THE SM Group has allotted more than P10 billion to develop six E-Com Center buildings at the 67-hectare SM Mall of Asia (MOA) Complex in response to growing demand for office space in the area.
David Rafael, senior vice president of SM Prime Holdings Inc.’s Commercial Properties Group (CPG), told reporters at the ground breaking of Three E-com Center on Friday that the number of E-com buildings was expanded to six from the previous three towers on strong demand for office buildings in the complex.
“We have accelerated because the demand from the [business process outsourcing]industry is very strong, as well as the shipping and logistics companies in the area. Even the low-rise buildings in the area will also be redeveloped into high-rise buildings,” Rafael said.
Besides the six E-com buildings, SM Prime CPG also has smaller cyberzone buildings and a 10-hectare land area will be dedicated for commercial office development.
“Most shipping companies in Manila are looking for office space within the [MOA] complex.
They are looking for office areas, still in the bay area, but in a better location. We find very strong interest in these towers,” Rafael said.
The P10 billion project cost will be distributed as follows: One E-com Center (P1.8 billion);
Two E-com Center (P2.5 billion); Three E-com Center (P3.2 billion); and Five E-com Center (P3 billion). The cost and plan for the Four- and Six E-com Center buildings are still to be determined.
SM Prime CPG broke ground on the two-tower, 11-story Three E-com Center on Friday, which will be completed in 2017.
Rafael said Three E-com Center is seen to generate P1 billion in gross rental revenues annually, while Five E-com Center is expected to contribute P600-700 million in rental revenues per annum.
The buildings are designed by US-based architectural firm Arquitectonica, which integrated high-end lifestyle floors called The Prism Plaza and parking podiums for both towers.
Three E-com Center is the fourth building under the E-com brand. One and Two E-com Centers are currently operational, Five E-com Center is being constructed and will open in April next year, and Four E-com Center will break ground “later next year”. No further details were given for Six E-Com Center.
Rafael said the six buildings under the E-com brand will have an estimated gross floor area (GFA) of 660,000 square meters (sqm), with each tower having GFA of 110,000 sqm.
He said that 30-35 percent of the 67-hectare MOA Complex is yet to be developed, including the 10-hectare corporate block “earmarked for future office developments.”
SM Prime CPG is a division of SM Prime which is involved in the development of commercial projects.
SM Prime has a five-year plan that aims to double its 2013 net income and revenue with a capital expenditure of P400 billion. It also plans to double its existing malls, offices, hotels and other leisure-related developments by December 2018.
As of end-June, SM Prime had already used some 25-30 percent of the P60.9-billion capex allotted for this year.
SM Prime, a property subsidiary of listed conglomerate SM Investments Corp. (SMIC), grew its first half net income to P9.8 billion from P8.8 billion in 2013.
Besides SM Prime, SMIC also has interests in banking (BDO Unibank Inc.) and retail (SM Retail Inc.), and has affiliates in casino and entertainment segments (Belle Corp. and Premium Leisure Corp).