FOUR companies have expressed interest in 45.2 hectares of land in the South Road Properties (SRP) that the Cebu City Government is offering for sale.

The prospective investors are Filinvest Land Inc. (FLI), Robinsons Land Corp., Ayala Land-Cebu Holdings Inc. (CHI) and SM Prime Holdings Inc.

But the condition in the sale of the 26-hectare lot 8, which is for the winning bidder to build an arena in the area, can be a turn-off for investors.

Officials of FLI and the Ayala led-CHI consider the condition a “penalty.”

“Building an arena cost so much money,” CHI president Jun Bisnar said yesterday during a pre-bidding conference on lots 7, 8 and 17 in the SRP. “It will cost several billions. It is an undue penalty if we will be carrying the cost of that arena...It is a discouragement for those who want to participate (in the bidding).”

FLI vice president Allan Alfon agreed. He said that building the arena is “big penalty” and the condition will be a big factor in the firm’s bid on the SRP lots.

Lot 8 is located on the other side of the Mambaling Access Road, across SM’s Seaside City. SM Prime will reportedly build a sports arena within its property.

“It is a waste of resources if there will be two arenas side by side. It does not make economic sense,” Bisnar said.

Bid price

If the arena will be removed, Bisnar said, CHI can increase its bid price.

Cebu City is selling the lots at P20,000 per square meter.

Lots 7 and 17, which have a combined area of 19.2 hectares, are located beside FLI’s development in the SRP.

Lawyer Jose Daluz III, head of the technical working group of the committee on awards, said that they have no authority to remove the condition.

The condition to build an arena on lot 8 was imposed last year by the Cebu City Council when it adopted the resolution authorizing Mayor Michael Rama to negotiate for the sale of the SRP lots.

Council nod

Daluz said that the committee has informed the City Council about the concern of the bidders. He said that the legislative council has yet to act on the issue.

He said that the committee on awards and Rama are amenable to removing the condition on lot 8.

Ronald Tumao of SM Prime told Bisnar during the pre-bidding conference that the company will respect the City Council’s decision. He said that SM Prime has made plans on the arena and it is part of its bid for lot 8.

Daluz said that he hopes that the City Council will grant the other bidders’ request to have the condition removed.

As of yesterday, the condition was still included in the terms of reference for the sale of lot 8.

The opening of bids for the sale of SRP will be conducted on June 30 at 2 p.m. The venue will be at the Social Hall of City Hall.