Pontefino continues to take lead
Something big is brewing at the heart of Batangas City, and it comes at a most opportune time when all roads seem to lead to the province.
For the most part, the brand Pontefino Hotel and Residences has already become a familiar name—practically a household name—among residents in Batangas and more so among the multinational corporations and local companies since it opened in 2003.
More than just a hotel and a highly secure, gated residential community, Pontefino also made a mark among Batangueños as it started offering years ago an investment opportunity through a lease back arrangement, now more popularly known as the “condotel” concept.
Today, the group behind Pontefino is gearing for a bigger, more ambitious, and an even more exciting project that would expand the existing compound into a sustainable, mixed-use lifestyle community.
“The dream of Pontefino is to build communities that are green, world-class, and very distinct from the other subdivisions here in Batangas City. We started with a 1.5-hectare area with our hotel and now, we have expanded the compound to about 15 ha. We have already developed some 7 ha to 7.5 ha,” Fely T. Ramos, SVP and chief operating officer of Pontefino Estates, said in an interview.
The plan, Ramos disclosed, was to develop the remaining area with a mix of commercial and residential projects including a high-rise condominium building, as well as the 4.2-ha Pontefino Technology Park, for which they will seek an accreditation from the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (Peza).
“What we want to have is a lifestyle community… We want to have a community where one can eat, live, work and play. We want people to be able to walk everywhere—you can walk to the church, to the mall, hospital, to your work, and to where you live,” Ramos explained.
The proposed IT park, according to Ramos, is planned to have five office buildings, a convention center, and some retail and dining establishments within a campus setting.
On offer would be a total gross floor area of 55,000 sqm, which will be a mix of office and retail spaces. More than half of the office space would likely be for business process outsourcing (BPO) companies.
Ramos disclosed that the BPO area alone can generate 23,800 employees. And with the industry’s multiplier effect of 3.2, it is expected that the presence of BPO firms can generate some 76,000 indirect jobs.
And if all goes according to plan, this particular IT park is being geared to become the newest central business district in the province of Batangas.
This, according to Ramos, is what they hope to do “as soon as possible.”
Ramos noted that based on reports from Leechiu Property Consultants, Batangas was identified as one of provinces that can serve as an alternative location for BPO firms seeking to expand outside Manila.
Batangas City, in particular, was identified last year as among the Top 10 Emerging Cities that potentially have the foundation to attract BPO locators and soon become next wave cities. The said list came from the Department of Science and Technology-Information and Communications Technology Office (DOST-ICTO), IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines and LPC.
“The Pontefino community is the perfect place for an IT park because you already have the houses here and you have the hotel where executives can stay,” Ramos said.
Other plus factors include the fact that the city is the seat of universities in the province, and that the completed infrastructure projects have made Batangas more accessible. Upcoming projects will also include a new exit from the Southern Tagalog Arterial Road to the road leading to the Pontefino compound and a bridge that will connect the planned IT park to the downtown area.
The group behind the Pontefino is seemingly bullish of its prospects in the province, as it banks on the solid, credible reputation that it has established for over a decade now.
Pontefino, after all, remains to be a pioneering force in Batangas City, having brought as early as 2003 a premier hotel with topnotch service and security features, and quality residential projects that have elevated the lifestyle and standards in the province —such that it became the accommodation of choice among local and foreign travelers as well as the highly discerning executives of multinational corporations based in the province.
And even today, it continues to be that pioneering force with a promising expansion project that would definitely boost land values not only of those within its property, but also those in nearby communities.
“Now is the best time to invest in Batangas, and in Pontefino to be exact. With all the infrastructure projects happening in the city, we are in a prime position—that’s why we continue to grow. In fact, we are also looking for more projects in Batangas City,” Ramos said.
“What we’re happy about is that we have the government’s support. They are excited that we are also helping Batangas City grow,” Ramos concluded.
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