Property giant Megaworld is optimistic that it can recover quickly from the pandemic next year following reports of coronavirus vaccines to be released before year-end.
In his message at the company’s Annual Stockholders’ Meeting via live webcast, Megaworld chairman and CEO Dr. Andrew L. Tan said the company is ready to bounce back as it ‘adjusts to the new demands of the diverse market.’
“Our strong financial standing puts us in an exceptionally good position to weather the crisis and take advantage of the opportunities that will arise once recovery begins. The crisis also served to highlight the value of our offerings,” Dr. Tan said.
To jumpstart the company’s recovery plans, Megaworld is rolling out a 4-point guide to ensure a strategic path towards accelerated growth by next year.
During his presentation, Megaworld chief strategy officer Kevin L. Tan laid down the R.I.S.E plan:
On the community and society at large, Megaworld remains committed to continue its support to government programs in the fight against coronavirus, and in the efforts of both the public and private sectors to help the country move towards economic recovery.
“Today, more than ever, we remain grateful to the trust and confidence of all of our customers, including our stockholders. Despite the impact of the pandemic that hit most businesses, our first half was not as bad as we expected it to be,” Tan points out as he also highlighted the contribution of employee and personnel frontliners assigned in the company’s malls, offices, and various townships across the country during the pandemic.
During his presentation to stockholders, Tan illustrated how Megaworld experienced remarkable growth momentum across all its businesses from 2010-2019, following the five simultaneous (5) major crises that the company faced prior to this decade.
“As we start another new decade for Megaworld, we will always look back to the times when we have outgrown and surpassed the challenges that we have faced because these are the things that have been motivating us to become stronger as a company,” says Tan.
Posted online on August 23, 2020
CLARK FREEPORT -- Andrew Tan-led Alliance Global Group Inc. (AGI) registered a net profit of P4.1 billion in the first half of 2020, reflecting a 67 percent decline from P12.5 billion the year before.
Net income to owners stood at P3.8 billion, down 53 percent from its year ago level of P8.1 billion.
Consolidated revenues fell 26 percent to P61.4 billion from last year's P82.8 billion, as the conglomerate, which has varied interests spanning real estate developments through property giant Megaworld Corporation; leisure, entertainment and hospitality through Travellers International Hotel Group Inc.; spirits manufacturing through Emperador Inc.; quick service restaurants through Golden Arches Development Corporation (GADC), popularly known as McDonald's Philippines, which is a strategic partnership with the George Yang Group; and infrastructure developments through Infracorp Development Corporation, faces the hurdles caused by the coronavirus pandemic that affected most of its businesses.
"The country's strict two-month lockdown weighed heavily on most of our domestic operations. We take comfort from the fact that we have managed to diversify our sources of income, either by type of products or by geographic contribution, and this has helped us mitigate the impact of this pandemic on our group performance," said Kevin Tan, AGI chief executive officer.
In the first half of 2020, Megaworld, posted a 33 percent decline in attributable net income to P5.4 billion from P8.1 billion a year before. Consolidated revenues fell 25 percent year-on-year to P23.8 billion, as the strict community quarantine weighed on mall rentals, real estate sales, and hotel revenues. Office rentals, however, grew 10 percent to P5.6 billion, proving anew its dominance and strong hold in the country's office sector as it catered mostly to the more resilient BPO industry.
Despite the pandemic, Megaworld also managed to register reservation sales of P38 billion during the semester, of which about P17 billion in sales were accomplished during the second quarter when the country was placed under strict lockdown. This indicates some innate strength in housing demand, particularly in the middle- to high-income segment of the market.
Emperador, the world's biggest brandy producer and owner of the world's fifth largest Scotch whisky manufacturer, recorded a two percent year-on-year improvement in attributable profit to P3.3 billion in the first half this year. Consolidated revenues stood flat at P21.5 billion despite the imposition of the liquor ban during the lockdown which affected domestic liquor sales.
In the second quarter, Emperador' sales and earnings got a boost mainly from its Scotland based Whyte and Mackay operations which saw its whisky revenues jump by 29 percent while more than doubling its profit from year ago levels. Its Scotch whisky operations contributed 31 percent of the group's business in the first half of this year.
Meanwhile, the ongoing community quarantine, which put a temporary halt in casino gaming operations, has taken its toll on Travellers International. The owner and operator of Resorts World Manila (RWM) recorded a net loss of P3.7 billion in the first half this year, a reversal from its P845 million net income the year before. Gross gaming revenues were more than halved to P6.1 billion while its non-gaming revenues fell 44 percent to P1.7 billion, the latter due to limited hotel operations and MICE activities. Overall gross revenues plunged 53 percent year-on-year to P7.8 billion.
The community quarantine also significantly affected GADC's operations which saw its bottomline post a loss of P709 million in the first half this year, reversing the profit of P751 million the year before.
Consolidated revenues declined by 37 percent year-on-year to P9.7 billion during the same period. At the start of the lockdown, only about 38 percent of the McDonald's stores were operational, while activities were limited to take-outs, drive-thru, and delivery services as dining-in was not allowed. The level only improved to 84 percent by May with the easing of the restrictions, but still with limited services. GADC ended the quarter with 668 stores.
"This global health crisis has brought us new learnings. We have modified our product offerings and acquired new skills to adapt to the changes in consumer behavior. Likewise, our move to transform our operations under a digital strategy, an undertaking we have started only last year, has supported most of our businesses especially during the strictest period of the community quarantine," Tan said.
Written by Charlene A. Cayabyab - August 14, 2020
Megaworld, the country’s leading developer of integrated urban townships, posted a 34% drop in its net income during the first half of the year, from P8.9-billion to P5.9-billion. Consolidated revenues for the first six months declined by 25% year-on-year to P23.8-billion from P31.7-billion last year.
The company, on the other hand, recorded P2.1-billion net profit during the second quarter this year, a 56% decline from P4.8-billion during the same period last year, as the country was reeling from the impact of the nationwide lockdown that affected most businesses.
“Just as the pandemic began in the last month of the first quarter, we already anticipated a decline in our earnings in the second quarter, but what actually surprised us was the fact that the drop wasn’t as bad as we have expected it to be, and it remains manageable. Our strategic decision of further strengthening our office leasing business way before the pandemic started is now evidently making us more resilient,” says Kevin L. Tan, chief strategy officer, Megaworld.
Leasing revenues from Megaworld Premier Offices, the company’s office leasing arm, was up 10% during the first six months from P5.1-billion last year to P5.6-billion during the same period this year. Contribution of Megaworld Premier Offices now stands at 78% of the company’s total rental income, which mitigated the impact of partial operations of Megaworld Lifestyle Malls due to the pandemic.
This year, the company is set to complete construction of five new office developments in its various townships, particularly in Iloilo Business Park in Iloilo City, Arcovia City in Pasig City, Westside City in Parañaque City, McKinley West and Uptown Bonifacio in Taguig City, adding around 213,000 square meters of completed projects in the company’s leasable office portfolio. To date, these projects are already 90% pre-leased on the average.
“Business process outsourcing (BPO) companies and traditional offices such as corporate headquarters of multinational companies still occupy around 90% of our spaces, which still continued their operations even at the height of the lockdown. We are closing some deals from many Metro Manila-based BPO companies that require an immediate expansion in our provincial townships due to eased quarantine rules there. Our current portfolio of active BPO tenant partners is still huge, and these are our first-line takers in our provincial developments,” Tan points out.
Megaworld is expected to end the year with 70 completed office developments covering 1.4 million square meters of leasable office inventory, excluding those that have already been sold.
Megaworld’s rental income for the first half of 2020 declined by only 11% at P7.2-billion, while hotel revenues were down 29% to P917.9-million from P1.3-billion. Megaworld Hotels, which currently operates 10 hotel properties with around 3,500 rooms under its homegrown brands of Richmonde, Belmont, Savoy, Hotel Lucky Chinatown, and Twin Lakes Hotels, continued serving pre-booked guests from BPO companies as well as balikbayans during the lockdown.
Even as the lockdown limited selling activities for residential projects, Megaworld’s reservation sales during the first half of the year reached P38-billion, which peaked during the second quarter when most parts of the country was placed under ‘enhanced community quarantine.’
Real estate sales during the first six months reached P14.3-billion, reflecting a 29% decline from P20.2-billion during the same period last year, as the company implemented ‘more flexibility’ in payment terms during the quarantine period.
To date, Megaworld has 26 masterplanned integrated urban townships, integrated lifestyle communities, and lifestyle estates across the country, namely: Eastwood City in Libis, Quezon City, (18.5 hectares); Newport City in Pasay City (25 hectares); McKinley Hill (50 hectares), McKinley West (34.5 hectares), Uptown Bonifacio (15.4 hectares) and Forbes Town (5 hectares), all in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City; Lucky Chinatown in Binondo, Manila (3 hectares); The Mactan Newtown in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu (30 hectares); Iloilo Business Park in Mandurriao, Iloilo City (72 hectares); Sta. Barbara Heights in Sta. Barbara, Iloilo (173 hectares); Boracay Newcoast in Boracay Island (150 hectares); Twin Lakes in Alfonso, Batangas near Tagaytay (1,300 hectares); ArcoVia City in Pasig City (12.3 hectares); Southwoods City in the boundaries of Cavite and Laguna (561 hectares); Davao Park District in Lanang, Davao City (11 hectares); Alabang West in Las Piñas City (62 hectares); Eastland Heights in Antipolo, Rizal (640 hectares); Suntrust Ecotown in Tanza, Cavite (350 hectares); Maple Grove in General Trias, Cavite (140 hectares); The Hamptons Caliraya in Lumban-Cavinti, Laguna (300 hectares); The Upper East (34 hectares) and Northill Gateway (50 hectares) both in Negros Occidental; Capital Town Pampanga beside the Pampanga Provincial Capitol in the City of San Fernando (35.6-hectares); Westside City in the Entertainment City in Paranaque City (31 hectares); Empire East Highland City in Antipolo, Rizal (24 hectares), Arden Botanical Estate in the boundaries of Trece Martires and Tanza, Cavite (251 hectares).
Online content posted on August 13, 2020
It’s another opportunity to indulge in a much sought live-work-play-beach lifestyle that remains unrivaled in the country today.
The Pearl Global Residences— a 20-storey residential tower to rise within The Mactan Newtown in Lapu Lapu City, Cebu—offers more coveted spaces for those who aspire to either settle down and set their roots, or invest in a thriving community that aptly places a premium on the quality of life and convenience of having practically everything within easy reach.
“The Pearl Global Residences will showcase the Filipino pride to the world. We got the name from the country’s title of ‘Pearl of the Orient’. As we expect more visitors and tourists to come to The Mactan Newtown in the coming years, we want this tower to be one of the icons of Filipino pride inside our development,” said Noli D. Hernandez, president of Megaworld Cebu Properties, Inc.
This latest project from property giant Megaworld is the fifth residential development and the 11th residential tower to rise in this sprawling township. It will offer a total of 222 units, which will add to the existing 1,836-unit inventory inside The Mactan Newtown. As with the other high rises here, The Pearl Global Residences will surely be one the most coveted addresses in Cebu today.
How so? Foremost is fact that The Pearl Global Residences, which will near the road leading to the historic Lapu-Lapu Shrine, is part of a thriving 30-hectare township that offers a modern urban landscape and natural attractions. The Mactan Newtown itself presents the quintessential lifestyle of the modern urban dweller, given its complete offering of top-grade office sites, retail and commercial centers, upscale residential developments, hotels, a reputable academic institution, and its very own beachfront, reportedly a unique facet in a township setting.
Today, Megaworld has already launched a total of 11 residential towers. It is home to five office towers with a total inventory of around 81,000 sqm, and the 547-room Savoy Hotel Mactan, the first hotel to open here. Two more hotels and the Mactan Newtown Beach Walk, a unique concept of mall development on a cliff by the seaside, are set to open over the next several years.
Anyone who thus wants to be part of The Mactan Newtown’s dynamic, robust growth would surely aspire to be here, to grab this latest opportunity to own a home in such a community.
Homebuyers and investors can choose from The Pearl Global Residences’ generous mix of unit choices with sizes ranging from 40 sqm to 116 sqm: it can be an executive studio with either a balcony or a lanai; a one-bedroom and executive one-bedroom with balcony; a two-bedroom with balcony or lanai; or a three-bedroom with balcony.
Apart from the prospect of having that distinct advantage of living within one of the most dynamic townships in Cebu, future residents will also get to enjoy first rate amenities that The Pearl Global Residences will offer.
To help provide a more holistic lifestyle for future residents, this residential high rise will have an adult pool and kiddie pool, a fitness center, outdoor lounge and seating areas, children’s play area, function room, game room, reading nook, and co-working spaces.
The roof deck will house an outdoor lounge and garden, a dry bar, and a viewing deck, where residents and guests can enjoy the stunning, priceless views of the Cebu mountains, the Magellan Bay and the Hilutungan Channel, the nearby islands, and the Lapu-Lapu Shrine.
Indeed, there is so much to look forward to when The Pearl Global Residences gets completed by 2025, as it will clearly be the latest showcase as to why Cebu continues to retain its luster and attractiveness as a destination, despite the emergence of many other city centers elsewhere in the country.
Beyond just making a sale, Megaworld is more importantly offering a new opportunity to have an enhanced, more holistic lifestyle well suited to meet the demands of an ever evolving landscape.
Written by Amy R. Remo of Philippine Daily Inquirer, 04:00AM February 15, 2020
MANILA, Philippines — Megaworld Corp. is expanding its residential footprint in Cebu amid steady demand brought about by strong economic growth.
The company launched the 20-story The Pearl Global Residences, its fifth residential development inside the 30-hectare The Mactan Newtown in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu.
The 20-story residential tower is expected to be completed in 2025 and will generate P2.3 billion in sales.
It will add 222 units in the existing 1,836 residential unit inventory in the township.
Megaworld Cebu Properties Inc. president Noli Hernandez said the new project bodes well for the township which continues to attract visitors.
“The Pearl Global Residences will showcase the Filipino pride to the world. We got the name from the country’s title of ‘Pearl of the Orient’, and as we expect more visitors and tourists to come to The Mactan Newtown in the coming years, we want this tower to be one of the icons of Filipino pride inside our development,” Hernandez said.
To date, Megaworld has already launched 10 residential towers from four residential condominium developments in Mactan Newtown.
The township is also home to five office towers with a total office inventory of around 81,000 square meters.
Just last year, Megaworld opened its first hotel in the township, the 547-room Savoy Hotel Mactan.
It is expected to open two more hotels inside the township in the next two years as it continues to ramp up its hotel footprint.
Megaworld said the latest project would be the 11th residential condominium tower to rise inside Mactan Newtown, which has its own beachfront.
The new residential tower offers different sizes: executive studio with either a balcony (up to 40 square meters); one-bedroom and executive one-bedroom with balcony (up to 59 sqm); two-bedroom with balcony or lanai (up to 80 sqm) and three-bedroom with balcony (up to 116 sqm).
The project will rise near the road leading to the historic Lapu-Lapu Shrine and will offer residents with amenities at the second level.
These include adult and kiddie pools, fitness center, outdoor lounge and seating areas, children’s play area, function room, game room, reading nook and co-working spaces.
Iris Gonzales (The Philippine Star) January 15, 2020, 12:00 AM
Amanda Rufino Carpo (center)
As the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic triggers extraordinary volatility in global financial markets, real estate may be a good option for yield-seeking investors looking to hedge against risks, the co-founder of KMC Solutions said.
Amanda Carpo of KMC Solutions, provider of private offices, co-working space and staff leasing, said real estate still had strong potential to give its investors good returns no matter the macroeconomic backdrop.
“Real estate investment is a good idea to diversify your investment portfolio. Equities are much more volatile and carry more risk in general, and real estate can help manage volatility and risk and make your investments more efficient,” Carpo said in a statement.
“More than ever, investors need to understand the effects of volatility. That is what we will be experiencing in the near future,” she said.
A survey by global public opinion and data company, YouGov, recently ranked real estate as the third safest investment next to gold and certificates of deposit. Carpo said such confidence came with good reason. “Property gives owners flexibility on how to earn—it is not just about buying or selling. Investors can remodel or renovate for rentals or for lease among many other options,” she said.
It was noted that real estate was historically a better investment than stocks, based on the research “The Rate of Return on Everything, 1870-2015,” which tracked historical data spanning over a century, residential real estate generally delivered better returns than equity at lower volatility and lower correlation to the performance of stocks in the market.
“These days, it is hard to look at the performance of the stock market and not want to pull your money out. When you pull your money out however, you cement your losses,” said Carpo. “It’s important to stay invested, it’s important to diversify, and real estate can be a good defensive play. There will be economic recovery once society can open up again, and that will happen eventually.”
Carpo sees local real estate turning to be one of the more resilient sectors in the economy despite the COVID-19 health crisis.
On the residential space, sustained real demand for housing from local and foreign workers in the Philippines is seen to keep the market afloat given favorable demographics.
“Condominiums have an advantage over other real estate as developers situate their properties in areas where demand is already strong. This, partnered with the attractive amenities and potential for market appreciation, add to their appeal,” said Carpo.
Further, she said condominium owners could fit their properties to leverage off special industries such as co-living arrangements as well as the strong and steady market for student housing.
“At KMC Solutions we believe there will be sectors of the real estate market that will feel the pain of COVID-19 more than others, such as hotel, hospitality and retail. Industrial, logistics, office and residential will be better off,” Carpo said. “In terms of office space, which is the sector we are in, companies that are now forced to work from home will need to look into distributed workforce and business continuity planning.”
Global companies that are cutting costs will turn to business process outsourcing (BPO) services and automation, which can indicate a good economic turn for the Philippines, she said.
“We believe the Philippines has consistently proven its value over time and more companies will adopt to outsourcing and working with remote teams. We experienced this when we started the company, in the face of the 2008 global recession,” Carpo said.
While the current market situation is causing uncertainty, Carpo said investors must be proactive with their assets. With real estate, this could mean flexibility—adjusting to current demand—while anticipating opportunities for healthier returns as soon as the market bounces back, she stressed.
“KMC has always tried to provide beautiful and healthy workspaces. Companies will be forced to re-think their spaces for safety and sanitation for the safety of their employees, but this will likely be a long-term trend toward spaces that are now more than ever focused on health, well-being and productivity. We could see changes in design as the way we live, work, and interact will be changed by this virus. The underlying value is that health is wealth.” INQ
Written by Doris Dumlao-Abadilla of Philippine Daily Inquirer, May 04, 2020 - 04:05 AM
MANILA, Philippines — After posting double-digit growth in the first quarter, prices of prime residential property in Metro Manila are expected to stabilize amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to real estate consultancy firm Santos Knight Frank.
Jan Custodio, senior director for research and consultancy at Santos Knight Frank, said in an email prices of prime residential property are expected to remain steady.
“Developers still remain confident that they can hold out at this price due to the quality and value of their projects,” he said.
He said developers usually set aside some units which they can put on hold for a long period time for some of their targeted buyers.
As for buyers, he said those who have already purchased are unlikely to sell their property as most of them are not in dire need of cash.
“They may consider selling if the offer is too good to refuse,” he said.
Manila topped Knight Frank’s Prime Global Cities Index for the first quarter as it posted the strongest growth in luxury residential property prices.
Released earlier this month, the index showed Manila placed first in the list of 46 cities as it registered a 15.3 percent increase in luxury residential property prices in the first quarter from the same period last year.
Compared to the previous quarter or the last quarter of 2019, prices in Manila went up by 10.2 percent in the first quarter.
Custodio said selling prices for the prime residential property in Metro Manila were taken just before the government imposed the enhanced community quarantine.
During that time, he said prices were still following their normal trajectory of around 10 percent per annum.
“Most of the prime residential properties launched in 2019 have been sold out, which in a way sets the stage for the price increase given the strong demand,” he said.
He said those actively selling prime residential properties in the first quarter were the beneficiaries as they capitalized on those who missed out in acquiring property last year, and on those who wanted to continue acquiring.
“This would indicate that prime residential property here in the Philippines is still a safe investment as it provides value for money. Most likely, those who have invested in this segment are highly liquid and seized this opportunity to acquire,” he said.
The Philippine Star - May 26, 2020
As the number of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases around the world continues to rise and the global economy is suffering substantial losses as a result, investors are starting to wonder how their investments would fare in the face of this pandemic.
For many, the current situation does not offer good news. Global markets have been taking massive hits over the past weeks, and huge sectors of the economy are now seeing their market values plunge. Big businesses, such as those in the travel and hospitality industries, have suffered major setbacks that would take years to recover from, and the stock market is seeing a lot of investors selling their stocks at a loss in the hopes of recovering their investments.
Well, what about the real estate industry? The truth is, all industries have taken a blow due to the pandemic, but that doesn’t mean real estate investors like you should start panicking.
Instead of panicking, this crisis period is the time for you to plan and strategize based on current market trends.
Now, with most of the population’s movement restricted and a lot of brick-and-mortar stores closed due to the lockdowns, demand for online items has skyrocketed. Businesses that have not gone online before the pandemic are now scrambling to build their online presence and stay in the competition, fast-tracking the market shift toward electronic commerce (e-commerce).
But what does it mean for you as a real estate investor? if this trend toward e-commerce continues, there would be a drop in demand for commercial spaces. Now that you know that this is a distinct possibility, it would be best for you to start investing in industrial spaces. Once more and more businesses start hitting the online market, business owners are going to need more warehouse space for their items. They would need more manufacturing space for their products as their businesses go global. So if this trend continues, industrial spaces are among the most promising assets you can invest in, as property values for this type of space are bound to skyrocket and yield a high return on investment (ROI).
The second thing you need to understand at this point in the crisis is that the current economic slowdown would not necessarily affect your current ROI from your property investments. This is because diversification of your real estate investments can produce income streams that are not dependent on the country’s gross domestic product. Rental income is a good example.
In fact, did you know that rental income actually makes up half of total real estate investment returns? Property values may be affected at this point, but if you have leased your properties, fluctuating property values should not pose a big problem for you anytime soon. This is especially true if you have long-term lessees, such as for your office buildings or other commercial spaces. So if you have this income stream, you are most likely to survive this economic downturn, even if stock prices are crashing at record levels.
The third thing you need to understand is that real estate investments are more stable than other forms of investments that are on the high-risk side. An example of a volatile form of investment would be stocks. Current events dictate much of stock market values, which is why global hysteria over the pandemic has caused the global market to become a bear market.
Property values, on the other hand, are more stable and are dependent on factors other than the current economic situation. For example, property values can increase based on expectation of economic growth. And since property investments offer a diversified income stream, there’s no need for you to start liquidating your real estate assets out of panic. You can continue earning from your investment while avoiding unnecessary losses and expenses.
So what will happen to your real estate portfolio during this pandemic? Well, it might not perform the way it’s expected to, but property markets will eventually bounce back. In the meantime, you can take advantage of the economic downturn to continue investing in promising assets that you can now acquire at reduced prices. And since a lot of businesses and clients are transitioning online, it’s only logical for real estate investors like you to take advantage of this trend. For example, you can show your properties to prospective clients virtually, without leaving the safety of your home.
The fact remains that only those who are quick enough to adapt to the changes in the market can survive in the industry. By foreseeing the demands for commercial, industrial, and residential spaces, you can stay ahead of your competition and make calculated property investments that will yield the highest returns in the long run.
Posted by Mr. Richard Carvajal of The Manila Times on May 24, 2020
#newnorm #nownorm #realestate #megaworld
It’s the new benchmark for high-rise living.
While towering residential condominium buildings and massive mixed-use complexes have become a common sight in most major cities in the Philippines and in many cosmopolitan urban centers elsewhere in the world, vertical cities are proving to be the new norm, further raising the modern living standards to provide a more conducive community for both residents and locators.
But not all mixed use projects can lay claim to having a truly vertical city.
Beyond being a mere dense cluster of concrete towers that share a common space, a vertical city should be designed primarily with its residents and locators in mind, which meant offering better efficiencies in the use of space, adequate open spaces with greenery to provide the community common areas viable for interaction and bonding, a new level of convenience through improved connectivity across all components of the township, proximity to transport nodes and key institutions, design aesthetics that would complement and enhance the city skyline, as well as smart, sustainable features to future-proof the township.
Such features aptly define Uptown Bonifacio, which is shaping up to be the local archetype of a vertical city. This was a practical move for property giant Megaworld Corp. as the 15.4-ha township would have, on any given day, some 50,000 workers, 60,000 mall goers and about 3,000 residents within its vicinity, thus making connectivity even more important.
“When you have so many people under one roof, you need to have good platforms of connections to efficiently manage the volume of people. We don’t want hundreds of people crossing the road at the same time for instance,” Megaworld chief strategy officer Kevin Andrew L. Tan explained.
Efficient connectivity is indeed crucial for the award-winning Uptown Bonifacio, as it has four luxury residential towers (One Uptown Residence, Uptown Ritz, Uptown Parksuites, and Uptown Arts Residence); the five-level Uptown Mall which is home to international luxury brands; Uptown Parade, a 25,000-sqm strip that houses the biggest nightlife destination in the country—The Palace—as well as an eclectic mix of specialty restaurants serving international cuisines; and modern office towers including the 20-storey Alliance Global Tower, the headquarters of the Alliance Global Group Inc.
Megaworld clearly raised the bar anew for this township as it created an elaborate network of bridges, underground passages, and elevated walkways that do not only offer utmost convenience to residents, office workers and visitors, but more importantly, provide adequate breathing space to really live, work, and play—the very essence of all Megaworld townships. Soon, the township will also be connected got a skytrain and a subway, once these key public infrastructure projects are completed.
“The biggest benefit here would be the seamless interconnection to and from the various components of this township. We have carefully designed the make-up of Uptown Bonifacio taking into consideration the ideas of comfort, mobility, and free-flowing access,” Tan explained. “We also took into the consideration the underground airconditioned link for residences so they can walk to the mall without getting wet or enduring the heat. These ideas truly help us promote walkability around the entire township, good health, and sustainable living.”
The key here, he added, is connection and walkability. The mall in itself is the center of it all as it houses everything you need—dining options, two groceries, drugstores, appliance stores, lifestyle brands, clothing, shoes, cosmetics, services. There are also medical facilities, gyms, salons, and dental clinic all under one roof and connected to each other.
Tan admitted that there are challenges that come with creating a vertical city.
He pointed out that a lot of engineering and architectural ingenuity must come into the picture. Among these challenges was how they can efficiently circulate people and how to manage the back of the house or what the eyes can’t see. Designing Uptown’s infrastructure was likewise crucial. Since many of their buildings are LEED certified, all sustainable features—such as waste management, rooftop gardens, solar power, among others—should be incorporated in the planning.
But this is the only way to go, Tan stressed, especially in a place like Bonifacio Global City where land is scarce and expensive.
According to Tan, connectivity is one of the pillars of their live-work-play concept, which brings together key components that fit today’s cosmopolitan lifestyle. This recognizes a growing demand from people wanting to live where they work, and to dine, shop, and do everything within the same space. And Uptown Bonifacio is one vertical community that promotes a lot of interaction with different people through the different common spaces it has provided.
“The spaces that we have created here define the relationships of people within this community. It has now become a melting pot of different people, from different backgrounds, places, people with different purpose. It has become an active community, which is synergistic in nature. People learn from each other as they interact with one other. You can go to the park, you can watch a concert or a show, and you can go to quirky spaces. It’s an inclusive community where people come together for different purposes at different times of the day,” he further said.
Uptown is also home to spaces where people can share ideas. US-based WeWork has set up within this township, offering shared workspaces for technology startup subculture communities, and services for entrepreneurs, freelancers, and startups.
“Although we build so much, we still want people to feel that the community is not dense. We put a lot of design elements and countless hours of studying to make sure that every corner of our spaces here feels very relaxed,” he added.
Tan admitted that they have really pushed themselves to see how far they can go in creating such a synergistic vertical community as Uptown Bonifacio. This township, in fact, was awarded Best Township Development at the 2019 Philippines Property Awards, while the 45-storey Uptown Arts Residence bagged the Best Luxury Condo Interior Design award.
Despite the difficulties, Tan said they are looking to replicate this model in the urban townships they will create, especially in the city centers where mass transit will be crucial and demand for offices is high.
“We believe we can do an even better version of this later on, and connect more components like schools, hospitals, museums, and many more, in our townships. There are so many things we can connect into this model, and it’s something that we are continuing to develop,” Tan concluded.
Posted July 13, 2019 03:15AM,
Written by Amy R. Remo of Philippine Daily Inquirer
GOING BEYOND MEGA STRUCTURES
It was a simple vision that turned into a legacy more profound, far-reaching and heartfelt than one can ever measure.
Thirty years since its inception, Megaworld Corp. has rightfully emerged as a property giant, with self-made tycoon Dr. Andrew L. Tan at the helm of this impressive success story. From its humble beginnings that took off with the launch of Eastwood City, its first live-work-play township, Megaworld takes pride on how far it has gone, becoming the most awarded real estate developer in the country today.
It took that simple dream of providing quality homes and lifestyles to more Filipinos and transformed it to a new and more inclusive overarching vision that sees Megaworld townships of the future further uplifting lives, having a bigger impact on the society, and helping shape the nation.
EVOLVING THE LANDSCAPE
Today, the trailblazer has emerged even stronger, better and well ahead of its game, bringing its wealth of experience and expertise aptly honed over the past 30 years to more promising locations outside the main urban centers.
“Our company is strategically taking the township lifestyle into more locations in the Philippines. Today, the Megaworld Group is present in over 30 cities across the country. In these cities, we consistently launch new projects to infuse new value and evolve the landscape so it always stays vibrant, relevant and meaningful,” said the Megaworld founder and chairman.
As of end 2018, Megaworld has 24 sprawling, thriving townships with its pioneering, oftpraised live-work-play concept; a massive 4,688 hectares in land bank in key locations; 696 holistic residential developments that have helped enhance the lifestyles of its residents; 63 premium grade office towers with gross leasable space of 1.2 million sqm; 700,000 sqm filled with well curated array of retail, dining and entertainment choices spread across 19 Megaworld Lifestyle Malls; and nine premium hotels, with 2,554 hotel keys.
Such an impressive roster of achievements, which further cemented the company’s strong leadership in the market, has long caught the eye of many reputable award-giving bodies, both from here and abroad, enabling Megaworld to earn prestigious accolades that speak well of its staunch commitment to excellence and innovation.
In 2018 alone, Megaworld’s significant contributions to helping reshape the urban and rural landscapes allowed it to achieve an exceptional feat—a total of 102 distinct awards, 40 percent of which were conferred in esteemed international tilts. Seven of these citations meanwhile named Megaworld as the Best or Outstanding Developer of the Year—a milestone that seem to fittingly set the positive tone for the future of the company.
But there is another side to this success story, another face that goes way beyond all these remarkable, whopping numbers, and countless accolades from prestigious tilts.
What Megaworld has essentially created in the last 30 years is a powerful ripple effect that continues to resonate in the lives of many Filipino workers and families, cities and municipalities, industries, the economy, and the country as a whole even to this day.
It has, without a doubt, become a catalyst for growth, transforming pockets of idle land into bustling districts humming with much energy and life. Megaworld has lived to see its vision soundly fulfilled—that it uplifts lives, impacts the society, and becomes a crucial partner in nation-building—and in the process, creating a legacy for the future generations to appreciate.
From its first township that is Eastwood City, Megaworld has touched the lives of many Filipino families in more ways than one, affording them with enhanced lifestyles through premium residential condominiums that are just a few minutes’ walk away from everything they Most awarded Filipino real estate firm moves forward to help shape the Philippines need. These enclaves offer a life that is centered on ease and convenience, serving as healthy and conducive sanctuaries that allow residents to foster ties and further nurture relationships within a safe and secure self-contained community.
These townships, touted as living landscapes, offered residents a piece of the world’s most renowned cities such as those in Europe and the United States, while still retaining a uniquely local flavor that pays homage to the country’s rich heritage and culture.
For instance, one township showcases the vineyard tradition of Italy, another exudes the cosmopolitan vibe of New York City, while an upcoming one has the country’s tallest bronze monument which is reminiscent of Madrid’s Arco de la Victoria and Paris’ Arc de Triomphe. Heritage museums are either planned or are already up in several of Megaworld’s townships— one promoting Ilonggo arts, customs, and traditions, another showcasing the rich culture and history of Binondo.
Within these townships are exciting retail strips and shopping malls that bring internationally renowned names, world class amenities and experiences while celebrating the finest that homegrown brands can offer.
Megaworld Lifestyle Malls has given residents, office workers and other guests a wide yet curated selection of the best—from retail, dining, to entertainment. And it continues to evolve with the newer malls becoming eye catching architectural marvels with state-of-theart facilities that bring one’s shopping and dining experience to a whole new level—case in point is the 90,000-sqm Festive Walk Iloilo, the first full-scale lifestyle mall in Western Visayas.
Multinational companies and local businesses found a home in Megaworld townships as well. As the country’s largest developer and landlord of office spaces, Megaworld has allowed not only companies, but more notably industries, to thrive, playing a crucial role as an enabler of growth.
Such was the case with the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry, which found its first home in Eastwood, dubbed as the country’s first cybercity that was accredited by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (Peza). It was here that the industry eventually thrived before it developed into one of the country’s primary economic growth drivers, generating an estimated revenue of about $24.5 billion to $24.8 billion last year.
Since then, Megaworld offices have catered to more industries with premium-grade buildings equipped with the latest features and technologies. The newest would be for JP Morgan Chase Bank, which will occupy some 70,000 sqm of gross leasable space from a building targeted for completion by 2021—reportedly the biggest single office lease transaction made in the country. Co-working spaces, a growing trend in the country, also found a home in a Megaworld township.
An unparalleled experience similarly awaits in Megaworld’s expanding portfolio of homegrown hotel brands that include Richmonde Hotels, Savoy, Belmont, Twin Lakes, and Hotel Lucky Chinatown. With over 2,500 hotel keys, Megaworld is not just making its presence felt, but more notably, complementing the government’s thrust to attract 12 million international tourists by 2022, up from the 7.1 million arrivals recorded last year.
Providing tourists with exceptional stays through its hotels would allow Megaworld to help achieve such targets which if met, would have a tremendous impact on the country. As it is, the travel and tourism industry already accounted for almost a fifth or 24.7 percent of the total economy and 8.4 percent of total exports last year. Not to mention the multiplier effect it has, benefiting countless cottage industries and homegrown brands that cater to tourists.
But what perhaps stands out is the fact that Megaworld has helped unlock the potential in many key areas outside the metro—spearheading the growth even—as it brought its signature live-work-play townships in the provinces. And the stark difference is that when it started to bet on these provinces, it made sure to bet big, thus helping revitalize their economies, while giving residents the kind of lifestyle they truly deserve.
Megaworld has not only created new districts and raised the standards of living in the provinces. It more importantly spurred business activities, gave homegrown firms another platform to showcase their brands, generated fresh, quality jobs, and afforded many others to have the same heightened experience of living in a township as those in the urban metro.
And soon enough, Megaworld townships will also become a breeding ground for the next generation of leaders. Last year, the Newtown School of Excellence opened its doors to its first batch of enrollees, enabling Megaworld’s Mactan Newtown in Lapu-Lapu City to embrace the “learn aspect” of the township concept.
This dovetails well with Dr. Tan’s advocacy to provide opportunities for the youth through education, as reflected in the various initiatives that the company, through its Megaworld Foundation, undertakes every single year.
To date, Megaworld has granted some 5,000 scholarships to its beneficiaries, 500 of whom are now working for companies under the Alliance Global Group. The Foundation also supports advocacies for women, children, the elderly, and differently abled, as wells campaigns geared towards healthcare, eco-conservation and calamity assistance.
Beyond the confines of the townships, Megaworld also takes to heart its duty as responsible stewards of land, creating sustainable communities with the least impact to the environment. It currently covers some 1,500 hectares of protected lands, has spearheaded more than 50 green projects and has built 19 sustainable office towers across the country.
By 2030, Megaworld is aiming for a much loftier goal as it targets its townships to be carbon neutral by then.
All these show that Megaworld truly leads with a heart, that it embraces the communities and the environment where it is present, ensuring that the growth in its townships will also be felt and enjoyed by the surrounding areas.
And as Megaworld celebrates its 30th year, it found a way to further enhance the Philippine landscape and the quality of lifestyle it provides to residents and locators. In 2018, Megaworld invested heavily in iTownships—smart townships that focus on answering the community’s need for integration, interaction and interconnectivity. Such townships seamlessly incorporate digital technology, design innovations into its developments to make it future- proof.
“Having these features in our township does not only make our developments future-ready, but it also allow us to take greater steps toward sustainability and environment responsibility,” said Megaworld chief strategy officer Kevin Andrew Tan.
Indeed, much has already been achieved but Megaworld is taking stock of its stellar performance in recent past, building on them, improving and innovating further, future-proofing communities to leave a far deeper imprint and craft an even better legacy for the generations to come.
Priming iTownships of the future
His gameplan may sound simple enough, but it entails a far more complex and substantial responsibility being heaved on his lap.
For Kevin, the son of Megaworld founder and chairman Dr. Andrew L. Tan, the vision for a property giant that spearheaded many innovations over the last three decades is clear: that Megaworld continues to uplift lives, impact the society and help shape the nation wherever its townships are located.
“We will continue to focus on the development of our townships and our undeveloped properties across the Philippines in the years to come,” Kevin said when asked how he intends to continue his father’s legacy. “Much of our efforts will still be aimed at introducing more of our residential developments and investment properties, which cover Megaworld Lifestyle Malls, Megaworld Premier Offices, and Megaworld Hotels. Our existing land bank would be sufficient for the next 10 to 15 years of development.”
“More importantly, we will continue to embrace our purpose by fulfilling our company’s vision. This alone makes us very excited about our future,” added Kevin, who currently sits as the chief strategy officer for Megaworld.
Over the next five years up to 2024, Megaworld said it plans to invest a staggering P300 billion to scale up its developments and beef up its land bank across the country.
This massive capital spending will allow the company to further expand its townships and integrated lifestyle developments across teh country, while banking on the same passion, commitment and a culture of excellence and innovation that fueled the growth of the company over the last 30 years.
“I think what really helped drive us during the past three decades was our commitment to embrace technology and innovation in everything that we do. Having the ability to harness technology as a differentiator enabled us to enjoy a competitive edge, and that’s what we have been championing for the longest time now,” the younger Tan said in an interview.
Kevin cited as an example the iTownships program they launched last year with the goal of future-proofing townships and developments.
“By marrying together innovation, integration, internet, and interconnectivity, we have been able to create the townships of the future where communities can efficiently grow and thrive,” Kevin furhter noted.
“It’s been very intentional on our part to adopt technology and innovation because we believe we are in a distinct position to make a difference in the lives of Filipinos. At the end of the day, organizations like us are in the business of helping shape the nation by creating more progressive communities, and in all starts by empowering people and various economic sectors to grow too,” he concluded.
Posted July 1, 2019
Written by Amy R. Remo of Philippine Daily Inquirer