Local banking giant Banco de Oro Unibank expects to invest over P2 billion to complete the 47-story corporate tower being built above The Podium, an upscale shopping mall within the Ortigas central business district.
BDO Corporate Center Ortigas, which is targeted for completion by the first quarter of 2015, is part of the “grand development plan” of BDO and SM Keppel Land Inc. for the two-hectare prime commercial property at the corner of ADB Avenue and Julia Vargas Street.
“We have big operations in that area,” BDO president Nestor Tan said in a recent interview, when asked why the bank was investing in this new office property. Tan estimated the construction cost at over P2 billion.
About two-thirds of the office space in the building will be for internal use while the remaining third will be leased out, Tan said.
But despite the construction of a newer office property in Ortigas, Tan said BDO’s head office would remain in Makati.
For BDO, the new corporate center is complementary to its bankwide expansion program, which includes consumer lending, one of its key business segments.
It was earlier announced that the master plan for the redevelopment of the Ortigas property may also include in the long run the expansion of The Podium, a second office tower and another mixed-use edifice with hotel and service apartment components.
When The Podium was established years ago, its structural base factored in the eventual construction of a high-rise building above it. Industry sources said the SM group was only waiting for a good time to activate this plan, banking on good prospects for the Philippine economy in the years ahead.
The building has been designed to international grade A standards. “The planning is functional and efficient, and floor-plates allow flexible layouts for both single and multiple tenancies,” said Peter Brannan, director for Asia-Pacific of the internationally known Arquitectonica, the architectural firm in charge of the design of BDO Corporate Center.
The tower was designed to achieve the Gold LEED rating, from its choice of construction and building systems, to the design of the curtain-wall, to the optimum lease depths for good office day-lighting.
LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, consists of a suite of rating systems for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings, homes and neighborhoods. The system was developed by the US Green Building Council.