CPG) launched Azure Urban Resort Residences in 2010, not a few scoffed at its plan to create a man-made beach in the middle of Bicutan in Parañaque.

Nine years later, CPG has now completed Azure’s nine residential towers, alongside the man-made beach, a wave pool, beach club, a lap pool and other amenities.

Azure is a joint venture between CPG unit Century Limitless Corp. and Columbian Autocar Corp., which owned the six-hectare land.

“When it was offered to us by Columbian, (the lot) was nice and contiguous but it was in Bicutan…That’s why we had to come up with the insane idea of making a beach and all these resort amenities to make Bicutan a destination,” CPG Vice Chairman John Victor R. Antonio told reporters on Nov. 16 after a ceremony marking the completion of Azure.

With the “beach-within-the-city” concept, Mr. Antonio said the company was betting on Filipinos’ love of beaches.

“We thought what do Filipinos love most? And what can’t they find in an urban setting? The beach… But there’s no beach in the city. So this was a crazy idea of mine, why don’t we create a beach? Because to create a building is easy but to create something that would last for generations and our buyers would be proud of would be difficult,” he said.

Azure is composed of nine 20-storey towers all named after famous beach destinations — Rio, Santorini, St. Tropex, Positano, Miami, Maui, Maldives, Bahamas and Boracay. The towers have a combined 5,355 units with a total sales value of P22.55 billion.

Around 98% of the inventory has been sold out.

For the towers, CPG offered one-bedroom (30 square meters), two-bedroom (45 sq.m.) and penthouse (50 sq.m.) units.

“We starting at P90,000 to P95,000 per sq.m., and it went up to P180,000 per sq.m.,” Mr. Antonio said.

The CPG vice chairman noted they originally offered more two-bedroom units in the first few towers, but later towers focused more on one-bedroom units due to market demand.

“They want champagne taste on a beer budget. They want the amenities and the lifestyle, but on a budget,” Mr. Antonio said.
With the man-made beach and wave pool, Azure has become a tourist destination, especially among staycationers.

Owners have started renting out their units on Airbnb or through CPG’s own Siglo Suites. This allows the owners, most of them who live abroad, to generate revenues from their units. Around 100 Azure units can currently be rented directly through Siglo Suites.

The rise in short-term rentals caused overcrowding in the beach and wave pool, leading the company to implement measures to control the number of users allowed per unit.

“It gets full during the summer. We had to implement a system because people were bringing in their families, so there was overcrowding. We created a system together with the unit owners and they respected the plan,” Mr. Antonio said.

Most amenities are exclusive to unit owners. The Paris Beach Club, designed by socialite Paris Hilton, features the gym, locker rooms, residents’ lounge, playroom, movie room, dance studio, game room, function rooms, spa and café.

Outdoor amenities also include two lagoon pools, lap pool, children’s water play area, beach volleyball area, basketball court and pocket gardens.

Mr. Antonio said the success of Azure has prompted CPG to replicate it in San Fernando, Pampanga. Azure North features three residential towers, along with a beach lagoon and wave pool.

“We will be completing the first two towers and amenities next year. There was a lot of demand, so why not create it for the north? Azure North had brisk sales because they didn’t have a masterplanned beach community in Pampanga,” he said.

Vista Land sets interest rates for retail bond offering

November 29, 2019 | 12:05 am [ ]

VISTA LAND & Lifescapes, Inc. (VLL) has set the interest rates for the fixed-rate retail bonds worth up to P10 billion that it is set to issue next month.

In a disclosure to the stock exchange, the Villar-led property developer said the interest rate for its fixed-rate retail bond is pegged at 5.6992% per annum. The bonds have a tenor of five years and six months, due June 2025.

The bonds will have a base size of P5 billion with an oversubscription option of up to P5 billion.

The base amount of P5 billion will be taken from the company’s remaining shelf registration approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on July 18, 2017. Any oversubscription of up to P5 billion will be issued from the P30-billion new shelf registration.

VLL said the bonds will be offered through the joint issue managers, joint lead underwriters and joint bookrunners — China Bank Capital Corp., PNB Capital and Investment Corp. and SB Capital Investment Corp. from Friday (Nov. 29) to Dec. 10.

The bonds are expected to be issued on Dec. 18.

Credit Rating and Investors Services Philippines, Inc. has given VLL its top credit rating of AAA. VLL’s retail bonds also received PRS Aaa rating from the Philippine Rating Services Corporation (PhilRatings).

In a statement issued last week, PhilRatings said it considered three factors in giving VLL the highest credit rating: the company’s diversified portfolio, its improving profitability and the favorable real estate industry outlook.

The listed firm, which is known for residential brands such as Camella and Camella Condominium (COHO), has been expanding its mass market mall portfolio.

PhilRatings cited VLL’s acquisition of Starmalls, Inc. in 2015, which it said helped diversify the company’s portfolio.

“VLL has built over 400,000 homes, 31 malls, 52 commercial centers and seven office buildings. As of September 30, 2019, the company’s projects were distributed in 147 cities and municipalities in 49 provinces throughout the Philippines,” PhilRatings said.

PhilRatings also took note of the 11.9% compound annual growth rate of VLL’s consolidated revenues since 2014. It said the company was able to maintain strong margins as its average gross profit margin stood at 59.8% over the past five years.

In the first nine months of 2019, VLL’s attributable net income increased 12% to P8.83 billion, as its consolidated revenues grew 9% to P34.36 billion.

The company also said it plans to raise up to P40 billion from the bond market to fund its residential and commercial projects. — CRAG

QC Business Center opens in Robinsons Novaliches

November 26, 2019 | 12:02 am[ ]

THE Quezon City Business Center is now open at the Robinsons Novaliches mall.

Located at the Lingkod Pinoy Center on the mall’s third floor, the office offers the following services: assessment of current real property tax (RPT), collection of RPT, issuance of professional tax receipts, and issuance of community tax receipt.

Two more Quezon City Business Centers will open at Robinsons Galleria and Robinsons Magnolia.

Construction of Clark Global City starts

November 26, 2019 | 12:03 am [ ]

CONSTRUCTION of the 177-hectare mixed-use development Clark Global City (CGC) in Pampanga has started, with a groundbreaking ceremony held by Udenna Land’s Global Gateway Development Corp. (GGDC), on Nov. 19.

Megawide Construction Corp. was tapped as the general contractor for CGC’s site development, including road and sewage works.

“Bold and audacious projects such as CGC can only be done by partnering with people who not only share the same vision but are also equipped with topnotch execution skills. We are honored to work shoulder to shoulder with Megawide to transform 177 hectares of land into a thriving business center and community,” Udenna Land and GGDC Chairman Dennis A. Uy was quoted as saying in a statement.

Clark Global City, located within a special economic zone, will be home to office buildings, retail outlets, educational institutions, sports centers, an urban park, an integrated resort and casino, among others.

Currently, 47 hectares of the 177-hectare property has been “fully completed with world-class, disaster-ready horizontal infrastructures, including storm water drainage systems, an underground infrastructure network, eight road lanes with 50 meters of right-of-way priority, prime generating units and backup fuel storage.”

“Through Megawide’s engineering capabilities, we will support GGDC and the Philippine Government in establishing the new Central Business District of Central Luzon,” Megawide Chairman Edgar B. Saavedra said in a statement.

Cebu Landmasters, IBC plan to build Iloilo residential tower

November 26, 2019 | 12:05 am [ ]
CEBU Landmasters, Inc. (CLI) and International Builders Corp. (IBC) recently signed a joint venture agreement, led by (second from left) IBC Chairman Alfonso G. Tan and (third from left) CLI Chief Executive Officer Jose R. Soberano III.

CEBU Landmasters, Inc. (CLI) is partnering with International Builders Corp. (IBC) to develop a P1.5-billion condominium project in Iloilo City.
The listed Cebu-based property developer told the stock exchange yesterday it forged a joint venture agreement with IBC Chairman Alfonso G. Tan to build a residential tower in downtown Iloilo.
CLI will manage and own 50% of the high-rise building, which is scheduled to be completed in four years.
IBC, which has expertise in construction, will build a mall at the same time to complement the condominium.
“We are very proud to forge this partnership with Mr. Alfonso Tan and his family. He has established IBC as the leading construction firm in the region, and both our homegrown companies are motivated by the opportunity to contribute further to Iloilo’s exceptional growth,” CLI Chief Executive Officer Jose R. Soberano III said in the statement.
While working on the residential tower, CLI said it is simultaneously building almost 1,200 units of house and lot under the Casa Mira brand in a 14-hectare property in Jaro, Iloilo.

CLI is currently present in Visayas and Mindanao through starter homes, residential condominiums, top-end residential units, mixed-use complexes and hotels.
In October, it said it was building 58 projects in 10 key cities in Visayas and Mindanao as it targets to reach 200,000 square meters of property by 2023. It also aims to have 1,350 hotel rooms in seven locations by 2022.
CLI booked a net income of P1.65 billion in the nine months to September, surging 77% from a year ago, as revenues jumped 61% to P5.95 billion.
The property firm said its reservation sales propelled its profits during the three-quarter period as it reached a record-high P9.2 billion at the end of September.
Shares in CLI at the stock exchange ended flat at the close of Monday’s trading to P4.70 apiece. — Denise A. Valdez

Megaworld targets P2.5B in sales from upscale village in Cavite

November 21, 2019 | 12:02 am

ARDEN Botanical Village is located in Trece Martires City, Cavite.

MEGAWORLD Corp. is targeting to generate P2.5 billion in sales from its first upscale residential village in Cavite.

In a statement Wednesday, the Andrew L. Tan-led property developer said it is building Arden Botanical Village, an 18-hectare development within the 251-hectare Arden Botanical Estate in Trece Martires City, Cavite.

Megaworld will offer 329 lots with sizes between 280 to 609 square meters (sq.m.). Prices will range from P18,000 to P22,000 per sq.m.

“Arden Botanical Village will be built around the natural features that thrive in the estate… Because the location is naturally gifted with greeneries that couldn’t be found in any other residential villages, we want to preserve and highlight them in our development,” Megaworld First Vice-President for Sales and Marketing Eugene Em Lozano said in the statement.

The gated village is designed by Filipino landscape architect and environmental planner Paulo Alcazaren. It will have a Centrera Park, surrounded by trees, natural waterways, promenades, jogging paths, and the village clubhouse.

The project, which takes inspiration from Scandinavian architecture, is scheduled for completion by 2024.

Arden Botanical Estate is the P18-billion joint project of Megaworld and its subsidiary Global-Estate Resorts, Inc. which will be built over the next 10 years.

Megaworld posted an attributable net income of P12.8 billion in the nine months to September, 14% higher from last year, as revenues increased 17% to P48.12 billion.

Shares in the company at the stock exchange slipped 0.11 point or 2.31% to close at P4.65 each on Wednesday. — Denise A. Valdez

ALI eyes over P100-B capex for 2020

November 21, 2019 | 12:05 am [ ]

By Denise A. Valdez, Reporter

AYALA LAND, Inc. (ALI) is looking to allocate over P100 billion for capital expenditures (capex) in 2020, of which about P15-20 billion will be financed through local debt.

In a media briefing in Makati City yesterday, ALI Chief Finance Officer Augusto Cesar D. Bengzon discussed the company’s borrowing plans for next year, saying ALI is looking at reaching a similar level of borrowing this year.

“Probably in between P15-20 billion of debt financing. Most likely most of those will be from the debt capital markets, in a bond format,” he said.

The proceeds will finance the company’s capex, which he expects “should breach the hundred billion mark.”

But Mr. Bengzon noted the financial plan of ALI is still subject to board approval.

This year, ALI was able to raise a total of P21 billion from the bond market.

Mr. Bengzon said for next year’s borrowing plans, ALI would prefer to have longer tenors in its issuances.

The company was able to book a net income of P23.2 billion in the nine months to September, up 12% year on year, driven by the robust performance of its office segment, commercial and industrial lot sales and commercial leasing revenues.

Capital spending during the period stood at P78.2 billion, which ALI used for expansion of its residential and leasing assets.

Meanwhile, Mr. Bengzon said he is starting to look at the possibility of issuing green bonds. “I’m challenging our underwriters to come up with something appropriate. I’d like it to be peso,” he said.

A green bond, also called climate bond, is a kind of debt financing that is specific to projects that have environmental impact. The Securities and Exchange Commission previously said it is adopting the ASEAN standard for green bonds, which require such bonds to be issued for projects located in ASEAN.

Mr. Bengzon said green bonds are interesting for ALI because it is also targeting to be carbon neutral by 2022. As part of this plan, the company is shifting its leasing assets to renewable energy and adopting forests to offset carbon footprint.

“It’s a lot of things we need to sort out. I don’t want it to be a green bond just for the sake of. I want it to be a true green bond,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mr. Bengzon was named ING-FINEX CFO of the Year on Wednesday, making him the sixth CFO from the Ayala group to receive such award.

In his speech at the awarding program at New World Makati Hotel, he praised the finance teams of companies, which he said comprise the “most under appreciated, and overworked, employees.”

“They commonly toil in what is commonly called the back office, giving one the impression that they are doing chores that are best kept out from public view. I know that this is farthest from the truth… I believe that it is the Finance group that provides the backbone on which the company rests, it provides the foundation which determines whether the company will flourish for generations, or fold up at the first sign of economic stress,” Mr. Bengzon said.

Shares in ALI at the stock exchange grew 0.70 point or 1.56% to P45.70 each on Wednesday.

Instagram-worthy shopping mall opens in Makati

November 12, 2019 | 12:06 am [ ]

Assembly Grounds at The Rise recently opened its doors.
By Mark Louis F. Ferrolino
Special Features Writers

SHANG PROPERTIES, INC. (SPI) and Vivelya Development Co. Inc. officially opened the boutique mall, Assembly Grounds at The Rise, in Makati City.

The two-storey community mall is integrated with The Rise Makati, a 59-storey condominium development by SPI’s wholly-owned company, The Rise Development Company, Inc.

Cesar Jose C. Jesena, Tenant Management Division head of Shangri-la Plaza Corp., told BusinessWorld in an interview that Assembly Grounds not only caters to the residents of The Rise but also to young working professionals and students in the North Makati area.

“It’s a community mall. If you look around, you will also see people who work in the area,” he said.

The boutique mall features a mix of restaurants, cafes, services, and essential stores, carefully curated with urban lifestyle in mind.

“My team curated it to appeal to a younger market. We have brought in familiar names like the Starbucks Reserve, Zubuchon, Ramen Daisho, Pepper Lunch, Recipes, Tong Yang Shabu-Shabu Express, and Buffalo’s Wings N’ Things,” Mr. Jesena said.

Other establishments in the mall include Fiery Style Southwestern Flaming Grill, Mey Lin Express, Premier the Samgyupsal, Yuki Cafe, BreadTalk, 7-Eleven, and Yi Fang Taiwan Fruit Tea.

Casa Mia, Chatto Bites, Vinatrang Cuisine, Kuya’s, Mihimihi, Raging Bull + Burgers, Salad Bowl, and Spektral are also some of the food places that are coming soon to Assembly Grounds.

“It’s really a foodie haven, a foodie destination,” Mr. Jesena said. “More than 50% [of the establishments here] is F&B (Food & Beverage).”

Meanwhile, Assembly Grounds also houses establishments that offer beauty and wellness services, such as Nisce Skin Medispa, BOHO by Nail Tropics, Pink Parlour, /nook/ Salon, Lomi Imua Relaxation Hawaiian Spa, Tapout Fitness, and Sanbry Men’s Grooming House.

True Value, Daiso Japan, CURATE, BPI, Security Bank, and Besa’s Footwear and Bag Restoration can also be found in the mall.

Aside from the set of popular and unique brands located inside the mall, what makes Assembly Grounds different from other commercial developments in the area, according to Mr. Jesena, is its impressive interior design where every spot of the mall is worthy to be posted and shared in social media.

“Everything here is Instagram-worthy, even the comfort rooms,” he said.

ALI’s pocket urban development to help transform Novaliches

November 12, 2019 | 12:07 am [ ]

ALI’s pocket urban development to help transform Novaliches

A transport terminal is expected to connect The Junction Place with other areas in Metro Manila.

The Junction Place is located between Tandang Sora Avenue and Quirino Highway.

IT may be difficult to imagine an Ayala Land, Inc. (ALI) estate in the middle of Novaliches, Quezon City.

But the property giant is developing The Junction Place, an 11-hectare property (formerly the site of RubberWorld factory), into a “pocket urban development” that is expected to have a transformative effect on the very dense area.

Stephen S. Comia, senior division manager for ALI’s strategic landbank management group, said the Novaliches area has a population of about 400,000 or roughly 15% of Quezon City’s total population.

“We see there’s an opportunity to be part of a highly urbanized development in the area. There’s a lot of business communities, large working middle-class communities, hospitals and schools in the area… The area is very congested in terms of traffic… At 11 hectares, it’s really not large, but for us it’s enough to create a big impact,” he said during a press briefing in Makati City on Oct. 30.

Manuel A. Blas II, ALI strategic landbank management group vice president, said they expect that the impact of The Junction in the very crowded neighborhood would be significant.
“It’s so dense, you couldn’t see what could be transformed here. But that’s what we will be able to do… We can gentrify the neighborhood, and they can feel something changed when The Junction came,” Mr. Blas said.

Mr. Comia noted that The Junction Place represents a new estate product for ALI, as it is a relatively smaller estate in a populated urban location.

“This is a pocket urban development showcasing all the experience and learnings of Ayala Land as the pioneer in estate development. We’re creating a comfortable, safe, organized and refreshing new neighborhood that will connect people to other hubs in Quezon City and beyond,” he said.

The Junction Place is located between two very busy thoroughfares — Tandang Sora Avenue and Quirino Highway. ALI officials said they are addressing the traffic congestion in the area by building a spine road through the property. The Junction Place Boulevard is expected to be opened by 2020.

Also, the estate will have its own transport terminal that will connect to other parts of Quezon City and Metro Manila. It is also located near two planned stations of the Metro Manila Subway System — Quirino and Tandang Sora Stations.

ALI is ramping up the development of Phase 1 of The Junction Place, which will include a Waltermart Mall, retail strip, a residential project by Amaia Land, roads, public open spaces and the transit hub.

“Waltermart will be located on the side of Quirino. They will be constructing a mall with 5,000 sq.m. of leasable space. We partnered with them because it fits the market of the area… Construction is to start in December,” Mr. Comia said.

“We are developing our own community center in the heart of the estate. It will have green public spaces, retail, dining and service options, activity nodes for community events,” he added.

The Amaia Land residential project is expected to be launched within the year while the Waltermart Mall is targeted to open by 2021 and the retail strip by 2022.

ALI also envisions The Junction Place as a platform for homegrown, small and medium enterprises. It sold out seven commercial lots covering 8,000 square meters for P500 million. — Cathy Rose A. Garcia

PRC Lucena to Conduct Mobile Services on 19, 21, & 22 November 2019

PRC Lucena to Conduct Mobile Services on 19, 21, & 22 November 2019
19 November 2019
8:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M.

3/F Mt. Siburon Hall
Municipal Building
Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro
  • Application for Licensure Examination for Teachers
  • Renewal of Professional Identification Card
  • Petition for Change of Status
  • Correction of Name and Date of Birth
  • Initial Registration
  • Authentication of PRC Documents

21-22 November 2019
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Bulwagang Panlalawigan
Capitol Complex, Camilmil
Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro
  • Renewal of Professional Identification Card
  • Petition for Change of Status
  • Correction of Name and Date of Birth
  • Authentication of PRC Documents
Applicants are advised to apply online at or prior to proceeding to the said mobile service venue.
In order to skip the long line on payment to the PRC Cashier and for faster transaction, clients are encouraged to avail of the online payment channels through UCPB (over-the-counter), Landback (i-access), or PayMaya.

ALI invests P18 billion in Tarlac City estate

November 13, 2019 | 12:09 am [ ]

AN artist’s perspective of Ayala Land, Inc.’s Cresendo estate in Tarlac City.

AYALA LAND, Inc. (ALI) is investing P18 billion to build a 290-hectare estate in Tarlac City.

The real estate arm of the Ayala group presented on Tuesday its “modern local community” project in Tarlac called Cresendo, is situated 40 kilometers from the Clark International Airport and about 15 kilometers from the New Clark City.

ALI broke ground on the first phase of Cresendo last week. The property giant has so far received reservations for six lots, equivalent to P500 million, in the estate’s industrial park.

ALI is allocating P5.5 billion for the development of Phase 1, which includes construction of the Cresendo Industrial Park (CIP), a residential project under Avida brand, a commercial space, and retail area. The estate will also host Don Bosco Technical Institute, which will open its senior high school in 2022.

In a briefing in Makati City on Tuesday, Cresendo Project Head John R. Estacio said the development’s Phase 2 will focus on the development of residential spaces and shop houses, while Phase 3 will involve further residential expansion and construction of other commercial formats.

The company expects the entire 290-hectare project to be completed in 10 to 15 years. About 59% of the property will be allocated to residential spaces, 31% for a town plaza and open spaces, 11% each for commercial and industrial spaces and 3% for institutional establishments such as the school and a church.

ALI is offering commercial lots surrounding the Cresendo central plaza with sizes ranging from 500-2,000 square meters (sq.m.).

At the CIP, industrial lots, ranging from 2,000-10,000 sq.m., are for sale at P6,000 to P9,000 per square meter. The industrial park aims to attract companies from light to medium industries.

“Our vision is to encourage more homegrown entrepreneurs and new businesses at Cresendo. The property is strategically located and has a young and growing population that makes it one of the promising areas in the region,” Mr. Estacio said in a statement.

In the years to come, Mr. Estacio said ALI wants to bring its Alveo Land brand to Cresendo as well. It is also in talks to bring health providers into the development.

Shares in ALI went down 0.30 points or 0.64% to P46.50 each on Tuesday. — Denise A. Valdez

DoubleDragon seeks LEED Gold certification for Boracay hotel

November 12, 2019 | 12:05 am [ ]

Hotel 101 Resort Boracay aims to become the largest “green” hotel in the country. — COMPANY HANDOUT

DOUBLEDRAGON Properties Corp. is determined to secure a green certification for its hotel development in Boracay, as it tapped a sustainability consultant for its application for the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification.

In a statement Monday, the listed property developer said its hotel arm Hotel of Asia, Inc. (HOA) has engaged Barone International to be a consultant for its LEED Gold certification application for Hotel 101 Resort Boracay.

“In this day and age when most modern buildings are built to have customary green features, DoubleDragon looks to go a step further… With its 1,001 hotel rooms it is poised to become the largest truly green hotel in the Philippines.” DoubleDragon Chairman Edgar “Injap” J. Sia II said in the statement.

The eco-friendly resort sits on a beachfront cove in Boracay Newcoast, which also incorporated green initiatives such as “the use of electric jeepneys, solar-powered streetlamps, flood-free drainage systems, implementation of its own waste segregation program and having its own Material Recovery Facility (MRF) for waste recycling, and having its own Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) that converts used water for irrigation and fire reserve.”

An LEED certification measures a building’s sustainability based on several categories such as water efficiency, energy & atmosphere, materials & resources, indoor environmental quality and innovation.

The U.S. Green Building Council, which developed LEED, said in its website such certification could result to instant recognition for a building, faster lease up rates, higher resale value and brand enhancement, among others.

Hotel 101 is DoubleDragon’s hotel brand which currently has branches in Pasay City, Taguig City and Davao City. Mr. Sia said the company is envisioning Hotel 101 to contribute significantly to the company’s recurring income.

Shares in DoubleDragon fell 0.05 point or 0.25% to P20 each on Monday. — Denise A. Valdez

Sorsogon City’s P77.6M cultural center, P887M sports complex opening in 2020

November 7, 2019 | 7:54 pm [ ]


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TWO BIG structures in Sorsogon City — one for the arts and another for sports — are on track with the construction schedule and expected to open by 2020, the Department of Public Works and Highway-Bicol (DPWH-5) office reported. The Sorsogon Cultural Center for the Arts, designed to be the country’s second main arts facility next to the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), is a 2,638-square meter edifice that is being built at a cost of P77.6 million. Construction started in Oct. 2017 and DPWH-5 said it “is expected to be fully operational by the year 2020.” Its features include an outdoor lobby, lounge lobby, vestibule, spectators’ area, orchestra pit, performance stage, and a seating capacity of 338 on the ground floor and 177 on the mid-floor level.


Meanwhile, the rehabilitation and expansion of the Balogo Sports Complex is also underway and completion is expected by July 2020. An initial P337.8 million was allocated in 2018 for the track and field, and a stadium with a seating capacity of 12,000. Another P250 million was set this year for other facilities in the four-storey complex, while another P300 million is included in the 2020 proposed budget. Sorsogon City has been designated as host of the regional Palarong Bicol in 2021 and the national Palarong Pambansa in 2022.

With masterplan, Davao hopes to avoid pitfalls of rapid urbanization

November 4, 2019 | 8:59 pm [ ]

Felino A. Palafox, Jr.

By Vincent Mariel P. Galang

AN URBAN planner wants to transform Mindanao into the “front door” of the Philippines, beginning with the development of the Davao Region.

“We would like to change the paradigm of Mindanao as backdoor to the Philippines. We would like to make as a front door to the Philippines,” Felino A. Palafox, Jr. urban planner and founder and principal architect of Palafox Associates, told BusinessWorld in an interview.

The Makati-based urban planning firm was tapped to craft the Metro Davao Urban Plan. With the plan, it is hoped that Davao will avoid the pitfalls of rapid urban development that Metro Manila faced such as congestion, heavy traffic and pollution.

“It’s about time we help our country, which we’ve been doing … Number one is to develop the provinces…. We are identifying urban growth centers outside Metro Manila as counter magnets to Metro Manila,” he said.

“Mindanao has great opportunities for it, medyo napabayaan (it was neglected), so Davao can take the lead as pace setter. Set the pace of development in Mindanao,” he added.

The Metro Davao Urban Plan is a Mindanao Development Authority-funded project that aims to develop cities and municipalities in the Davao Region. It also part of the Mindanao 2020 Peace and Development Framework Plan.

Mr. Palafox said that the masterplan has been completed, and is now being implemented. The project covers eight local government units (LGU). Some of the target growth centers include the municipalities of Carmen and Sta. Cruz, as well as Tagum City, Panabo City, Island Garden City of Samal, and Digos City.

The masterplan has combined all the best practices in the world and took into consideration the lessons learned in Metro Manila.

“We took also the existing plans of the different LGUs, and we integrated and improved it…

All the best practices in the world in-implement namin doon (were implemented there) and learn the mistakes of Metro Manila,” he explained.

One of the features of the masterplan is its focus on public transportation rather than on private transportation. Mr. Palafox also said walkability and “bike-ability” features were also integrated.

It also targets to develop the region’s seaports, including the Davao Gulf.

“The Davao Gulf, it can even be the biggest harbor in the Philippines, and also because it’s fronting Celebes Sea. It’s a very important navigational route connecting the West Philippine Sea and the Pacific Ocean,” he explained.

There is also focus on landscaping to balance the development of the Davao region with maintaining a healthy environment.

Alveo’s most expensive condo rises in Makati CBD

November 5, 2019 | 12:03 am [ ]

Parkford Suites Legazpi is located in front of two parks in Legazpi Village, Makati City.

IMAGINE living in the heart of Makati central business district and seeing a lush green park from your living room window every day. This may seem like a dream, but not for residents of Parkford Suites Legazpi.

Alveo Land, Corp. recently launched the 35-story residential condominium, located across the Legazpi Active Park and Washington Sycip Park in Legazpi Village.

Alveo Chief Operating Officer Rufino S. Gutierrez said Parkford Suites Legazpi offers a “rare parkside living experience” within a central business district.

“The location is very prime… (But) really what attracts our buyers here is the park, the proximity to the beautiful parks,” he said during a briefing at the Alveo office in Bonifacio Global City on Oct. 25.

The high-rise condo, sits on a 2,156 square meter (sq.m.) lot, is just 500 meters from the Asian Institute of Management, 600 meters from Greenbelt, and one kilometer’s walk to the Ayala Museum.

“In terms of privacy and exclusivity, it only has 163 units and within your floor, there are only seven units… We only offer bigger units,” Mr. Gutierrez said.

Targeting the upscale market, Parkford Suites Legazpi offers two-bedroom units sized from 125 sq.m. to 142 sq.m., and three-bedroom units sized from 180 sq.m. to 181 sq.m.

All the three-bedroom units will have park-facing balconies from the living room. The penthouse floor only has three units, all of which will have views of the two parks.

“This is the most expensive condo for Alveo at P370,000 per sq.m. or an average of P55 million per unit. A two-bedroom is P46 million, a three-bedroom is P66 million… The penthouse units are P80 million each,” Mr. Gutierrez said.

The most expensive unit at Parkford Suites Legazpi is a bi-level three-bedroom unit (320 sq.m.) on the 12th floor, which has a P140-million price tag and was one of the first units that was sold.

“Within the units, windows are floor to ceiling… Imagine the panoramic views from your unit. If you have the three-bedroom unit, the balcony railing is glass,” Mr. Gutierrez said.

All unit have ensuite bathrooms for all bedrooms, a walk-in closet for the master’s bedroom, double-sink master’s bathroom, and a powder room for guests. The building has 100% back-up power in case of emergency.

Amenities, such as the lap pool, wading pool, function rooms, play area and gym, are located on the 12th floor.

So far, demand for Parkford Suites Legazpi has been strong.

“Total sales value of the building is P9 billion, and we sold P2 billion already,” Mr. Gutierrez said.

Turnover of units is estimated by 2026. — Cathy Rose A. Garcia

Traditional businesses fuel office space demand

November 5, 2019 | 12:04 am [ ]

 Makati City and Taguig City continue to have the most expensive office rents in the country. -- CATHY ROSE A. GARCIA

By Bjorn Biel M. Beltran
Special Features Writer

TRADITIONAL businesses have overtaken the Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGOs) and IT-business process management (IT-BPM) companies in terms of office space demand in the third quarter.

In its Q3 Metro Manila Office Market Overview and Full Year Outlook, Pronove Tai International Property Consultants tracked a total of about 305,000 square meters (sq.m.) of pre-leasing and leasing transactions from July to September 2019.

Traditional offices accounted for 40% or 122,000 sq.m. of total transactions, followed by IT-BPM sector at 32% or 96,000 sq.m., POGOs at 23% or 71,000 sq.m., and flexible workspaces at 5%, or 16,000 sq.m.

“The third quarter proved to be an exceptionally strong period for the traditional firms with a significant 61% growth YoY (year-on-year) from only 76,000 sq.m. last year” Monique Cornelio Pronove, president and CEO of the property consultancy firm, said.

Of the traditional businesses driving demand, banking and financial firms accounted for the largest share at 20% of transactions; food and beverage firms followed at 15%, while insurance firms, government offices and NGOs, and real estate companies accounted for 14%, 8%, and 7% respectively.

POGOs demand, which took up the lion’s share of leasing transactions last quarter and accounts for about 386,000 sq.m. of total office space take-up in Metro Manila as of September, was dented by an announcement by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation in August that it will no longer grant licensing permits to new POGO applicants until the end of the year.

Expansion of IT-BPM companies, meanwhile, has been limited by the government moratorium on new economic zones in Metro Manila as part of a decentralization plan to push stronger economic activity in suburban areas. IT-BPM companies prefer to locate in office buildings that have been declared as ecozones to take advantage of tax perks and other incentives.

“Amidst these challenges, the office leasing market remained strong and we project it to reach 1.2 million sq.m. by the end of December 2019. This would breach last year’s record performance by 9%,” Pronove said.

“Makati, the country’s premier business district, accounted for the most leasing transactions at 28%. The Bay Area accounted for 20%, characterized mostly by POGOs and then Quezon City at 17% with IT-BPM accounting for most of the leasing transactions there this quarter,” Pronove added.

From July to September, 15 new buildings were completed adding 402,000 sq.m. to Metro Manila’s office stock, bringing office stock to 11.4 million sq.m. Much of the new supply (82%) was located in Quezon City and Taguig City, adding approximately 230,000 sq.m. and 101,000 sq.m., respectively.

Despite this, vacancy levels dipped to 5% from 6% in the previous quarter. Due to robust demand, Pronove Tai expects vacancy to dip further to around 4-5% by the end of this year.
Districts with the lowest vacancy rates are in the Bay Area (Pasay and Parañaque) as well as Makati City at a staggering 0.4% and 2%, respectively. Only three districts‚ Ortigas Center, Muntinlupa City and Taguig City registered a vacancy of 5-6% this quarter.

“This has been Quezon City’s highest recorded supply in a quarter. We saw a 10% growth year-on-year in Quezon City coming from nine buildings. This alone accounted for 57% of the new supply in Metro Manila this quarter,” Ms. Pronove said.

“Though the office vacancy decreased from 12% in Q2 to 11% in Q3, Quezon City still had the highest vacancy in Metro Manila at over roughly 150,000 sq.m. This could be attributed to the slow leasing absorption for its new building completions in the past two years as it only recently opened its market to POGO occupiers.”

Makati and Taguig recorded the top rents in the city, with Makati still at a 21% premium over Taguig rents. Additionally, both business districts have recorded the highest rental growth over the year.

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