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Megaworld unit nears deal on Pasig property

Empire East to develop lot bigger than Eastwood City

Property developer Empire East Land Holdings Inc. (ELI) is finalizing a deal to take over a 23-hectare abandoned factory in Pasig City which it will groom into its biggest mixed-use development—bigger than its parent company’s pioneering cyberpark Eastwood City.

The upcoming mixed-use development to be called “Empire East City” is part of the P25-billion expansion program planned by ELI, the middle-income unit of Megaworld Corp., for the next five years, ELI president Anthony Charlemagne Yu told reporters after the company’s annual stockholders’ meeting Tuesday.

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Remaining bullish on the middle-income segment of the residential market, Yu said ELI could sustain a double-digit growth this year: 10-20 percent in terms of net profit on the back of a likely 15-30 percent jump in revenues. Coming from a high base of P20 billion, Yu said that based on a conservative assumption, ELI could still grow reservation sales by 10-15 percent this year.

“We believe there’s no oversupply and we have many more productive years ahead,” Yu said.

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During the stockholders meeting, Yu said the local residential sector was still booming due to three factors:

Unlike other Asian neighbors, there is no massive government housing in the Philippines, leaving a huge backlog relying only on the private sector to fill;

The overseas Filipino worker (OFW) phenomenon has been sustainable through the decades and moving up to the higher-valued and more creative service sectors;

A robust business process outsourcing (BPO) sector, which was championed at the very beginning by Megaworld, which produced the country’s first cyberpark, Eastwood City, boosting land values in Libis, Quezon City.

ELI has a landbank of 454 hectares worth more than P4 billion. The 23-hectare Pasig property that the company is acquiring will add to this inventory.

Yu said the company could finalize its acquisition of the Pasig property anytime within this week or next week. “This will be our first big mixed-use development, bigger than Eastwood City,” Yu said.

The upcoming Empire East City in Pasig will have residential and office towers as well as a lifestyle-themed mall to be managed by parent Megaworld.

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ELI has had some mixed-use developments previously but nowhere in the scale envisioned for the Pasig development. In terms of geographical footprint, its biggest mixed-use project is Laguna Bel-Air but in terms of number of residents, its biggest so far is the Cambridge Village in Pasig City.

Last year, ELI spent P3.15 billion for various development activities. This year, it expects to pour in P4 billion for ongoing and new developments.

ELI offers residential units worth P2.5 million and up. Under its luxury marketing group Empire East Elite, it also offers units worth as much as P15 million.

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TAGS: Business, Megaworld, Pasig City, property development
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