Real estate company ArthaLand expands to VisMin
[EDITOR'S NOTE: The following is a press release from ArthaLand]
CEBU CITY, Philippines – There are plans for a world class green office building fit for at least 51,000 square meters of high grade space to be built along Salinas Drive in Cebu City.
The property, which was acquired by real estate company, ArthaLand is located in the Cebu IT Park area. An area where multinational information technology and business process management (IT-BPM) offices operate, the company is eyeing players of the booming industry as its primary target market.
“We are bullish on the VisMin market given its fast paced growth in the past few years. We believe that Cebu, being a global hub in this part of the country, plays a major role in further lifting Central and Southern Philippines’ economy,” shares Angie de Villa-Lacson, ArthaLand’s President and CEO.
According to Lacson, “Further growth potential is there because of well-educated Visayans and sound business environment.”
“ArthaLand will be a strong partner in the growth of Visayas and Mindanao by bringing in our experience in building world class, boutique, and sustainable projects in Cebu,” she stresses.
A global BPO destination
ArthaLand’s foray into the Cebu market is largely driven by strong prospects in the city’s BPO sector.
Being the educational hub for the Visayas and Mindanao regions, Cebu has welcomed a number of large BPO companies like Accenture, Convergys, IBM, JP Morgan Chase, Teleperformance, and Teletech. The well-educated labor pool, paired with the generally lower cost of living, has made Cebu a prime location.
“Cebu has progressed into an alternative BPO location and is currently ranked 8th as a global outsourcing destination according to Tholons, a global services and investment advisory firm. The entry of BPO companies has transformed and paved the way for the growth of the office sector in Cebu,” shares Michael McCullough, managing director for KMC MAG, an international affiliate of Savills.
Cebu to grow further
According to McCullough, “The drive that foreign companies have to improve profitability through the reduction of operating costs has resulted to the influx of BPO investments in Cebu, and this has direct impact to the rising demand of office spaces here.”
He adds that although new and expanding BPO players in the area are still mostly focused on voice operations, there is also a significant number of other types of companies entering the city. These include ones involved with data encoding, transcribing, engineering and architectural design services, creative services, software development, and other IT-enabled services.
On his part, Colliers’ Julius Guevarra is also optimistic of the market. “From what I have seen, Cebu is still dominated by voice services. Higher value KPO services are also growing such as those involved in accounting, engineering, health care, and web design. Many operators that already have presence in Cebu are also expanding, highlighting the strength of this market as a BPO location.
Liveable and progressive city
For several years now, Cebu has been considered among the most progressive and livable cities in the Philippines. This has largely contributed to the city’s attractiveness to mostly multinational players.
“Apart from the deep labor pool and lower cost compared to Metro Manila, Cebu offers a more relaxed lifestyle. While Cebu has grown as a city that features many urban conveniences, it is also close to many natural attractions such as its popular beaches in Mactan. It offers a more balanced lifestyle compared to the hustle and bustle that one is used to in Metro Manila,” Guevarra explains.
He goes on to saying that the city’s diverse economy has also been doing well in the past years which includes the BPO, manufacturing, and tourism industries. These contribute to the increase in the regional GDP of Central Visayas which usually outperforms the national average.
“With this kind of economic activity coupled with a growing population, demand for traditional office occupiers has grown over the years, driving occupancy rates up in the central business districts of Cebu.”
Yves Luethi, Vice President for KMC MAG also raises that the government is focused on improving infrastructure in Cebu, including the upcoming world-class terminal in the Cebu-Mactan International Airport and the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) aimed at making the city more accessible for investors and visitors.
A focus on sustainability
ArthaLand’s entry into Cebu’s office market is expected to change the local landscape. With its experience in building Arya Residences and ArthaLand Century Pacific Tower, the country’s first and only top-end residential and office developments, the company is seen to take the lead in the greening of the local property sector in Cebu.
Both buildings are on target to achieve dual green building certification with both the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED and the Philippine Green Building Council’s BERDE. Green buildings are designed to operate efficiently, thus lowering resource consumption — a factor cost-conscious BPOs can take into consideration. — Rappler.com