Iconic green building to rise in Cebu’s business district

By: Jose Santino S. Bunachita November 30,2018 - 10:05 PM

CEBU EXCHANGE/NOV.27,2018:Chris Narciso EVP Arthaland (left) pose with Leo Po Executive Vice President Cebu Exchange during their opening at Seda Hotel.(CDN PHOTO/LITO TECSON)

In three years a new iconic structure will rise near the central business district in Cebu City.

Expected to be the largest green office building in the Philippines, Cebu Exchange by boutique developer ArthaLand Corp. is expected to help cement Cebu’s reputation as an epicenter of business and growth in the country as well as one of the most prominent IT-BPM destinations in the world.

Construction of the project is on track for completion by 2021 and officials of ArthaLand reported brisk sales of their units.

“The Cebu Exchange is equivalent to three office buildings combined. When completed, it will have more than 12,000 people working in it, which is a massive number of people. That’s why we’re calling it our biggest and our best project to date,” said Leo Po, ArthaLand executive vice president and treasurer.

Right now, construction of the building, which is located along Salinas Drive across the Cebu I.T. Park is at 12 percent. They expect construction to reach the fourth level by yearend.

Three zones, LEED, BERDE
The 39-storey building will be divided in three zones. The low zone, from the 9th floor to the 15th floor, will be housing business process outsourcing (BPO) firms.

The 16th to 29th floor will be the mid zone and will house large corporate companies and more BPOs; while the 30th to 39th floor will be the high zone, for headquarters of companies as well as small corporate offices.

The basement floors until the 8th floor will feature retail spaces and will feature among others gyms, health maintenance organization (HMO) clinics, dental clinics, co-working spaces, banks, restaurants and groceries.

The biggest proposition of Cebu Exchange is in its being a duly certified green building.

According to Po, the project is the only one in the country that will have dual certification on sustainability. The building is registered with both the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and pre-certified for the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).

At the same time, it is also registered with the Philippine Green Building Council (PhilGBC) and is on track to getting the Building for Ecologically Responsive Design Excellence (BERDE) certification.

“This building is a testament to sustainability. We are the only developer that embarks on dual certification with the USGBC and PhilGBC. This shows that we think global but act local. We are bringing a world-class building to this wonderful city,” Po said.

Green features
The Cebu Exchange will have several environmentally sustainable and resource-efficient design features.

These include low-voltage lighting, water-saving plumbing systems, water recycling system, a materials recovery facility, energy saving airconditioning system, its own septage treatment plant, optimized building envelope, and a terrace garden and sky park, among others.

Office market
Chris Narciso, executive vice president of ArthaLand, said one of the reasons why the company decided to invest in Cebu is the province’s continued demand for office spaces.

He pointed out that office space availability in both the Cebu I.T. Park and the Cebu Business Park (CBP) continue to be at very low levels which show high demand.

“We see that the office market in Cebu will remain very robust. There is very strong takeup of office spaces,” he said.

In fact, this is already evident in the sales of Cebu Exchange.

The company reported that as of now, around half of the entire building is already sold.

Narciso said they expect both new BPO locators to come in as well existing ones that plan to expand their operations in Cebu. He added that they expect more of these BPO and KPO (knowledge process outsourcing) firms to come in as they near their completion date.

“The 50 percent are a mix of investors and end users. Vacancy rates at the IT Park and CBP are very low, it’s hard to look for large bases. That demand and low vacancy are what’s driving us, and driving our buyers and investors to buy units in the building,” Narciso said.

Business in Harmony
Officials of ArthaLand were in Cebu this week to launch its new marketing campaign dubbed as “Business in Harmony.”

The campaign is aimed to showcase the Cebu Exchange as a masterpiece of sustainable development, a well-balanced ecosystem of green office technologies, plush amenities, and a diverse retail mix where businesses and individuals can thrive in harmony.

“In constructing a building, there are a lot of moving parts – the developer, architect, contractor, interior designer. In building this massive and innovative project, we’re working together not just to build a beautiful but a sustainable building for you that will help you save energy and water,” Po explained.

“The Cebu Exchange is a holistic, sustainable, and highly connected work environment where harmony is not just a way of life, but a way of doing business,” the developer said in a statement.

The entire building will have a gross floor area of 108,500 square meters. Its net sellable area is at 88,300 square meters.

Even before its completion, the project has already earned several accolades.

Last November 9, in the PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards Grand Finals 2018, ArthaLand was awarded as one of the Best Boutique Developers in Asia, and the Best Boutique Developer in the Philippines.

The Cebu Exchange was also awarded as one of the Best Office Developments in Asia.

It was also honored as the Best Green Feature Development in the first Japan International Property Awards 2018 held in Tokyo.

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TAGS: Arthaland Corp., Cebu Exchange, Cebu Real Estate, LEED, real estate
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