The Ayala group is poised to pour P39 billion into several projects in Cebu over the next five years as a sign of confidence in the province’s economy as well as their aggressive expansion in the Visayas and Mindanao area.
Aniceto “Jun” Bisnar Jr., president of publicly listed firm Cebu Holdings Inc. (CHI), an Ayala Land subsidiary, said the investment will be used for existing and ongoing ventures such as malls, office buildings and residential projects here.
“We see the VisMin region, especially Cebu, will be a critical area for growth,” he said last Friday during the launch of Ayala Land’s ninth estate in Cebu, Seagrove on Mactan Island, which is a joint undertaking with the Gaisano-led Taft Properties.
Aside from projects in Cebu Business Park and Cebu IT Park, CHI is also developing projects in Liloan, Cebu, for their premier seaside residential subdivision Amara; Amaia Steps in Mandaue City; and the recently launched Gatewalk Central.
Bisnar said their residential projects continue to generate positive sales even with more competition within the real estate industry today.
Last year, CHI launched Gatewalk Central in Subangdaku, Mandaue City, which is in partnership with Ayala Land, Cebu Property Ventures & Development Corp., and AboitizLand, Inc.
The 17-hectare development is envisioned to become a dynamic new city center with an Ayala mall and residential and office buildings.
Gatewalk Central’s mall is one of two malls, the other one in Cebu IT Park, rising in the next five years that will help the company position itself better to take advantage of Cebu’s upbeat economic growth prospects.
Over the last five years, the group has invested P14 billion in the city and province of Cebu, including Mactan Island and Mandaue.
Banking on Cebu’s robust economy and driven by its desire to contribute to the development of the region, the conglomerate is primed to invest more until 2022.
Its latest estate in the VisMin area is Seagrove in Punta Engaño, Lapu-Lapu City, a P35-billion 14-hectare ecotourism venture expected to be fully developed in 10 to 15 years.
The joint venture company for Seagrove has set aside P4 billion for the initial development, which will include a resort under the Holiday Inn brand.
Bisnar said tourism in Cebu is very promising, with 4.7 million tourists out of the 5.95 million who visited Central Visayas last year coming to Cebu.
Ayala Land has been present in Cebu since 1988 when the Cebu Business Park was established.
In the last 27 years, the developer has expanded to several areas in Cebu and VisMin.
To date, the Ayala group has nine estates all over the VisMin region, six of which are already existing.
Bisnar said they hope to launch their tenth estate in Laguindingan, Misamis Oriental, some time next year.