MANILA–Megaworld expanded its development portfolio as it entered the tourism sector with the acquisition of a majority stake in Global-Estate Resorts, Inc. (GERI), the country’s biggest tourism estate developer. The company now owns 80.4 percent of GERI.

With the majority acquisition of GERI, Megaworld added around 3,000 hectares to its land bank and ownership of vast properties in Tagaytay, Alabang, Iloilo, Cagayan de Oro and Boracay. Megaworld now has close to 4,000 hectares of land in its portfolio, cementing the company’s leadership as the Philippines’ real estate giant.

“Megaworld’s acquisition of GERI signals our official entry to the country’s tourism industry. We will be bringing the 25-year expertise of Megaworld in mixed-use developments which we call ‘townships’ to the projects of GERI,” said Dr. Andrew L. Tan, chairman and CEO, Megaworld.

Among GERI’s biggest projects are the 1,149-hectare Twin Lakes, a European-inspired master-planned integrated tourism estate with its own vineyard on the rolling terrains of Tagaytay overlooking the famous Taal Lake. The estate will be home to themed residential villages, luxury condominiums, hotels and spa, a retirement community, schools, commercial and retail hubs as well as sports and leisure facilities.

Boracay project

Another ongoing project of GERI is the 150-hectare Boracay Newcoast in Boracay Island.

Boracay Newcoast will soon be home to four international hotels, a Santorini-inspired boutique hotel district, an Ibiza-inspired commercial district, a residential village, luxury condominiums and upscale villas. Boracay Newcoast occupies 14 percent of the entire Boracay Island and is surrounded by Fairways and Bluewater, the island’s first and only golf course.

On the boundaries of Carmona, Cavite and Binan, Laguna will rise Southwoods City, the next central business district south of Manila that is surrounded by a golf course.

The 561-hectare development will be home to residential villages, residential condominiums, office towers, a mall, as well as commercial and retail centers.

The 170-hectare Sta. Barbara Heights in Sta. Barbara, Iloilo is a vast township that is rising beside the famous Sta. Barbara Golf Course, known as Asia’s oldest golf course. More than half of the development will be for residential villages while the rest will be allocated for office towers as well as commercial and retail strips connected to the new Iloilo International Airport.

“Megaworld will take an active role in the masterplanning and conceptualization of these townships. Just as what we have done for Megaworld projects, we will also incorporate our pioneering live-work-play-learn concepts and international inspirations into these developments with special focus on tourism,” said Jericho Go, senior vice president of Megaworld.

Aside from GERI, Megaworld wholly owns Suntrust Properties, Inc. and majority of Empire East Land Holdings, Inc. (PR)