Firm to spend P10B in Mactan-A A +A
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
PROPERTY developer Megaworld Corp. will spend P10 billion over the next six years to develop a 16-hectare property in Mactan into a mixed-used commercial development called The Mactan Newtown.
According to Megaworld Corp. senior vice-president for sales and marketing Noli Hernandez, the company’s new project in Cebu will be similar to the Eastwood City development in Libis, Quezon City, which has integrated live, work and play components.
Eastwood City is a 17-hectare development of Megaworld. It is the first IT Park in the Philippines and the company’s first master-planned township development. It features 17 high-rise residential towers, 10 office buildings and 65,000 square meters (sq.m) of retail space.
“We will duplicate what we have done in Libis, Quezon City and make it better here in Mactan,” Hernandez said in a media briefing held on Monday at the Radisson Blu Hotel Cebu.
The Mactan Newtown is said to be the biggest project so far of Megaworld in the southern Philippines. It will have residential condominiums, business process outsourcing (BPO) offices, retail and entertainment strips, wellness facility and an upscale boutique hotel.
Megaworld vice-president for Visayas operations Virgilio Carsido, Jr. said the company completed just last May the construction of One World Center, a five-storey BPO-ready building in The Mactan Newtown.
The five-storey BPO building Two World Center, meanwhile, will begin construction next month.
Megaworld has also allocated two hectares for the residential component of the project which will house the 8 Newtown Blvd. and One Pacific Residences.
The company started building 8 Newtown Blvd., which is the first cluster of the residential buildings. This condo project is composed of four 18-storey residential towers with a total of 716 units. It will also have retail spaces on the ground floor and three-floor office spaces.
Megaworld first vice president for strategic planning division Maricor Manlangit said three of these residential towers were already sold to a group of Japanese retirees while the remaining tower is intended for the local market.
The second-cluster, One Pacific Residences, will have one BPO building and three condominium towers with a total of 540 units. Two of these towers are for the Japanese market while the remaining tower is for the local market.
These fully-furnished condo units are priced between P4 million and P5 million.
Manlangit said they built the units for the Japanese market and the response showed the demand is there and the company is still receiving a lot of inquiries.
According to Philippines Retirement Authority general manager Veredigno Atienza, the Japanese market finds the Philippines very attractive because of the strong presence of their countrymen in the country and its proximity to Japan.
Outside the National Capital Region, the preferred places for retirement in the Philippines are Baguio, Subic and Clark in Pampanga, Davao and Cebu.
“Similar to popular Hawaiian islands such as Honolulu and Maui, Cebu boasts of both natural wonders and urban conveniences, which are very appealing to retirees,” Atienza said.
Megaworld will also build a mini-shopping mall and a boutique hotel.
To complete the package, the company also tied-up with the Cebu Doctor’s University Hospital for the establishment of a wellness and fitness facility inside The Mactan Newtown.
Hernandez said that in five years, The Mactan Newtown will be one of Cebu’s key drivers of growth as it is poised to provide the growing BPO industry with enough spaces to accommodate 25,000 office and BPO seats or generate some 40,000 jobs.
This project is also seen to boost tourism in Cebu Province as its location is just beside Shangri-La Mactan and adjacent to Portofino Beach Resort.
“This will become a new destination in the province seen to further boost the local economy through tourism and BPO job generation,” he said.
Hernandez said Megaworld’s entry to Cebu was prompted by the province’s booming real estate industry as manifested by the “good takeup of units.”
“We have done a study of the Cebu market and saw how aggressive the players are.
Surprisingly, there is a good takeup of units that is very encouraging. This is a good indication for players like us,” Hernandez said.
Megaworld acquired the Mactan property in 1995. The company was about to expand in Cebu but plans were put on hold due to the 1997 Asian financial crisis.
“Our entry here is a matter of timing and now is the best time to be doing something big here,” Hernandez said.
He noted that a lot of BPO companies are now looking south for business expansion and “Cebu happens to be in the right place.”
Megaworld completed its land development in 2007. The firm is also getting accreditation from the Philippine Economic Zone Authority to have the project declared an economic zone.
Aside from Eastwood, Megaworld is also the developer of McKinley Hill and Newport City. The company has set a P25-billion capital expenditure program this year to complete projects and develop new ones.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 21, 2012.