Megaworld to speed up office space, retail projects in 2016

MANILA, Dec. 8 (PNA) — Property developer Megaworld Corp. is accelerating its office and retail space launches next year in a bid to further build its recurring income portfolio, optimistic on the markets segment despite the coming presidential elections and overseas concerns.

“Our outlook, we’re optimistic because we feel (that) as we continue to strive hard in improving our office and retail portfolio, this continues to drive demand also for residential (projects),” Megaworld senior vice president Jericho Go told reporters.

Go said the company aims to sustain offering over 100,000 square meters of gross leasable area in 2016.

“That is actually the minimum. Please keep in mind that amongst all the other developers, Megaworld is the only developer that has at least 130 tenants for office… The biggest portion of leases comes from expansion, not from new ones,” he added.

Go noted that Megaworld’s six office towers in McKinley West at Fort Bonifacio alone will have a total of 60,000 square meters of office space.

“The 30,000 square meters we’re going to top it off by end this year, then next 30,000 square meters second to third quarter next year… The balance is between Iloilo, Cebu and other parts of Luzon,” he further said.

By end-2015, tycoon Andrew Tan-led property developer’s total office spaces are expected to reach 712,000 square meters.

“We are very strong in terms of residential sales. So in order for us to balance our portfolio, you always have to have a healthy mix of one-time income and recurring. These should be balanced, either 60-40, 50-50 or whatever. The recurring income comes from office and retail,” Go reasoned.

He was confident that the 2016 presidential elections would have no effect on the real estate market.

“They (analysts) are very confident that whoever wins the election, we will continue to enjoy this growth that we are experiencing because (in) BPO (business process outsourcing) we’re doing very well, OFW (overseas Filipino workers) remittances (remained robust). We feel that any presidentiable will not rock the boat when it comes to this particular aspect of our economy,” he added.

However, Go said the company was “cautiously optimistic” about the residential market segment amid overseas developments.

“In residential we’re still studying the market trends. There are many factors –the devaluation of the yuan, impending interest rate hike in the United States. Of course what happened to Paris and what happened to Greece and the Middle East (lower) fuel prices… Twenty percent of our documented sales were generated abroad,” he said. (PNA)