ILOILO City. Tourist arrival is on an all-time high with each festival celebrated, the Dinagyang being the most popular and biggest of the festivals. But guess what’s luring the people back to the City of Love— and perhaps, stay? Business opportunities.
Iloilo has become the center of trade in the Western Visayas with services and commerce as its economic drivers. Capital expenditures for new businesses rose by 135%, from Php55.4B in 2010 to 130.2B in 2018. BPO, with 70 companies to date, is one of the biggest industries. It created full-time jobs for 36,800 (plus 10,000 by the end of the year) and indirect jobs for more than 100,000 people. More developments are on the drawing board and the city government is making the deal sweeter with no realty tax increase in the next three years for investors.
At the center of the Iloilo’s growth is property giant Megaworld Corporation, the company who built the Eastwood City, Uptown Bonifacio, McKinley Hill, and other townships in key areas in Luzon.
In 2010, Megaworld kicked off the transformation of the former Mandurriao Airport into the state-of-the-art Iloilo Business Park (IBP). Across the 72-hectare property rose the company’s signature concept of a live-work-play community. The 24/7 township now houses several BPO offices, a lifestyle mall, two world-class hotels, a convention center, the first contemporary art museum in VisMin and a condominium. Rising are more living spaces and a transport hub that serves as a jump-off point to other exciting destinations just a few minutes off Panay Island.
Only 40% of the total area has been developed and Iloilo Business Park is already reaping awards— 2018 Asia Property Awards’ “Best Township Development in Asia” and 2018 Philippines Property Awards’ Philippines’ “Best Township Development.”
On the scale model of the expansive development, Jennifer Palmares Fong, VP for sales and marketing for IBP, pointed the next spot for IBP’s innovative concept— the 9-hectare Commercial and Boutique Hotel District. This is a prominent component of IBP that will soon host world-class hotels and topnotch retail and commercial developments. Lots in this area are for ownership.
However, Megaworld is also offering another alternative to entrepreneurs who wish to set-up business on a smaller scale. For this use, they are building a 19-storey International Corporate Plaza (ICP).
“The most modern and state-of-the-art office tower in Western Visayas tower will have 301 prime office units for sale to businesses, start-up companies, and established enterprises that want to set up operations in Iloilo’s newest ‘central business district.’ Spaces will range from 26 square meters to 65 square meters and will be sold at an average price of P155,000 per square meter,” shares Palmares-Fong.
What will make ICP first-class? The tower will house ‘managed facilities’ at the 6th level, that include boardrooms, meeting rooms, co-working and breakout areas, an Executive Lounge, and a Skygarden offering tranquil views of the bustling cityscape as well as Guimaras Island, four-level parking podium, retail spaces and arcade area at the ground floor.
“One of the main highlights of the tower is its enhanced security and safety features, another first in Western Visayas,” adds Palmares-Fong, pointing out the keycard-enabled turnstiles at the building’s main lobby; RFID cards to secure the parking areas; seismic detection and monitoring system; building management system (BMS); 24-hour Security and Fire Command Center, fire security system, and a 100% back-up power facility.
The tower is expected for completion in 2024, and just like the Megaworld-built buildings in IBP operating at 100%, it will generate more jobs for the citizens of Iloilo.
Iloilo Business Park landscape is constantly changing. With each new addition to its development, the place gets more exciting to visit – or live. It gives everyone—locals or tourists—a good reason to keep loving the city of love.
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