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‘Eco icon’ stands as CBD gamechanger

By: - Reporter / @amyremoINQ
/ 03:45 AM May 18, 2019

Oh Lock Soon

It was aptly described as an “eco icon,” well poised to lead the revitalization and redevelopment of Ortigas Center.

The Podium West Tower, a joint venture between Singapore’s Keppel Land Ltd. and BDO Unibank Inc., is regarded by some quarters as a gamechanger that will soon raise the profile of the Ortigas business district as the preferred office address of many local firms and multinational companies.

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And there are more than enough reasons to think why such can be the case.

Taking the lead

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Oh Lock Soon, president of Keppel Philippines Properties Inc., believes that their location, being at the heart of Ortigas Center and near transport modes, is highly strategic. The tower is likewise near lifestyle amenities, parks, hotels, prime residential areas, prestigious schools and hospitals, among other key establishments.

Oh also noted that the expected completion of infrastructure projects across the metro is seen to further ensure ease of accessibility, not only for Ortigas Center, but also for The Podium West Tower.

“It’s a good timing for all major developers… I think it’s an exciting time to be in Ortigas and we believe that we are taking the lead in terms of Grade A office development,” he added.

A report from Colliers International Philippines said the completion of infrastructure projects, such as the P350-billion Manila Subway System and the Bonifacio Global City-Ortigas Link, will give Ortigas Center that much needed shot in the arm. Apart from helping improve connectivity among the business districts, these projects are also expected to boost prices of nearby land and projects, including those in Ortigas.

“Colliers sees significant potential for condominium price appreciation in Ortigas.

Average condominium prices around the proposed Ortigas stations range between P134,000 and P155,000 per sqm. But the projects could breach the P200,000-per-sqm mark given the connectivity to be brought about by the subway project,” Colliers explained.

“At present, office lease rates range from P780 to P880 per sqm per month, but this could exceed P1,000 per sqm monthly due to improved access and construction of new office towers,” it further said.

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Podium West Tower

Future-proof

The Podium West Tower will be one of the new office towers to redefine the Ortigas skyline this year. But what makes it distinct from the rest is the fact that it offers more than 100,000 sqm of premium, modern Grade A
office spaces within a green, sustainable development.

“We are one of the most future-proof buildings in Ortigas, if not in the whole of Metro Manila. I think the next comparable one is in Makati,” Oh said. “Every major center should have one ‘representative property’ and we believe that ours is the representative property in Ortigas.”

The development of The Podium West Tower was guided by the principle of universal design including the practice of designing and constructing an environment that is intuitive and user-friendly. It has been pre-certified with the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environment Design) Gold Mark by the US Green Building Council and was awarded the provisional Green Mark Gold Award by the Building and Construction Authority of Singapore.

Sustainable construction practices were followed as the joint venture made sure to source durable materials within the region; recycle; use low emitting materials for adhesives, sealants, paints and coatings; and implement an indoor air quality management plan, among other measures.

This 48-storey tower, which is targeted to have its grand launch by September this year, utilizes a modern building security system as well as features high ceilings, wide corridors, curtain walls, and cutting edge amenities that provide luxury touches for its occupants.

Inspired by nature, the tower has the largest green wall spanning over 2,000 sqm and comprising more than 6,500 plants that can produce enough oxygen for 17 people every 24 hours; a deck skylight that provides natural daylight and irrigation to the upper levels of the mall; and a high, efficient glass curtain wall to provide a direct line of sight outdoors to 75 percent of floor areas.

The Podium West Tower was also designed to consume a minimum of 14 percent less energy, and at least 30 percent less water than standard building designs.

Expansion

Following the completion of The Podium West Tower, trust Keppel Philippines to do more.

“We are looking forward to more opportunities in the Philippines. The BDO Head of Research was pointing out how young, how vibrant and how promising the economy of the Philippines is and so I’m sure opportunities abound. We know that the Philippines, or Manila, as a market will continue to grow,” Oh explained.

“Right now, we are still in talks with our partners and several other parties, looking at opportunities… We will continue to ride on the (strong economic) growth of the country and we have plan to go further,” he concluded.

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TAGS: bdo unibank inc., Singapore’s Keppel Land Ltd., The Podium West Tower
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