Rеal еstatе firm Century Properties Group Inc is investing over $452 million (P20 billion) in an integrated resort project.

The listed real еstatе firm informed the stock exchange on Wednesday that it has signed a deal to acquire 56 hectares of property to develop a beachfront lifestyle destination development in the municipality of San Vicente, located northwest of Palawan’s mainland.

Palawan province is well known tourist spot with island and beach resorts. It is the site of the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River and was declared as one of the new seven natural wonders of the world.

Century Properties founder and chairman Jose Antonio said that based on their master plan, the company will have a total capital expenditure of over P20 billion in the next 10 years, for this project.

“We will follow a phased development plan for this project and we have budgeted a capital expenditure of Php1.5 billion over the next three to five years to complete phase 1. The pace and timing of subsequent phases will be driven by the take up of the sale of hotel villas and the residential investment properties, which will form a significant part of the returns from this project,” Antonio said. “Given the exceptional potential of the site and the relatively low capital intensity inherent in the low rise nature of this type of development, we will be able to focus on the long term margin maximisation of this project.”

Tim Hallett, chief operating officer for Century Properties Hospitality Inc, said Century will initially target the domestic market for the project, but will eventually target both regional and international markets as the facilities and accommodation options increase during later phases of the project.

Described as a “picturesque town”, San Vicente has a total land area of 146,294 hectares, which is 140 times larger than Boracay Island in Panay. San Vicente also has its own airport, with a new two‐kilometer runway and terminal that are projected to be completed in 2015.

“On their completion, the roads and airport infrastructure will be a major catalyst to the growth of Palawan and San Vicente as prime tourist destinations, facilitating larger regional and global arrivals to the Philippines,” Hallet said, noting that the international tourist arrivals in the country was projected at 6.8 million for 2014, much lesser than other Southeast Asian neighbors such as Vietnam at 7.9 million, and Thailand at 24.8 million.

However, Hallett pointed out that domestic tourists in the Philippines reached 44 million in 2013. “This project holds immense growth opportunities for our company and shareholders. We will work extremely hard on planning this project so that it integrates with the local community to ensure that it is an ecologically sustainable destination,” Hallet said.

Century Properties’ last traded price remained at P0.92 since yesterday.

Source: Deal Street Asia | April 22, 2015