AS experts forecast the exponential growth in the country’s BPO and retail industries in the coming years, listed real-еstatе company Century Properties Group Inc. has firmed up its plans to bring its tradition of innovation into these industries and seize opportunities to grow the company’s recurring revenue streams.

The company has earned a reputation for challenging the status quo in its residential developments. It has led the upscale to premium real-еstatе niche to newfound heights in recent years, with a success rate that industry observers have pronounced as game-changing.

To bolster its position within the real-еstatе industry and to tap into new markets given the evident increase in the purchasing power of local consumers, Century has begun projects in retail and office space. It earlier announced that it is expected to complete six commercial buildings totaling roughly 160,000 sq m by 2019. Such projects are expected to provide the company with a stable and balanced stream of cash flows.

Shopping for new markets

Early this year, the company completed its first such project, the Century City Mall. The first mall in Makati in close to a decade, Century City Mall is positioned as the Mall of Modern Makati, a project that gives rise to the new crop of shopping centers called “boutique malls.” The five-story retail and lifestyle center complements the company’s master-planned community Century City and likewise caters to the communities close to it.

The company is also looking into expanding this new portfolio in its other master-planned developments.

“Unlike other mall developers, which seek to serve a market that extends across borders with an expansive range of shops and services, we want to follow the track of Century City Mall, which is to bring together stores in a single facility with its set of curated selection of shops and offerings to complement its own residential and office communities,” Century Properties chief operating officer Marco Antonio said.

Addressing a concrete demand for office space

With the continued absorption of the BPO industry of newly developed office space, other businesses expanding and office space vacancy rates at a low, Century Properties is seeking to address a portion of the demand by building two office towers. Late last year, it announced the Asian Century Center in Makati and Bonifacio Global City, respectively.

Century Properties’ move runs parallel to the forecast of the Business Process Association of the Philippines (BPAP), which has estimated that by the end of 2013, the industry would employ a total of 960,000 workers nationwide, translating to a demand for office space of about 2.8 million sq m.

Notable is the Colliers International forecast of a dip in the overall vacancy rate in the Makati CBD to 3.4 percent in the next 12 months due to continued strong demand. Meanwhile, office rental rates in the Makati CBD rose in the first quarter because of increased competition for available spaces.

Asian Century Center, meanwhile, a joint venture with Asian Carmakers Corp., was announced as the future home of the largest showroom of upscale car brand BMW. Planned to rise to 23 floors, the tower has begun construction and is expected to be completed in 2017.

The new BGC project is foreseen to meet the demands for highly efficient and effective office development. In anticipation of the rise in the number of BPOs setting up in the country, Asian Century Center is being designed to cater to a 24-hour working schedule.

“We have secured our roles in the expansion of businesses in Makati and in Bonifacio Global City, where the prospects remain high and will continue to be so in the coming years. The recent announcement of global outsourcing research and advisory firm Tholons that Manila has overtaken Mumbai as the second leading outsourcing location in the world bodes well for the Philippines, as this opens a climate of security in BPO investments in the country,” Antonio said.

In its Philippine overview forecast for 2014, Colliers affirmed this, saying that “the BPO industry will continue to influence the commercial office sector in the next few years, as the market anticipates an influx of BPO companies entering the country.”

Century Properties Group Inc. is a forerunner of premium real-еstatе developments in the Philippines. Since it was founded 28 years ago, Century has transformed close to 850,000 sq m of space into premier residential and office developments in and outside Metro Manila. Through its global brand partnerships that underscore premium asset values and product differentiation in the industry, the company has become synonymous with quality real-еstatе projects that showcase innovative and world-class design, contributing to the transformation of the Philippines into a global destination.

Source: Businessmirror | July 8, 2014