Megaworld inaugurates Cebu projectBy Doris C. Dumlao
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—Property developer Megaworld Corp. has unveiled a P20-billion investment plan for its township development in Cebu, the Mactan Newtown, which is replicating the “Eastwood City” cyberpark model.
“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,” Megaworld chair and chief executive officer Andrew Tan was quoted in a press statement released in Manila as saying during the formal inauguration of the project in Cebu on Wednesday.
The inauguration was graced by President Benigno Aquino III, who proclaimed Mactan Newtown in June last year as a mixed-use special economic zone for information technology, tourism and retirement under the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA).
The township is based on the same “live-work-play” lifestyle concept that Megaworld has pioneered in the Philippines. This refers to a project where Filipinos live, work and play in one setting, having residential buildings, office towers, retail outlets, malls operate in a so-called “township.”
“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 in the press statement.
“What we have done in Eastwood, we are bringing them here in Cebu, here at The Mactan Newtown,” said Tan, referring to Eastwood City, Megaworld’s first township development and the country’s first cyberpark.
Two luxury residential condominiums in Cebu were launched last year— 8 Newtown Boulevard and One Pacific Residence. The company said both of these were already sold out, mostly to Japanese retirees. A new residential cluster will be launched this year.
Megaworld has teamed up with the Philippine Retirement Authority (PRA), allowing foreigners who want to retire in The Mactan Newtown to obtain Special Resident Retiree’s Visas.
As a cyberpark, Mactan Newtown is expected to generate employment for 25,000 full-time business process outsourcing workers within five to seven years. Two BPO companies, EnfraUSA and Results Manila, expected to start their operations by April. These companies will occupy the five-story One World Center, the first office tower to rise in the township. Around 1,400 workers will be employed by the two companies. Both are first-time locators in Cebu.
“We have fully leased out One World Center, so we will be starting the construction of our second BPO tower, Two World Center, this year. It 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, Megaworld first vice president for business development and leasing group.
In two to three years, office space for lease is seen to grow as 8 Newtown Boulevard and Pacific World Tower open for business. Both towers will accommodate around 13,000 BPO seats.
The first fastfood tenant to open in the township project last December at the ground floor of One World Center was McDonald’s, the biggest in Central Visayas in terms of seating capacity.
Megaworld also has plans to bring the world-class concept of Megaworld Lifestyle Malls to The Mactan Newtown to provide residents and BPO employees a unique experience in shopping, dining, leisure and entertainment.
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