Megawide Construction Corp. dropped a plan to develop a casino adjacent to the Mactan-Cebu International Airport.
Megawide chief corporate affairs and branding officer Manuel Louie Ferrer said in a recent interview that while the company would no longer pursue the casino project, it would still push through with the construction of three hotels near the airport complex.
Ferrer said the company was, in fact, set to start building the first hotel before the end of the year.
The 350-room hotel, which will be operational over the next two years, will be managed by an international hotel operator.
“We will soon sign an agreement with an international hotel operator to manage the hotel,” Ferrer said.
“There is a huge demand for hotel development in Cebu as well as for MICE [meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions] particularly in Mactan,” he said.
Ferrer said that for the development of the second hotel, Megawide was planning to tap an Asian hotel operator. He said the third hotel would be a local brand of the Megawide group.
The three hotels, once completed, will have combined 1,000 rooms.
Megawide was previously in talks with Davao-based businessman Dennis Uy to develop a four-hectare property adjacent to MCIA into a mixed-use real estate project with hotel and gaming components. The plan, however, did not push through.
Uy, through Udenna Corp., is already building a $300-million integrated resort and casino on Punto Engaño Peninsula in Mactan Island.
Megawide in partnership with GMR Infrastructure of India operates MCIA Terminal 2 which opened in July 2018. The new terminal increased the airport’s capacity by 4.5 million to 12.5 million passengers annually. It also has 6,000 square meters of gross leasable area for retailers.
Megawide expects net income to be flat in 2019 because of the full-year deprecation of MCIA and higher interest expense recognition.
The group’s construction business is expected to recover after a weak performance in 2018 as it is set to book P20 billion worth of new projects this year. These are mostly residential, office and infrastructure projects.
The group’s land port business, through Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange, is also expected to deliver positive results in terms of leasing revenues.
PITX will have four office towers covering 72,000 sqm of GLA and 12,000 sqm of retail and commercial spaces.