Megaworld programs P35B for 2 new Bacolod townships

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Megaworld Corp., the property vehicle of tycoon Andrew Tan, has programmed P35 billion for two new Bacolod townships in the next 10 years, in line with the company’s aim to increase its townships to 20 from the current 15.

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In a statement, the company said the two townships — 34-hectare (ha) The Upper East in the eastern part of Bacolod, Negros Occidental and the 50-ha Northhill in the northern part — will be linked to each other via the Circumferential Road and will feature the company’s well-known “Live-Work-Play” concept.

The Upper East and Northhill townships in Bacolod, are two of the five townships to be launched within the year — two in Luzon, two in Visayas, and one in Mindanao. The five townships total 400 ha, raising Megaworld’s total township development to 3,100 ha from 2,700 ha.

About 80 percent of the 3,100 ha are mixed-use communities with combined residential, office and retail components.

The first township, The Upper East, is positioned as the next commercial and business process outsourcing (BPO) hub of Bacolod, and will comprise residential condominiums, malls and commercial centers, BPO office tower and leisure facilities, parks and open spaces.

“Finally, the people of Bacolod and Negros will be able to experience what we have offered in Eastwood City, Newport City and McKinley Hill. We are very excited to bring our pioneering Live-Work-Play concept to the City of Smiles. We will build The Upper East with a vision of making it as Bacolod’s new central business district,” Megaworld Senior Vice President Jericho P. Go was quoted as saying.

For the north side, Megaworld — in joint development with subsidiary Suntrust Properties Inc. — will transform the 50-ha former sugar cane fields into Northhill. The township is situated along the Circumferential Road on the boundary of Talisay City and Bacolod City, near the new Bacolod-Silay Airport.

Northhill will include upscale residential villages, mixed-use office and retail buildings, leisure and recreational amenities, as well as institutional facilities.

“Just as what we have done with our other developments, we will transform the sugarcane fields into a bustling new district. Within five to ten years, we envision this area to be the most sought-after business and lifestyle address for Negrenses,” adds Go.

Once the projects get under way, the two townships will generate an estimated 250,000 direct and indirect jobs in the business process outsourcing sector, construction, transportation, commercial and retail businesses.

“We are still finalizing the master plans of the two townships. But one thing for sure, we will be able to provide thousands of jobs to the people of Negros once these two developments are completed,” Go said.

The increase of townships from 15 to 20 will also boost Megaworld’s township population by 150 percent to at least 1 million — comprising of 600,000 residents and 400,000 BPO and office workers, the company said.

Earlier, Megaworld Chairman Andrew Tan announced that the firm will build more than 20 malls in its 20 townships in the next five to eight years, which will amount to 600,000 to 700,000 square meters of gross leasing area (GLA).

Megaworld is currently implementing its five-year (2014 to 2019) P230 billion capital spending program to build new communities and townships.

Last year, Megaworld launched five townships totaling 1,000 ha of land, including the 12.3-ha Woodside City in Pasig City; the 561-ha Southwoods City on the boundary of Cavite and Laguna; the 11-ha Davao Park District in Lanang, Davao City; the 62-ha Alabang West in Las Pinas City; and the 350-ha Suntrust Ecotown in Tanza, Cavite.

The company’s notable townships include Eastwood City in Quezon City, McKinley Hill, McKinley West, and Uptown Bonifacio.

Megaworld holds the property businesses of magnate Andrew Tan, consisting of a 100-percent stake in Suntrust Properties Inc., 74.96 percent in Global Estate Resorts Inc., 82 percent in Empire East Land Holdings Inc., and 30 other subsidiaries.

Megaworld is a unit of conglomerate Alliance Global Group Inc., which also owns and operates Emperador Inc., McDonalds local franchisee Golden Archers Development Corp., and Resorts World Manila operator Travellers International Hotel Group Inc.

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