MyTown on track to hit 6K bedspace target

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Local dormitory builder Philippine Urban Living Solutions Inc. (PULS) is looking to add another 3,000 bedspaces under its MyTown brand in the next 12 to 15 months in line with meeting its target of 6,000 bedspaces by 2018, officials of the company said.

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In an interview last Thursday, PULS founder and Chief Executive Officer Mark Arellano Koojiman told reporters that the company is still on track with reaching its 6,000-bedspace target by the end of 2018.

“We are just in the process of ordering 1,500 beds. So we’ll be probably by end of next year, maybe a little bit further, I think we’ll be close to 6,000,” Koojiman said.

At present, the MyTown brand has approximately 800 bedspaces, according to Koojiman, through its three dormitory projects located in the Fort Bonifacio area particularly MyTown Paris, MyTown London and MyTown New York.

Koojiman noted that the company still has 12 more parcels of land in the Fort Bonifacio area, from the 15 lots it acquired in 2012 when the firm was established.

Upon the establishment of the company in 2012, Koojiman said that he was able to raise around P400 million in capital from family and friends, which he used to acquire 15 lots and build the company’s first three projects.

In a separate interview, PULS Group Director and Executive Advisor Jelmer Ikink told reporters that the remaining 12 sites would be able to house about 3,000 more bedspaces.

“With those 12 sites, we are looking at roughly another 3,000 beds in the next 12 to 15 months,” Ikink said.

Koojiman said the firm would start launching the projects for the 12 remaining sites by the first or second quarter of next year.

“We start building all of them by Q1 or Q2 next year. Around that period. These buildings will be completed in different timelines,” Koojiman said.

Ikink said that the 12 sites are located in Fort Bonifacio because of the huge untapped market of business process outsourcing (BPO) employees working in Bonifacio Global City.

“It’s such a huge untapped market and the growth reports for The Fort continue to grow and grow, and there is still no credible party who really focuses on the demographic that we focus on,” Ikink said.

The MyTown brand caters to the worker’s market, particularly those who are earning about P20,000 a month and who cannot afford to rent or buy property in their area of work.

Aside from the remaining sites in its landbank, Koojiman noted that company is looking to acquire more land if it is able to raise more funds from investors.

“Also, next year we’re planning to buy more land, so maybe the next roll out phase, we’ll probably be close to 3,000 [bedspaces]by mid 2018. And with more fundraising we can buy more land. By end-2018, early 2019, we’ll be with 6,000 beds,” Koojiman said.

In line with acquiring more land, the CEO noted that the firm is looking to diversify its product line geographically by putting up projects in other business districts in Metro Manila.

“We’re planning to diversify geographically. Like I mentioned, first, we will look at going to multiple points in Makati CBD, then different points in Metro Manila, so Ortigas, Pasay and then Quezon City,” Koojiman explained.

Ikink echoed Koojiman’s sentiments as he noted that there is still an untapped market for worker’s housing in other areas of Metro Manila.

“We have large expansion plans after these 12 buildings, we’re looking at developing in other areas here in the Metro and potentially in other cities in the Philippines that have a high need for this as well,” Ikink said.

He added, “There’s massive urbanization happening at the moment so whether you go to Ortigas or to Manila, the MOA area or North EDSA or QC, Cebu, Davao. There are a lot of places that have pockets of workforce but there is no available accommodation in those areas.”

Moreover, Koojiman said, however, that the 6,000-bedspace target by end-2018 would still depend on whether the company would get enough funding.

“I mean we have a target, but in the end it always depends on funding,” Koojiman said.

The MyTown brand has recently gained interest from investors. Last April, the company announced that it received a $12.5 million investment from the Emerging Markets Group of global firm Templeton Asset Management Ltd.

More recently, the Sy-led SM Investments Corporation expressed its interest in investing into the dormitory builder as it plans to acquire a minority stake of the company.

MyTown is the rental brand of Philippines Urban Living Solutions, Inc., a leading owner, developer and manager of purpose-built young professional housing in the Philippines.

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