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Megaworld, Empire East to build P20-billion township in Cainta, Rizal

MANILA, Philippines – Property giant Megaworld Corporation will be building a township in Cainta, Rizal, its 24th overall and its first venture with its subsidiary Empire East Land Holdings, Incorporated.

Megaworld executive vice president and chief strategy officer Kevin Tan said in a press briefing on Monday, March 11, that they decided to set up the Empire East Highland City township along F. Felix Avenue in Cainta due to high demand.

The company is expecting to develop 38 residential towers in the 24-hectare township.

"[W]e saw that there is still a big demand for residential [projects] from this area.... But most of the properties in this area have been developed already for horizontal developments. So with the lack of land, there's no other way [to go but vertical]," said Tan.

He added that setting up vertical residential properties instead of horizontal developments can help decongest Metro Manila in the near future.

Accessibility to mass transportation systems has also become a top consideration for Megaworld.

"We're quite confident on that front because there are a few infrastructure projects being built [like the] LRT2 extension that will have a station, maybe a kilometer away from the development," Tan said. (READ: LRT2 East, West extension projects to be completed in 2019)

"So while we expand the number of residential units we have there, there's also plans from the government to expand the accessibility of the infrastructure. It goes hand and hand with that."

Empire East Highland City is close to Marcos Highway and the Cainta Junction. There will also be 4-lane and 6-lane roads inside the planned township.

Both Megaworld and Empire East are expected to spend P20 billion in the next 10 years for the development of Highland City, which will begin in the 2nd quarter of the year.

But Tan said it is too early to say how much capacity the township can hold.

"Each tower, depending on demand, we will change, we will revise the number of units per tower, but you're looking at 300 to 500 units per tower, rough[ly]. But that will really depend on how demand is," he added. 

"For example, there will be more demand for smaller units, so obviously we will be building more smaller units. We will only know that when we launch the first two towers – that will then affect the planning for the succeeding towers."

Under the partnership, Megaworld will be in charge of the master plan and the zoning of the mixed-use lots, retail spaces, and residential areas, while Empire East will be focusing on the residential portion.

Around 40% of the development will be green spaces, while another 40% will be for residential use. The remaining 20% will be allotted for mixed-use projects. 

The township's 58,000-square-meter (sqm) Highland Mall, which is slated to be completed in the first phase of the development, will serve as the centerpiece. A park, spanning 8,000 sqm, will include retail areas and a 500-seater church.

Megaworld is eyeing to have 30 townships in the near future. It is also targeting P20 billion in rental revenue by 2020. – Rappler.com