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Bright spots in Binondo

By: - Reporter / @amyremoINQ
/ 05:30 AM February 23, 2019

The world’s oldest Chinatown, which has thrived for over four centuries, remains a property investment hotspot, offering potential opportunities for further growth and expansion.

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Joey Roi Bondoc, research manager at Colliers International Philippines, told the Inquirer that there remained bright spots for office and residential developments in Binondo, a district in Manila also regarded as the city’s Chinatown.

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“There are small parcels of land viable for office projects. Some developers are still looking at developing office towers to cater to traditional and the non-BPO (business process outsourcing) locators, as well as firms looking for smaller office cuts. Some investors are also looking at office spaces for sale. The challenge for office developments is the lack of masterplanning in the area,” Bondoc explained in an e-mail interview.

“A bright spot is the residential segment. Some condominium projects in the area are now at about P150,000 per sqm. Land values in the area are still high, and this is among the reasons why developers are able to command a premium for their residential developments,” he said.

Bondoc pointed out that being the oldest Chinatown in the world, and the presence of wholesale retailers in Binondo are seen to appeal to end-users and investors.

To further maximize the appeal of Manila Chinatown’s rich cultural heritage, real estate firms are likewise urged to explore the possible redevelopment of historical buildings to “leverage the structures’ and their surroundings’ cultural heritage.”

“The development of more office and residential towers should further prop up land and property values in Binondo moving forward,” Bondoc added.

Expanding presence

The presence and continued expansion of some of the biggest property developers in Manila Chinatown should already be enough proof that it continues to hold a potential.

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Here, one can find a good mix of residential, office, commercial and warehousing projects, catering to the requirements of the community.

Over the last decade, Binondo saw the rise of more modern, innovative projects including Lucky Chinatown, Noble Place, Cityplace Twin Tower Residence, Four Season Riviera, Anchor Skysuites, One Soler and 168 Mall, among others—all breathing new life and energy into the business and financial center of Manila. Together with other smaller local developers, the biggest names in the real estate industry are coming together to Manila Chinatown, further revitalizing this historical and cultural district.

But much can still be done.

Anchor Land Holdings Inc., in particular, recognizes the potential of Manila Chinatown, where it continues to aggressively expand to meet the changing needs of the community.

As it is, Anchor Land reportedly has the biggest property footprint in Binondo—in terms of gross floor area and number of units, according to company president Elizabeth L. Ventura.

In an interview with the Inquirer, Ventura disclosed that Anchor Land has on the pipeline two new residential projects, logistic centers and offices that are meant to further “enhance and elevate” Binondo, Manila’s own central business district, for the benefit of the businessmen in the area, as well as to provide residents and future generations the kind of premium residences they deserve.

Ventura added that they remain committed to be at the helm of enhancing the Manila CBD.

“It is fulfilling for everyone in the company, especially the owners who are Filipino-Chinese, to be able to not just develop projects, but also contribute significantly to the needs of the local market. It’s more than just being successful in property development. We want to further cement our reputation of being a provider of upscale dwellings and topnotch properties in the area,” she explained.

The offices and warehouses they will put up, Ventura said, will offer a more modern setup to cater to the new generation of businessmen in Binondo.

“With our offices, we hope that businesses will go back to Manila, particularly in Chinatown. We believe that the business conditions here are still more conducive for Chinese businessmen, who may be more comfortable working and trading in the area. The business discipline and traditions are very much alive there,” Ventura explained.

Different types of residential projects will likewise be offered, providing amenities that will specifically cater to the evolving lifestyles of the new generations of families in Binondo.

Among its completed projects include the 56-storey Anchor Skysuites, the world’s tallest China town structure to date; the 39-storey Mandarin Square; 33-storey Lee Tower; 39-storey Oxford Parksuites; and the 39-storey Wharton Parksuites. Construction is underway meanwhile for 49-storey 8 Alonzo Parksuites; 63-storey Anchor Grandsuites; and 39-storey Princeview Parksuites.

For warehouse projects, Anchor Land has the 10-storey One Soler and will soon open the 29-storey Juan Luna Logistics.

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