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Citynet offers competitive rental rates in the heart of Mandaluyong City

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URBAN-living couldn’t be more exciting than when you can just walk or drive for a few minutes from your home to nearby places of work and of worship, schools, theaters, banks, beauty salons, public- and social-services offices, mass-transit stations, hotels, supermarkets and convenience stores, and malls. This provides denizens an ideal work-life balance, giving them ample room for socialization and relaxation, healthful activities like sports and both indoor and outdoor exercises, and becoming a part of a vibrant cultural scene.

Such is the barangay (village) of Highway Hills, in Mandaluyong City, where entertainment, lifestyle, shopping, residential, financial, and office centers have mushroomed in its Greenfield District over the past few years. Not only has it become another haven for the O&O, or outsourcing and offshoring, sector in Metro Manila but also a model for mixed-use development, which is fast-becoming a favorite dwelling center among young professionals and families. The district also has ample parking space, is very accessible to public transport, and a walking distance to the stations of MRT, or mass railway transit, along the main thoroughfare of EDSA, or Epifanio delos Santos Ave. And so the city is poised to become one of Metro Manila’s business districts and business hubs, according to an official of Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL).

An American real-estate investment management company, JLL says in its “Office Market Overview” for April that demand for office space in Mandaluyong was lower based on the second half of last year, as compared to 7 percent in nearby Pasig City’s Ortigas Center, 12 percent in Quezon City, 14 percent in Alabang—a barangay in Muntinlupa City—21 percent in Makati City, and 45 percent in Bonifacio Global City (BGC), a financial district in Taguig City. “This may sound a measly share, but this also means there’s so much room for those looking for office space to rent in the city,” says the Manila-based Sheila Lobien, regional director at JLL.

To help business organizations in their office-hunting, Cityland has made available a total of 37,800 square meters of space at Citynet Central, a 22-storey (with one basement) development equipped to handle the needs of premier companies engaged in BPO, or business process outsourcing. Around 1,600 square meters from the total gross leasable area are for retail tenants at the ground floor. The office floors have a high efficiency at 90%, allowing more number of employees to be accommodated for every square meter of office space. Built by one of the frontrunners in residential-building developments, Cityland Group of Companies, Citynet is located on Brgy. Highway Hills’ Sultan Street near the Greenfield District. It is 50 meters away from Shaw Boulevard MRT Station and also close to the St. Francis Square Mall, on Mandaluyong’s Julia Vargas Ave., just at the back of SM Megamall, and even to Ortigas Center, in Pasig City. The latter is also home to the business hubs of Frontera Verde, Woodside City, and Capitol Commons. Moreover, the location of the building being at the heart of Mandaluyong, it is the linkage to Makati, Pasig and Quezon City.

Lobien says she has so much faith in the bankability of Mandaluyong as a rising business hub, citing competitive rental rates and its being highly urbanized, with a population of 386,276 (2015 census) and a density of 35,000 per square kilometer, and its strategic location. It is bordered by Manila to the west, San Juan and Quezon City to the northeast, Pasig to the east, and Makati to the south. The city also hosts such notable institutions as the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the headquarters of Banco de Oro, and San Miguel Corp., as well as the shopping mall Shangri-La Plaza, a stone’s throw from SM Megamall.

Rental rate at Citynet Central, Lobien reveals, is P700 per sq. m., much lower than the P1,200 – P1,500 average range at the central business district (CBD) of Makati (prime) and the P950 – P1,200 (Makati Grade A). The lowest average-range of office rental rates among Metro Manila’s business districts and hubs are in Alabang at P500 – P600 per sq. m., followed by the Bay City, a reclamation area on Manila Bay located west of Roxas Blvd. and the Manila-Cavite Expressway, at P500 – P700 per sq. m.

It is still the BPO sector that drives demand for office space across Metro Manila’s business hubs, the JLL overview says, eating up 46 percent while the rest is divided among the IT and banking and finance at 12 percent each; advertising, marketing, and media at 7 percent; gaming, 5 percent; R&D, 3 percent; serviced office, clinical-management services, consulting, and insurance at 2 percent each; and others, 7 percent.

“And this is mainly the reason why we are upbeat on Mandaluyong’s office property market.,” Lobien says. “Coupled with JLL’s access to best practices in the global market, its exposure to complex transactions, and in-depth knowledge of the real-estate market, we are confident that we will do well in this part of the metropolis.”

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