ILOILO CITY: Listed property developer Megaworld Corp. is doubling the office leasing inventory in its 72-hectare mixed-use development Iloilo Business Park (IBP) to 100,000 square meters (sqm) by 2020 in response to the robust demand for office space from the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector.
In a press briefing on Friday, Megaworld Senior Vice President Jericho Go said the company expects to build 55,000 sqms of leasable office space in the next three years, adding to the current 45,000-sqm inventory from five existing towers in the master-planned development.
The additional 55,000 sqms of office space corresponds to about four to five buildings, which are expected to cost P2.5 billion in capital expenditure, Go said.
He noted that the additional office space is projected to generate 40,000 direct workers in the BPO sector in addition to thousands of indirect workers due to the multiplier effect. According to Go, a corresponding 3,000 to 4,000 indirect jobs are created, mostly in the retail segment, for every 10,000 direct workers employed.
Two of the five planned buildings will be opened this year. These are the five-storey Two Techno Place, which adds 10,000 sqms of leasable area and is set to generate 3,000 jobs, and the four-level Festive Walk, which will offer 12,000 sqms of office space and is expected to generate 4,000 jobs.
“This is mostly BPO. We are aggressively expanding our office inventory. We’ve seen a spike in office space take-up inside the Iloilo Business Park in the past three years. Thus, we expedited the construction of the first five towers and we have decided to build more to meet the demand,” Go said.
At present, IBP hosts around 15,000 workers in seven BPO companies which include StarTek, Transcom, Reed Elsevier, WNS and IQor, among others.
Megaworld is also set to open the Festive Walk Mall and Festive Walk Annex within IBP this year.
“Everything is moving up on completion in IBP because of high demand. There is a highly skilled, trainable pool of workforce in Iloilo, lower cost of living here, and there is reverse migration of Ilonggos in Manila going back to Iloilo,” Go said.
“We continue to see bright prospects in Iloilo’s BPO industry. Several companies, most of them are first-timers in Iloilo, want to come in and expand here,” Go said.
Megaworld is the property vehicle of businessman Andrew Tan through holding firm Alliance Global Group Inc (AGI). It currently has 27 residential and office towers under its belt, which include Greenbelt Hamilton in Legazpi Village as well as The Ellis, Three Central, Salcedo SkySuites and Paseo Heights in Salcedo Village.
Its notable townships include Eastwood City in Quezon City and McKinley Hill, McKinley West and Uptown Bonifacio.