Up to 87,000 square meters of leasable space will be made available to business process outsourcing (BPO) firms in Cebu once green developer Arthaland Corp. completes its first project in the city.
Angie de Villa-Lacson, Arthaland president and chief executive officer, said the P8-billion Grade-A office development dubbed as Cebu Exchange is designed to address the IT and BPO industry’s growing demand for quality space.
“With the continuing market optimism on Visayas and Mindanao, Arthaland sees robust opportunities, especially in the information technology and business process management sector,” she said during the project launch at Radisson Blu Hotel in Cebu City on Wednesday, where real estate brokers and their prospective clients were also present.
Cebu Exchange is the developer’s first venture outside Metro Manila and in the whole VisMin area.
Salinas Drive site
The project will rise on an 8,440-sq. m. lot along Salinas Drive across Cebu IT Park which the company acquired around the second half of 2015, said de Villa-Lacson.
At 38 storeys, Cebu Exchange will be the largest and tallest IT-BPM ecosystem in the area. The building will house four floors of complementary retail outlets and 30 large-cut flexible office floors. Appurtenant parking will be ample at 945 units.
BPOs are a priority for the building’s low zone, which begins on the 9th floor until the 11th floor, while the mid and high zones cater to multiple tenants per floor, said de Villa-Lacson.
De Villa-Lacson said the company draws its confidence in the Cebu market from recent commissioned studies by international broker consultants that showed vacancy rates for office spaces within IT Park at less than one percent.
“That’s very encouraging for us. When the vacancy rates are less than one percent, the future for our project is very important,” she added.
She said she hopes that Cebu Exchange will be VisMin’s first and only office development to be on target to achieve dual green building certification under the US Green Building Council’s LEED program and the Philippine Green Building Council’s BERDE certification programs.
To ensure efficiency for the building’s locators, the development will feature green elements such as efficient building envelope, water efficient plumbing system, low energy-consuming air-conditioning system, and efficient lighting system.
De Villa-Lacson said BPO locators, mostly based abroad, are very familiar with green requirements.
“Part of their checklist when looking for sites is sustainability,” she said.
The first phase of the building, composed of 11 floors, will be delivered by 2020 while the second phase will be completed by 2022.
De Villa-Lacson said Arthaland sees a lot of potential in Cebu and that she personally sees the city as the “business district” of the whole VisMin area.
“Cebu is also very progressive and there is strong potential here. We just cannot not be here,” she said.
Arthaland’s other projects are Arya Residences and office development Arthaland Century Pacific Tower, both in Bonifacio Global City.