Ayala Land fast-tracks construction of offices in Arca South project

By VG Cabuag

Ayala Land Inc. (ALI) on Tuesday vowed to complete the initial development work, or phase one, of its P80-billion ARCA South project in Taguig City, which had been accelerated as a result of high demand.

Company officials said they have already spent about half of the budget for the development of the project in the former Food Terminal Inc. complex.

Phase-one development includes roadwork, utilities and other infrastructure, which are now 70- percent complete. The entire project was seen completed by the end of the year, said Stephen Comia, the company’s project development manager of its strategic land-bank management group.

“First movers to ARCA South have a distinct advantage. Their foresight has led them to an area that will be driving unprecedented growth in the south. Land values appreciated by 39 percent in less than a year,” he said.

He added, however, that real- estate prices in ARCA South are at a 30-percent discount compared with prices at Bonifacio Global City, which is a separate development project of ALI.

Development at ARCA South was conceptualized at 50-50 commercial and residential mix. Commercial lots, averaging 2,500 square meters, have been sold out across the estate.

The commercial block is situated along the main boulevard that connects to the proposed Skyway C5/C6 connector road.

The initial phase of commercial activity will be kicked off by its shopping mall, the first two towers of the ARCA South Corporate Center and the 265-room Seda Hotel ARCA South. All three components have ongoing excavation works and will be completed by 2018.

The Ayala Malls will be a four-level structure and will have around 350 stores, plus a supermarket, a department store and four cinemas.

ARCA South Corporate Center will offer 24/7 tenant operations and access to major transport channels, making it ideal for business-process outsourcing (BPO).

The buildings will have about eight floors that rise from the retail component in the lower level.

Comia said the company has managed to accelerate some of the project’s components, such as the office buildings, which may start operating one to two buildings by 2017 and four buildings by 2018, as a result of demand from the BPO firms.

The company will open one building a year, starting in 2017.

All three Ayala residential brands, namely, Ayala Land Premier, Alveo and Avida, will also be in the development.

“They have allowed us to attract different markets to ARCA South by offering a wider range of residential projects.  All three brands launched individual projects just last year. Across all three, we already have about 71-percent sales take-up,” Comia said. ARCA South will be the main beneficiary of two government roadway projects that will further increase accessibility to the estate.

The Intermodal Transport System, a bus-terminal system that will accommodate as much as 4,000 buses and 200,000 commuters, is in the bidding process.

The Skyway C5/C6 connector project that will provide one other exit to Makati City is currently undergoing engineering design.

Comia said all of these developments cover some 29 hectares, which is about three times the size of the Bonifacio Global City.

Of the total P80-billion investment; some 45 percent, or P36 billion, will be for land cost and land development, 21 percent, or P17 billion, will be for residential; and 34 percent, or P27 billion, will be for leasing, such as retail, office and hotel spaces.

The first phase entails the development of 29 hectares, while the remaining 45 hectares, which forms the second phase of the project, is still to be announced.