Ortigas spruces up Greenhills with P60B upgrade
Launches new tower, the ‘Connor’
MORE than two years after the Ayala, Sy and Ortigas groups banded together to manage land-rich Ortigas & Co., this upscale property developer is now deep into the redevelopment of existing and new mixed-use projects, further pushing the envelope to creatively use its 52-hectare land bank.
Fierce competitors in the areas of banking and real estate, the Sy and Ayala groups have proven they can work together following a decision to develop the Ortigas family’s property company in 2014.
“Now on its third year, we’ve seen that the partnership works,” declared Jaime E. Ysmael, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Ortigas & Co. in a press briefing this week. ,”When we first came in, the leadership team started implementing our masterplan to unleash the full potential of the firm’s assets by expanding out retail and residential spaces.
Ysmael acknowledged that the company “tweaked the masterplan a bit over the last two years”, but the business template remains: continue to develop current projects while redeveloping existing ones in line with strengthening its retail, residential and office building strategies.
Focus on townships
Township communities, Ysmael said, offer a better value proposition for developers like Ortigas.
“Gone are the days when the Filipino dream was to own a house in the suburbs and commute to work in the city,” he said. “Condominium-living is becoming more acceptable, and this is fuelling a housing boom, as well as a change in lifestyle where people want to live, work and play in the same mixed-use township. We want to take advantage of this trend: this drives our growing portfolio.”
Ysmael did acknowledge that competition among local developers to build such townships is keen. But he expressed confidence that Ortigas’ deliberate masterplan to distinguish their projects from others by creatively allocating land for education, healthcare, entertainment, and recreational uses; intensify efforts in terms of strategic land banking; redevelop properties, and build flexible office spaces to accommodate BPO occupants, “would see them through.”
Ysmael said that Greenhills Shopping Center is currently undergoing a multi-phase redevelopment.
“The redevelopment, costing some P60 billion, will see the largely retail-based center mixed with residential, office, and hotel spaces,” he said.
On the retail front, “a bigger, refurbished Unimart will open to shoppers soon, and a two-level interconnected basement parking will link the whole development, providing even more parking options to shoppers.”
Ysmael revealed that on the heels of this redevelopment plan will be the launching of a new residential tower, the Connor.
The 55-storey tower to rise on the intersection of Club Filipino Avenue and Eisenhower Street is envisioned to inject a fresh take on the iconic estate, which is now being transformed into a complete shop-work-play-live destination.
Thomas Mirasol, senior vice president and chief operating officer of Ortigas & Co., said Connor is is targeted to break ground in the last quarter of 2017.
The captain of the company’s residential and mixed-use developments, namely Circulo Verde, Frontera Verde, Capitol Commons, Greenhills Shopping Centre and select projects within the Ortigas Central Business District, told reporters that Connor is their second foray in the vertical residential development in Greenhills. The first was the the Viridian, the 53-storey residential condominium at the heart of Greenhills, which opened late last year
“Connor is going to be our next focal project in Greenhills,” he said. “We are tapping into the market of second generation Greenhills residents and other Metro Manila residents who are looking for an investment or a home that is centrally located within the city as well as situated in a mixed-use setting.”
‘Tiangge’ to stay
Mirasol added Ortigas & Company will beef up the Greenhills redevelopment with the construction of a new mall.
The project will have another ‘tiangge’, or bazaar, to add to the existing one. A department store will also be put up to augment Greenhills’ retail strengths, along with a new boulevard and cinemas.
“We are looking to add more office buildings and residential towers for the redevelopment’s upcoming phases,” he said.
Several developments are likewise underway in the 10-hectare Capitol Commons project, such as the expansion of the shopping mall component, Estancia, through the addition of cinemas and office spaces, making the property a “complete lifestyle community.”“Capitol Commons has started to actually become an ‘in’ place and we are reaping the benefits of that through continued sales we actually get from three existing projects: Royalton, Imperium and Maven. We will have a couple more residential towers that we will develop on that space,” Ysmael said.
“These will enrich the company’s available gross leasable area for office spaces with four projected buildings, with the Frontera Verde development targeted to cater to a number of office locators,” Ysmael said.
“The continuously growing number of information technology-business process management (IT-BPM) locators in the country is pushing Ortigas to further shape Frontera Verde as a choice location for IT-BPM operations in the Ortigas-Pasig area,” he explained.
Frontera Verde, an 18.5-ha project in Pasig City, is already home to several BPO companies, with Tiendesitas, owned and managed by Ortigas, as its anchor locator.
“We will tweak the model a little bit to make it a destination place,” Ysmael said.
The company has certain parcels of land in the Ortigas business district, as well as reversal rights to a portion of Camp Crame and Camp Aguinaldo, along the country’s busiest highway EDSA.
The Ortigas chief cautioned, however, that all these developments and re-developments will take a while as new projects need to be in synergy with existing ones. “We want to cause as minimal disruption as possible. But in the end, it will all be worth it,” he promised.