Newtown offers lower lease rates

AS lease and labor rates rise due to a high demand for office space, an official of a real estate developing firm believes locations outside main city centers will be an attractive prospect for firms seeking to relocate or set up shop to cut costs.

Megaworld Corp. first vice president for business development and leasing Jericho Go said their Mactan Newtown project in Lapu-Lapu City is an ideal alternative, as lease rates are lower than those in Manila and in some areas of Cebu City.

He said many companies are seeking to move out of Manila to cut rent and labor costs.

He pointed out that if office spaces are leased at similar rates with spaces in Manila, it would defeat the purpose of a company choosing Cebu as a potential site.

He said he would not be surprised if companies located in Cebu City decide to transfer to the Mactan Newtown.

Go was in Cebu to show support to their tenants in Mactan Newtown. He announced that their company will hold a job fair on June 1 offering 5,000 positions in sales,
hospitality, administrative, human resources and business process outsourcing.

“The event is part of our commitment to job generation for Lapu-Lapu City and the entire province of Cebu. Along with our corporate partners, we are excited to get the best talents of Cebu to work here and enjoy the township lifestyle that Megaworld has to offer in the Mactan Newtown,” he said.

Among the companies offering positions are their first tenants, Enfra USA and Results Manila, which are both occupying four levels of their first office building, the One World Center. The One World Center’s 6,000 square meters of office space is fully occupied.

They are in the process of completing their second office tower, the Two World Center.

It is due to for completion by the first half of 2014 and will have 7,247 square meters of gross leasable space.

Go said both companies have expressed expansion plans and are aggressive in hiring new and veteran talents in the BPO industry.

Aside from their tenants, Megaworld itself is searching for sales and marketing staff for Cebu. Their partner company Resorts World Manila will also participate in the event to search for hospitality workers to work at their hotels.

Go said workers in this field can “broaden their horizons” in Resorts World Manila and their experience there could pave the way for positions in Cebu. Though no plans have been made yet, Go said they are open to the possibility of opening a Resorts World location Cebu, should the landscape prove favorable for such a venture.

Resorts World Manila will be adding Hilton and Sheraton branches in their complex, as well as condotel brands the Savoy and Belmont.

Another company participating in the job fair is Golden Arches Development Corp., master franchise of McDonald’s Philippines.

Go said the job fair is their way of helping their tenants get the workers they need. It will also help them fill up the office spaces they are leasing.

He added that the Mactan Newtown serves as a way to provide opportunities for BPO work outside of the main city.

To attract more participation for the job fair, Go said they will be providing free shuttle services from Cebu City and from the Marina Mall to the Mactan Newtown.

In Luzon, Megaworld developments hold offices for some 100 BPO tenants. Go said they have been advising big companies of the good potential for expansion in Cebu.

The Mactan Newtown consists of 20 hectares and has been declared a mixed-use special economic zone for technology, tourism and retirement. The P20 billion development is one of two Megaworld projects in the Visayas.

Their P25-billion Iloilo Business Park is 72 hectares and is their largest landholding. Construction of three BPO buildings, hotel and convention center is ongoing, which they expect will “cement their leadership as the country’s top BPO landlord.”
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