By Nestor P. Burgos Jr. Inquirer Visayas Bureau ILOILO CITY--Megaworld Corp. will pour an initial investment of P1.5 billion into its newly acquired 54-hectare property, where the old Iloilo airport used to stand. Megaworld, which acquired the property in Mandurriao District for P1.2 billion, plans to build a business park here. "This is our first major investment outside of Manila," said Kingson Sian of Megaworld Corp. during Friday's turnover ceremony at the Sarabia Manor Hotel and Convention Center. "This shows how much we are bullish and committed to Iloilo." Sian said the Iloilo site comprised half the land area of Megaworld's other properties. Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas said Megaworld's project is the single biggest investment in Iloilo City. "This is a historic turnover," said Treñas. "We will build a new city within a city." Megaworld is known for developing high-end properties including residential and commercial projects. Among its biggest projects are the Empire East Land Holdings Inc. and Empire East Properties Inc. It was the only firm among prospective buyers that submitted a bid that met the P1.2-billion minimum price set by the government for the property. Robinson's Lands had submitted a bid of P1.09 billion; Empire East, P701 million and SM Prime, P435.79 million. Megaworld plans to put up residential units; a hotel and convention center; commercial and retail stores; recreation centers and skills development facilities. Sian said they are optimistic that Iloilo would become among the world's top business process outsourcing centers. Employment in call centers are expected to increase from the 200,000 workers in 2006 to a million by 2010, said Sian. Key to the investment is the manpower supply that is expected to be fulfilled by the many colleges and universities in the city. Finance Secretary Margarito Teves, who attended the turnover rites, said the Megaworld investment "shows that there is a lot of potential in Iloilo."
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By Charles E. Buban Inquirer MANILA, Philippines--One look at McKinley Hill’s vicinity map and you could readily tell how huge -- as well as ambitious -- this latest development from Megaworld Corp. is. This 50-hectare community that will soon rise south of the Bonifacio Global City integrates four components: residential, commercial, office and institutional. “Once completed, McKinley Hill will not only enhance the market value of the property around it but also transform Taguig City landscape, as it will feature high-end neighborhood, top-earning business establishments, highly rated entertainment, shopping and dining destinations,” said Jericho Go, first vice president of Megaworld. Go added that McKinley Hill, which will be completed in five to seven years will be a city within a city, self-sustaining community and virtually independent. Fast taking shape “The P33-billion McKinley Hill is fast taking shape, particularly its residential components. In fact, the McKinley Hill Village, the biggest residential component of the development is almost sold out,” Go reported. Launched in 2004, the McKinley Hill Village offers 482 prime lots and amenities that promise to rival its adjacent neighborhood -- Forbes Park and Dasmariñas. “McKinley Hill Village has premium residential lots that give a sense of space that one has always wanted for a dream home. In fact, we have given our homebuyers option to design their dream home based on eight architectural themes created by some of the country’s renowned architects,” Go shared. Other residential dev’ts Aside from the McKinley Hill Village, there are also other residential developments like the McKinley Hill Garden Villas, two 5-story mid-rise residential clusters featuring Spanish-Mediterranean architecture; Stamford Executive Residences, three high-rise (18-stories) luxury towers adjacent to McKinley Hill CyberPark; and the McKinley Hill Tuscany Private Estate, a gated community of medium-rise garden villas geared toward the upper market. While Megaworld will spend P18 billion to develop these residential components, it will also spend P3 billion to develop the commercial components, particularly The Venetian, a new mall which recreates the historic architecture and canals of Venice in Italy. Go explained that since McKinley is a self-sustaining community, its residents don’t really have to go out of the community to enjoy the finest things in life saying that everything they need is a few minutes’ walk or ride away. Attract professionals These new developments also hope to attract the professionals who will soon work for the emerging business and commercial districts within McKinley Hill. This is because the 14-hectare McKinley Hill Cyberpark will host several third-generation business process outsourcing (BPO) office buildings. In fact, Megaworld has just finished construction of the first BPO building inside McKinley Hill, the One World Square, which boasts 30,000 square meters of office space. The company allotted P2 billion to speed up the construction of the second two-tower, 15-story building (called Two World Square), which is expected to be completed by September 2008. All in all, Megaworld is set to invest P12 billion over the next few years even committing to construct two BPO buildings a year up to 2014.