CENTRAL Bloc, the new mixed-use development within Cebu IT Park, is on track to open this year, an official of listed company Cebu Holdings Inc. (CHI) said.
CHI president Aniceto Bisnar Jr. said they are scheduled to open the mall and the first of two office towers of Central Bloc by the fourth quarter of 2019 while another 214-room Seda Hotel will open in early 2020.
The Central Bloc development, according to Bisnar, will have 45,000 square meters (sq.m) of retail gross leasable area (GLA) and an office GLA of 72,000 sq.m.
Meanwhile, land development in Seagrove in Punta Engaño, Lapu-Lapu City is also on schedule, where the country’s first Holiday Inn Resorts will start operating by 2023.
According to Bisnar, the retail boardwalk is currently under construction.
He said once this 13-hectare estate is fully operational, it is projected to create 13,000 new jobs that will contribute significantly to Lapu-Lapu City’s growth.
Bisnar said they have completed the land development of the 17.5 hectare Gatewalk Central project in Mandaue City, where another regional Ayala Mall is set to open by 2021.
“As of 2018, we had over 257,000 sq.m of GLA, with another 285,000 sq.m now in construction,” said the CHI official.
Once developments open in Central Bloc this year, Seagrove in 2020 and Gatewalk Central in 2021, CHI’s leasing portfolio will double to almost 530,000 sq.m.
“These developments, we hope, will demonstrate our commitment to help spread growth to more parts of Metro Cebu, and make a better quality of life available to our fellow citizens,” Bisnar said.
CHI is allotting P4.2 billion in capital expenditures this year to finance existing projects. This figure, according to Bisnar, is the same as last year.
The Ayala-led company is also growing its footprint in the condominium space in Cebu.
CHI launched the fourth tower of the Solinea development in Cebu Business Park and the South Tower of Amaia Steps in Mandaue City last year.
It also launched The Flats, a dormitory space located in both Cebu Business Park and Cebu IT Park.
Bisnar said in a few years, these will provide 852 rooms where workers in both estates can live more comfortably and within walking distance of their workplaces.
CHI chairperson Anna Ma. Margarita Dy said that while the company is going strong in expanding its leasing investments, they will continue to cement their position in all the businesses they are involved with.
CHI celebrated its 30th year in the business last year.
Right after the annual stockholders’ meeting, the company also launched on Monday, April 15, a book that chronicles CHI’s journey in Cebu.
“The book we are launching is both a record and a reckoning—it embodies a sincere effort to understand what we did right and what we could have done better. It also presents the challenge of understanding what we can still do better in our endeavors, both present and future,” said Bisnar.
“To say that the last 30 years have been dramatic for the property sector is an understatement. These years, after all, included a global real estate boom that started at the dawn of a new century. But these years also saw the collapse of real estate values in many countries a mere decade ago. How Cebu Holdings responded to these developments is reflected in this book as well, as a way of showing how changes in the global and national economies transform the life of a city,” he added.