Ayala Land accelerates projects-A A +A
Monday, October 21, 2013
PROPERTY giant Ayala Land Inc. (ALI) is aggressively accelerating their projects in Cebu despite the recent calamity.
The company started construction of its latest office building, eBloc 4, in Cebu IT Park yesterday. It also topped off eBloc 3.
ALI president Antonino Aquino said the launching of the new project, a week after the 7.2 magnitude earthquake, is a demonstration of their confidence in Cebu’s economy.
“We have been talking about Cebu rising again. For us, this is our way of showing our vote of confidence for Cebu,” said Aquino.
He said all Ayala projects in Cebu were not affected by the earthquake and that construction and development of the remaining projects will continue and accelerate.
Aquino said there were no major damages reported in all of their projects, which he said, “shows how well-engineered the projects are.”
EBloc 4 is a mid-rise office building that sits on a 3,649 square meter (sq.m) property on the northern side of Cebu IT Park, beside the first eBloc 1 and across the residential project Avida Riala.
The 12-storey building will have a total of 19,756 sq.m. of gross floor area and a total gross leasable area of 15,845 sq.m. The office building will have seven office floors and four podium parking floors. Its ground floor will house retail spaces.
ALI has set aside P800 million for the project, which will be operational by the first quarter of 2015.
For the past three years, Ayala’s real estate arm has already poured in a total of P15 billion to finance Cebu projects, which include the construction of office and residential towers as well as the expansion of the Ayala Center Cebu.
According to the company, the building “will be a proud manifestation of environmentally sustainable design practices through energy-efficient electrical, air conditioning and its water-efficient plumbing system.”
Aquino said the construction of eBloc 4 also signifies the fact that Cebu remains the next best choice for BPO operation after Manila.
“They remain attracted to Cebu in terms of the quality of talent pool and the cosmopolitan city,” he said.
Meanwhile, eBloc 3, which topped off yesterday, is set to be completed by the second quarter of 2014. The 12-storey office building has a total of 15,764 s.q m. leasable area. This is the third installment to the eBloc Towers, which are built as locations for BPOs and information technology and information technology-enabled services business locators.
Carol Mills, Ayala Land offices head, said locators of eBloc 3 are BPO firms from Manila that are expanding operations here. As for eBloc 4, Mills said they are currently in talks with several BPO firms for their expansion requirements.
ALI is also accelerating its other projects, including the completion of Phase 2B of the Ayala Center Cebu which is scheduled to open this December.
They are also preparing the masterplan for the proposed commercial building in Cebu IT Park as well as the joint venture with the Gaisano-led Taft Property Ventures Development Corp. for the 12-hectare integrated mixed-use development with retail, residential, and hotel component in Mactan.
Aquino said they remain open to more joint ventures in the future with local landowners or developers.
As for the residential component, Aquino announced that a new residential brand is coming to Cebu soon.
Aquino said destruction caused by last week’s earthquake will not adversely impact the property market, albeit he said it will cause a “slight step-back” by buyers.
“We understand that the concern now is safety and how they can extend help to the affected areas. But this will eventually come back. This is just a phase we will all go through but the fundamentals will come back, still to be driven by industries such as BPO and tourism,” said Aquino.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 22, 2013.