RLC boosts office inventory as BPO demand picks up
Gokongwei-led Robinsons Land Corp. (RLC) is scaling up its office property footprint with three new buildings at its Bridgetowne cyberpark in Quezon City nearing completion, thus bringing to 20 its office towers contributing to recurring revenues.
About 113,000 square meters in gross leasable area (GLA) from these new buildings would help RLC expand its office portfolio by 28 percent this year, RLC general manager for office buildings division Faraday Go told reporters on Thursday.
The property developer topped off on Thursday its 20th office tower, the 20-story Zeta Tower, a “green” building that will add around 35,000 square meters (sqm) in office GLA. Zeta will also have around 3,000 to 4,000 sqm of retail space to host around 20 locators.
Topping off is a builders’ traditional rite when the last beam is placed on a building to mark the completion of the main structure. After this, the developer will still have to work on the interior finish and the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems.
By end 2018, RLC’s office portfolio will expand to 518,000 sqm from 405,000 sqm last year when it ended with 17 office buildings.
Aside from Zeta, two other buildings in Bridgetowne will be completed this year, namely Exxa and Gamma. The first building in this Philippine Economic Zone Authority (Peza)-accredited cyberpark, Tera Tower, is now operational.
Office rental rate at RLC’s Bridgetowne’s office buildings is around P750 per square meter, similar to rates in the city.
In the first nine months of 2017, RLC’s office division contributed P2.4 billion in revenues, equivalent to 14 percent of total revenues. The mandate was to further grow this contribution, Go said.
For Bridgetowne, Go said target tenants included business process outsourcing (BPO) firms, offshoring firms, serviced offices and traditional offices. Asked whether RLC would also target Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGOs) for Bridgetowne, Go said these firms typically preferred Makati, Pasay and Parañaque.
Located along Ortigas Avenue and E. Rodriguez Jr. Avenue (C-5), Bridgetowne was attractive to BPO locators because of its proximity to mass transportation, major central business districts (CBDs) particularly Ortigas and residential hubs east of the metropolis, Go added.
Unlike other mixed-use estates where shopping malls were the first to rise, RLC developed the office towers first in Bridgetowne in order to ride on strong office demand from BPOs.
Go said demand for office space from BPOs was already seeing a recovery from last year’s slowdown.
Office supply in Metro Manila saw a record increase in inventory last year, with about 850,000 sqm completed in 2017, thus giving BPOs more choices without having to rush into signing leasing deals. —DORIS DUMLAO-ABADILLA
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