MANILA, Philippines – Property giant Megaworld Corp. has doubled its investment commitment for its first township project in Cebu to P20 billion.
The development is seen to be a major driver for the economic growth of Cebu given its job generation and business opportunities, the company’s top executive said.
“In the next seven years, we are investing P20 billion in this township to build luxury residential condominiums, office towers, a world-class lifestyle mall, our very own Richmonde Hotel and soon, a sports and leisure facility,” said Megaworld chairman and CEO Andrew L. Tan.
“We see the Mactan Newtown as a major driver of growth for Lapu-Lapu City and Cebu in general in terms of job opportunities, sports and recreation, retail shopping and of course, tourism,” Tan said.
The 16-hectare Mactan Newtown development was formally inaugurated yesterday with President Aquino as guest of honor.
In June last year, President Aquino signed Proclamation No. 407 declaring The Mactan Newtown as a mixed-use special economic zone for information technology, tourism and retirement under the Philippine Economic Zone Authority.
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Megaworld launched two luxury residential condominiums in the township project last year: the 8 Newtown Boulevard and One Pacific Residence, both of which are already sold out.
“A new residential cluster will be launched this year,” Megaworld said.
Megaworld partnered with the Philippine Retirement Authority to allow foreigners who want to retire in the urban community project to get a special resident retiree’s visa.
For its part, the cyberpark component of the project is expected to generate 25,000 fulltime business process outsourcing (BPO) workers in the next five to seven years.
Two BPO companies, EnfraUSA and Results Manila, are now ready to start their operations by April, Tan said.
The two firms, which will hire 1,400 workers, will occupy the One World Center, the first office tower to rise in the township project, Tan said.
Given that the One World Center is already full leased out, Megaworld will start the construction of the second BPO tower that will accommodate an additional 2,000 workers.
“We hope to have it ready by first quarter of next year as several big BPO companies are already lining up to lease,” said Jericho Go, first vice-president for business development and leasing group of Megaworld.
The property arm of conglomerate Alliance Global Group Inc. is spending a record P35 billion for its property projects this year, up from P25 billion last year.
It will launch at least 10 new projects in the first half, banking on robust demand.
The Megaworld group is composed of three brands: Megaworld, medium-cost housing arm Empire East Land Holdings Inc. and affordable housing unit Suntrust Properties Inc.
Like other real estate firms, the listed firm is benefiting from low interest rates that spur home loans, increasing income of the middle class, high demand amid a backlog and growth in the office segment driven by the outsourcing industry.
In more than 20 years of operations, the group has completed more than 240 residential and office buildings with a total floor area of around six million square meters.
Megaworld claims to have pioneered the “live-work-play-learn” concept. It has developed township and business park projects like the Eastwood City, Forbestown Center, McKinley Hill and Newport City.