Even in the midst of a pandemic, destinations outside of Metro Manila are bursting with economic potential.
These are the prospects shared by the nation’s largest developer and office owner, Megaworld Corporation, as the company looks to further expand its office portfolio in its provincial townships over the next five years.
Currently, Megaworld has over 70 office buildings, most of which are PEZA accredited developments, scattered across some of the country’s busiest destinations.
Megaworld is looking to add more than 100,000 square meters of office space to its current portfolio by helping leading Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) companies and other multinational companies establish or grow their businesses in various regions of the world. country. These locations include Capital Town in San Fernando City in Pampanga, Maple Grove in General Trias in Cavite, Iloilo Business Park in Iloilo City, The Upper East in Bacolod City and Davao Park District in Davao City.
Currently, Megaworld’s provincial offices represent approximately 15% of its total 1.4 million square meter office portfolio, which is managed by its Megaworld Premier Offices (MPO) business arm.
Iloilo Business Park, the company’s 72-hectare township in Mandurriao, Iloilo, holds the company’s largest collection of rental office space outside of Metro Manila with approximately 100,000 square meters spread over nine office towers. Mactan Newtown in Lapu-Lapu City in Cebu, meanwhile, contributes approximately 70,000 square meters to the company’s portfolio from its five existing buildings.
The company’s other remaining rental office space in the provinces includes 43,500 square meters for two buildings in Southwoods City in Biñan City, Laguna, and approximately 27,000 square meters for one building in the Davao Park district.
Its townships in Metro Manila still host the most rental office space, as these locations can accommodate taller office towers with larger footprints that match the larger space requirements of its major tenants. and locators.
BUILDING LARGE IN VISMIN
The provincial townships of Megaworld are favored by BPO companies for various reasons.
“BPOs are growing in the provinces due to a cheaper workforce, a greater supply of talent and sufficient leeway for business expansion compared to the crowded areas of the country. National Capital Region, ”said Roland Tiongson, Senior Vice President, Megaworld Premier Offices.
Proof of this is the success the company has had in the Iloilo business park since the town was launched in 2014.
By the end of the first quarter of this year, the Iloilo business park had already captured 70% of the office market in the city of Iloilo. All of the municipality’s office space, which accommodates around 20,000 workers, is already 100% fully leased to new and existing locators.
“Iloilo Business Park is home to the newest and most modern Central Business District in the Western Visayas to date. We continue to see a lot of promise in Iloilo even in the midst of the pandemic, and this is one of the reasons why Iloilo Business Park remains our fastest growing township development in the Visayas ” , Tiongson shared.
Although he has only one township in Mindanao, Davao Park District, Tiongson said he has a considerable reserve of land in promising large cities in the region for future expansion.
In the Davao Park district is the 14-story building for Manila-based businesses expanding into the premier city of Mindanao.
CONTINUOUS SUCCESS IN THE MANILA METRO
Megaworld office developments are part of his live-work-play “tested and tested” township development concept, which he first perfected in Eastwood City in Quezon City.
As the very first cyber park in the Philippines, Eastwood City gave birth to the booming BPO industry in the country. Today, it is now home to more than 80 IT and BPO companies. This includes big companies like IBM, which is now celebrating its 20th anniversary in the township, and Accenture, which also marked its 11th year of membership in the Eastwood City community.
These companies, Tiongson added, love Eastwood because of its strategic location and the safety and convenience it offers to their employees. Eastwood City now prides itself on becoming a complete township, having its own church, police station, fire station, medical clinics, fitness centers, supermarkets and many more.
Megaworld also remains the largest lessor of office space in the entire global city of Bonifacio with over 400,000 square meters of office inventory.
With upscale McKinley Hill and McKinley West properties, the company’s office portfolio now stands at 900,000 square meters, the largest for a single developer in the entire Fort Bonifacio neighborhood.
Uptown Bonifacio alone now has six office towers that represent approximately 330,000 square meters, including the 25-story Worldwide Plaza, which will be the future headquarters of the Philippine Global Service Center of JPMorgan Chase Bank, NA A new office tower has also was announced in the pipeline recently, which will add 70,000 more square meters.
Megaworld is also developing offices in Arcovia City in Pasig and Westside City in Parañaque.
GROWTH INSPIRED BY THE CHALLENGES
Townships can be very tedious when developing large contiguous land tracks takes decades and requires huge capital outlays.
Despite the challenges, Megaworld continues to pursue its dream of building townships with determination and courage.
“Let growth be crisis, we continue to build,” said Tiongson, who recalled that Eastwood started at the height of the Asian financial crisis in 1997. “Our president made a bet in a former textile factory in Quezon City and converted it to a township and presented the idea to the Philippine Economic Zone Authority, ”Tiongson explained.
As they say, the rest is history.
‘SUSTAINABILITY’ IS THE FUTURE
True to its vision of pursuing sustainable development, all of Megaworld’s planned communities allocate up to 60 percent of their land area to open and green spaces, including roads.
All of its townships have incorporated a healthy lifestyle for locators, workers and customers.
“Part of our sustainability approach is to encourage people to use bicycles to get to the office and to the mall. That’s why we incorporated dedicated cycle lanes and bike racks into the design of our townships, even long before the pandemic hit, ”Tiongson said.
The company initially built cycle paths in McKinley West, but the townships of Megaworld have underscored its commitment to mobility by hosting the annual Iloilo Bike Festival in Iloilo Business Park.
“We try to create a healthy balance in our development. We make sure we have green spaces to promote well-being in the township, ”Tiongson said.
The company’s focus for development outside of Metro Manila is part of its goal as a government partner for economic growth.
Whenever Megaworld develops a property in the province, progress naturally follows.
“By expanding into the provinces, we create jobs and livelihoods for people in the countryside. We also help disperse industries and promote development in remote areas, ”Tiongson adds.
As the economy recovers from the pandemic, Megaworld’s expansion is expected to meet the demand for office space for businesses eager to bounce back strong.
“We have also prioritized the office market due to continued demand,” he said.
In fact, despite the pandemic, Megaworld’s office space business in Metro Manila has been very resilient, with BPO and IT businesses still expanding. Even its provincial projects continue to attract locators during the pandemic.
“We also believe that the country’s economic fundamentals have remained stable and strong,” he said.
This growth will have more impact on the provinces. With its huge footprint in the regions, Megaworld will be ready to meet demand. “We are ready for a new wave of growth in the new normal,” he concluded.
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