OFFICIALS of local holding firm Century Properties Group Inc. (CGP) and Japanese conglomerate Mitsubishi Corp. have turned the sod for the construction of their $100-million joint project, the world’s first 35-story Forbes Media Tower.
To rise at Century City in Makati’s central business district, the project, CPG said in a statement, would “is designed to serve the world’s business leaders with premium spaces to conduct business.”
In September, CPG, through its subsidiary Century City Development Corporation (CCDC), inked a deal with Mitsubishi to build in the Philippines the world’s first-ever Forbes Media Tower.
Under the agreement, both parties will develop, lease out, and maintain the tower through joint-venture firm Century City Development II Corp., where CCDC and Mitsubishi respectively have 60-40 stakes.
Funding for the P4.5-billion project will come from a $51-million (P2.3 billion) equity from the joint venture and a 10-year $49-million (P2.2 billion) senior loan from the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI).
Century Properties Chief Operating Officer Marco Antonio said the tower aims to cater to the country’s robust Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) market.
“The Forbes Media Tower aims to become an address of choice for both multinational as well as leading BPO corporations looking to participate in the booming BPO sector, which generated $21 billion and now employs 1.3 million people, serving as a key growth catalyst and will continue as a growth driver of business in the foreseeable future,” Antonio said.
Mitsubishi General Manager for Manila Yoshio Amano said the Forbes Media Tower development is a challenge in bringing in new town concepts in the Makati property market, since the city has become rather crowded.
“The demand for business space in Makati will always be present, and it is an important challenge to create a new town concept in order to accommodate a very crowded old area,” Amano said. “Tokyo is continually facing such a challenge, and Makati now started this stage with limited land available for development. It is our honor to join this development with Century Properties Group.”
Meanwhile, Forbes Media Chief Operating Officer Mike Federle said the project is an important milestone for the company, as it extends its brand into the real estate market.
“This is a historic and groundbreaking moment for Forbes, as we extend our brand into the global real estate development market,” Federle said. “Forbes has always been an authoritative resource for the world’s business leaders, and this tower further reinforces our long-standing mission.”
Federle said the Philippines, with its rapidly growing market, is the perfect location to launch the world’s first Forbes-branded building.
The Forbes Media Tower will have about 95,000 square meters of total gross floor area, and is set for completion in 2019.
It will be Mitsubishi’s first office project in the Philippines.
The Japanese conglomerate has real estate projects in Japan, North America, China, and Southeast Asia, including retail properties, townships, condominiums, and industrial parks.
Among the Century Properties executives present in the groundbreaking rite were: Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jose E.B. Antonio, COO Marco Antonio, Managing Director Robbie Antonio, and Director and Head of Construction Ricardo Cuerva.
From Mitsubishi management were: Takuya Kuga, Division COO for IFLD; Masahiro Nagaoka, Deputy General Manager for Mitsubishi Corporation Manila Branch; Kiyoto Asari, Manager of Asean Team; Yoshio Amano, Real Estate Development & Construction Division General Manager for Manila; Dennis Macalisang, Senior Assistant Manager for Industrial Finance Logistics & Development Division; and Jade Ilagan Jr., Accounting Officer.