• RLC to launch P16-B residential projects

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    ROBINSONS Land Corp. (RLC) is planning to launch P16-billion worth of residential projects this year, just about the firm’s announced 2016 capital expenditure budget, up from its P15 billion spending last year.

    “For the residential, we remain conservative but cognizant of the strong demand,” RLC President and Chief Operating Officer Frederick Go said during the firm’s Wednesday stockholders’ meeting. “We’ve consolidated existing inventory last year, and we are prepared to launch as much as P16-billion worth of residential projects across all brand segments this year.”

    By “conservative,” Go said he meant that the firm is constantly evaluating the market to determine the right time to launch residential projects.

    On the sidelines of the stockholders’ meeting, Go told reporters that the P16-billion worth of residential projects are not a fixed plan, as it would still depend on the market’s condition.

    “What we said is that we have enough projects in the pipeline to launch about P15-[billion]to P16-billion worth of projects,” he stressed. “It doesn’t mean that we will launch all P15 [billion]to P16 billion. We have to evaluate these projects, evaluate the market before we actually launch all those projects.”

    Of the possible residential launches this year, Go said the firm is most excited about its Westin Residences project, a 50-story residential tower to be located in the Ortigas Center.
    Go said this project would comprise the bulk of the P16- billion budget, as it will account for around P6 billion.

    According to Go, his retail tycoon Uncle John Gokongwei’s firm remains “cautiously optimistic” about the residential market.

    “We’ve always been on the conservative side,” Go said. “We’re still cautiously optimistic. So, we’re still on the conservative side for residential. But this year, we’re very excited because we have a lot of projects that we can launch, including the Westin Residences.”

    Go said RLC remains bullish on all segments of its real estate business—including malls, office, and hotels.

    “We’re bullish about everything,” he said. “We’re expanding all our businesses. We participate in four, we’re bullish about all four.”

    Under the commercial segment, Go said RLC is set to build four new malls in the next three to four months, particularly, in General Trias, Cavite; Tagum, Davao; and Jaro, Iloilo.

    Expansion of the firm’s mall in San Nicholas, Ilocos Norte is also in order, according to him.

    Go said RLC targets to have around 53 to 57 malls by 2019.

    “We build three to four a year, we have 41 now, so by 2019, we should have roughly 53 to 57 malls,” Go said.

    For the office sector, Go said the firm does not have a specific target in terms of number of developments.

    “For office, we don’t have a yearly target,” he said. “But right now, we are constructing four office buildings apart from the office space that we are providing in some of our malls like Galleria Cebu and Robinsons Place San Nicholas Illocos Norte. We have pockets of BPO (business process outsourcing) developments there. We also have another pocket BPO development in Robinsons Naga”

    Meanwhile, RLC expects to grow its hotel portfolio by eight percent this year, as it is set to open Go Hotels Davao.

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