Cebu property firm to build second condo tower

THE PROPERTY unit of the Aboitiz group of companies plans to launch the second tower of its residential project in Cebu this month.

The group’s top executive also bared plans to construct a mini-mall to serve residents there.

Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc. president Erramon I. Aboitiz told reporters last week the first tower of unit Aboitizland, Inc.’s Persimmon project had been "well-received."

"The first tower is over 80% sold. We are going to launch [the second tower] this month, and we have already started selling. Hopefully, [we could] start construction soon," he said.

Mr. Aboitiz said the planned shopping mall is "tied into the development."

The project’s Web site said the commercial area, called Persimmon Plus, will have shopping, dining, and entertainment venues, as well as health services and automated teller machines.

"The idea is to eventually have four buildings, and then the mini-mall. [After building] the second one [and] assuming there’s more interest, [we] will build the others," he said.

The contemporary Asian-themed Persimmon is being built on a 1.4-hectare property, divided into a commercial area and four 15-storey residential towers covering 8,000 square meters.

The "urban village" project, which started in July 2008, was estimated to cost P3.7 billion.

Each tower will have 157 units. Floor areas range from 24 square meters (sq. m.) for a studio unit and up to as 100 sq. m. for a three-bedroom loft unit. The loft units cost P81,000 per sq. m.

Mr. Aboitiz said the Cebu City-based Aboitizland and a Japanese partner still have up to 800 hectares of undeveloped property in Cebu province.

Aboitizland wants to focus on its Cebu properties first before looking for other land, the head of the Aboitiz family’s listed holding firm said.

"We’d like to develop that first [into a] combination of residential condos and also houses and lots. A big part of our business is selling houses and lots. That seems to be the trend now, people just want to move in," Mr. Aboitiz said. The company will finance such projects through preselling, bank loans, and equity, he said.

Aboitizland’s other residential projects include the Kishanta and the Kishanta Zen Residences in Talisay; Molave Highlands in Consolacion; and the Pristina North in Talamban.

Aboitizland had said it would spend P2 billion for its projects next year.

Mr. Aboitiz also said the conglomerate’s property unit is also aiming to lease more office space to outsourcing companies.

Aboitizland recently signed a lease deal with a business process outsourcing (BPO) company, he said, without going into details.

"Things worldwide have slowed down a bit and growth is not as much as before so there is fair amount of office BPO space available and coming up even here in Manila ... But the thing with BPO is lots of people want to go to Cebu," he said. — DGKC

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