A mall to rise in Cebu I.T. Park

By Jose Santino S. Bunachita |April 13,2018 - 09:47 PM

Townships Within Townships Trend

Creating townships within townships is now becoming a trend among developers in integrated communities.

This is why it would not be a surprise to see residential units or lifestyle strips within economic zones, according to property management and research firm Colliers International Philippines.

“The minimum requirement for a township is having office space and residential units or condos. A township can be as small as five hectares of development. So when you see developers coming in with a mall or retail spaces, it’s like a township within a township,” said Colliers’ Research Manager Joey Bondoc.

He added that this is a trend they are seeing in developers all over the country.

Like in the Manila Bay area, he said developers of integrated communities welcome other developers who build structures of their expertise like malls or lifestyle destinations.

In Cebu, this trend is also taking shape specifically in the Cebu I.T. Park (CITP).

Apart from being an economic zone with mostly business process outsourcing (BPO) companies, the CITP is also seeing more condominium buildings being constructed. Restaurants and coffee shops are also opening left and right.

And next year, a new mall will rise in the 27-hectare CITP.

Central Bloc

Within the first half of 2019, the Ayala-led property developer will be opening its Ayala Malls Central Bloc within the 27-hectare park.

The new regional mall of Cebu Holdings Inc. (CHI) will have a gross leasable area (GLA) of 45,000 square meters.

It will have five levels of retail development, four digital cinemas, an indoor activity center, a fashion gallery, food choices, a basement supermarket, and a three-level basement parking.

“To further diversify our portfolio and strengthen our retail play, we are developing Central Bloc, a two-hectare complex at the heart of Cebu I.T. Park,” said CHI President Aniceto Bisnar Jr.

“Its first phase is set to open within next year. This new Ayala mall is a much-anticipated development in the area and will add an almost 50,000 square meters of retail space to our leasing portfolio and is expected to be completed by the first half of 2019,” added Bisnar who is also the president of the Cebu Property Ventures Development Corp. (CPVDC).

CPVDC is the developer and owner of the CITP. It is a subsidiary of CHI whose majority owner is Ayala Land Inc. (ALI).

But the two Cebu property arms will soon be fused as a merger for CHI and CPVDC has been approved by their respective stockholders’ meeting recently. The company is just working on approvals form government agencies like the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE), and the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA).

The upcoming Ayala Malls will feature local and international retailers.

Bisnar said they are already doing several preparations for the entry of some tenants in the mall.

“This is poised to become Cebu City’s new hip lifestyle destination for the young, global and discerning client,” said Bisnar and CHI Chairman Anna Ma. Margarita Dy in a joint statement.

Garden Row

While the Ayala Malls is still expected to open next year, the first phase of the Central Bloc development is already open.

Dubbed as the “Garden Row,” the first phase features 1,500 square meters of leasable area.

It will house a total of 12 “carefully selected” restaurant concepts, some of which have already opened.

Among the restaurants in the Garden Row that are already open right now are Banapple Pies and Cheesecakes which is the first branch in Cebu; Bigby’s which is the third branch in Cebu; and Boy Zugba, which is also the first branch of the Cagayan de Oro-based restaurant in Cebu.

It also has a branch of 10 Dove Street.

Soon, the Garden Row will also have Abaca Baking Company, La Vie Parisienne and Sachi Ramen.

The Garden Row also has an outdoor activity center, an open garden, and an area for convergence.

It is like how The Terraces is to Ayala Center Cebu, an open area attached to the mall.

Office towers, hotel

But the Central Bloc will not only be home to a new mall.

The two-hectare complex will also feature two new business process outsourcing (BPO) office towers and a hotel.

According to Bisnar, the first BPO tower is also expected to be finished within next year. The second, he said, is slated for completion in 2020.

On the other hand, a 214-room Seda Hotel is also expected to rise within the complex. This is also targeted to be completed within next year. It will be the second Seda Hotel in Cebu.

Seda Hotel is the homegrown hotel brand of Ayala Land.

The first Seda Hotel is expected within this year at the Cebu Business Park at the building that used to be operated by Cebu City Marriott Hotel. It will have 301 rooms.

“We have become a catalyst of progress in Cebu through the creation of innovative and progressive large mixed-used economic centers. CPVDC is a testament to the successful private and public partnership with a shared goal of enriching our heritage through innovative and bold entrepreneurial strategies,” Bisnar said in his speech during the stockholders’ meeting earlier this week.

CPVDC partnered with the Cebu Provincial Government in developing the then defunct Lahug Airport into what is now the Cebu I.T. Park.

“Today, in place of an old air terminal is now a progressive global I.T. Park, embodied by Cebu I.T. Park’s strong linkages with the region and the rest of the world,” Bisnar added.

He also reported that the Cebu I.T. Park has become one of the fastest-growing economic zones in the region and has helped drive the economy of Cebu.

It is one of the top BPO destinations globally and has generated over 150,000 jobs for Cebu and its neighboring provinces.

Being its flagship development, Bisnar said the Cebu I.T. Park has helped CPVDC sustain its growth.

In 2017, the company’s revenues grew by 16 percent to P803 million while their net income grew by 15 percent to P247 million compared to 2016.

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