BONIFACIO Global City (BGC) may overtake Makati as the premiere central business district (CBD) of the country as it shows a strong potential, specifically in the growing share of office locators led by companies and knowledge process outsourcing, according to a global real estate services firm.
In a report released by Cushman and Wakefield over the weekend, the firm said it foresees BGC evolving as a CBD that will be the hub of knowledge process outsourcing (KPO) industry and new corporate tenants.
The report noted that although BGC was initially dominated by business process outsourcing (BPO) firms, there has been a gradual shift in the tenant profile with the entry of KPO firms and the influx of corporate locators involved in financial services, professional services, and consumer goods industries
The KPO firms are led by multinationals such as HSBC, JP Morgan Chase & Co. and Deutsche Knowledge Services (DKS).
BGC has the potential to be a KPO-IT hub as an increasing number of new information technology companies that are mostly in mobile application development are locating in the district, Cushman and Wakefield noted.
There is an increasing share of corporate tenants in the BGC, Cushman and Wakefield said, citing financial services firms such as Aboitiz Equity Ventures, EastWest Bank, Maybank, Philamlife, Prulife UK, and Sunlife; professional services such as CVC Law, Del Rosario & Del Rosario Law, McCann Erickson, and Ogilvy & Mather; consumer goods and telecommunications firms such as Bench, Coca-Cola, and Globe Telecom, which have established their corporate headquarters in the district.
The upcoming corporate tenants include Citibank, Metrobank, Unilever and the Philippine Stock Exchange.
“The movement of the aforementioned firms into the district is seen as a flight-to quality response since a good number of the aforementioned companies were previously located in old office stock in the fringe areas of Metro Manila,” Cushman and Wakefield noted.
As of the first half of 2015, the office stock in BGC stood at almost 900,000 square meters to place second to the Makati CBD. On average, more than100,000 sqm of office space was completed in the district annually in the last five years.
“By 2016, we project office stock in the district to reach 1.4 million sqm, outpacing Makati CBD by nearly 17 percent,” said Cushman and Wakefield.
It also foresees the gap to widen as new office buildings in the district come online. It noted that there are still a number of underdeveloped areas and a number of parking lots that may eventually be converted into buildings within the district.
It said that there are areas which are currently under long-term lease and may be the source of new office stock.
The report noted that BGC houses more boutique office developments compared with other CBDs, accounting for the majority of the existing stock in the area.
Some of the boutique developers are Daiichi Properties, Super Prime Holdings Inc., The Net Group, and W Offices Inc.
Cushman and Wakefield took note that “this has created a good competitive environment where there is more diversity and dynamism among office buildings in the district.”
The report noted that BGC is also host to an increasing number of Building for Ecologically Responsive Design Excellence (BERDE) and Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certified buildings.
The green projects are the Net Lima building, which is the flagship project for BERDE, and both the LEED certified Globe Telecom Headquarters and Sunlife Center.
”The combined presence of iconic landmarks and the appeal of Bonifacio Global City, not least because of its master planned community and state-of-the-art facilities, serve as a magnet that may continue to attract prospective and existing firms to locate in the district,” said Cushman and Wakefield.
“This is reinforced by the fact that some firms consider their building and address as a reflection of their corporate image which serves as an incentive to locate in Bonifacio Global City,” it added.