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Ortigas & Co. fuels serviced apartment trend as weary travelers seek alternatives

/ 05:38 AM September 30, 2017

Property developer Ortigas & Co. has entered the hospitality business with the launch of The Cirque, a 55-unit serviced residences business carved out of its master-planned, mixed-use community Circulo Verde straddling Quezon City and Pasig.

Seeking to diversify its product range and upbeat on rising demand for serviced residences in the metropolis, Ortigas & Co.—a partnership among property giants Ayala Land, SM Prime and Ortigas groups—plans to launch more serviced residences as a component of its other estate projects.

Ortigas has teamed up with Hospitality Innovators Inc. (HII), a 15-year-old local hotel and property management company, to manage these serviced residences.

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The Cirque offers one-bedroom (46 to 51 square meters) and two-bedroom units (67 to 69 square meters). As an introductory offering, one-bedroom units are priced starting at P4,800 per night while two-bedroom units are priced at P7,000 per night. But the most popular units are the one-bedroom lofts priced at P5,800 per night.

Longer-term occupancy of a one-bedroom unit is offered between P45,000 and P50,000 per month or even lower for corporate accounts.

“It’s a key part of what Circulo Verde is putting together to sort of provide a more complete package to customers in this area,” Ortigas senior vice president and chief operating officer Thomas Mirasol said in a press briefing Friday.

For estate developers, having a hotel or serviced apartments would always add value to the complex, Mirasol said.

“There’s always a population that’s transient, whether for business or pleasure,” Mirasol said. In the metropolis, he said this was driven by the rise of the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry—a business that requires a lot of long-term travel—alongside a growing tourism industry and a “staycation” boom.

In the case of The Cirque, Ortigas itself owns all of the 55 units offered to the hospitality market, but in other similar properties where it has a stake like The Connor, unit buyers are given the option to buy units that will be pooled into HII’s serviced apartments system.

The program operates by providing residential units with hotel-like services. The owners receive earnings generated by the hospitality business after operating expenses, depending on their share.

Ortigas does not intend to fold its serviced residences into a single brand.

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The Cirque, for instance, is a brand conceived based on the 10-hectare estate Circulo Verde, a community that pitches varying recreation and sports facilities. Another brand will be conceptualized for The Connor and other properties.

Luis Monserrat, founder and CEO of HII, which currently manages 1,400 hospitality units in around 15 properties inside and outside the metropolis, said The Cirque would target both corporate business travellers and the leisure market.

“We think that Circulo Verde development makes for a very, very exceptional and unique staycation experience,” Monserrat said. “We think there are very few properties out there that provide the breadth of amenities and unique experiences that the Cirque would be able to offer its guests. This is one of the few serviced services you’d find where guests’ pets can share the staycation experience with them and this is made possible by the fact that there’s a dog park, a dog hotel and spa. We also have a bike park.”

On the corporate side, there are about 110 enterprises within the 1.5-kilometer radius of this estate comprised of manufacturing, distribution, machinery and equipment, logistics and BPO entities, Monserrat said.

The Cirque will have its soft opening on Oct. 8.

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