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Special needs of BPO firms give rise to more business districts

(The Philippine Star) - May 24, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Now numbering 26 all over Metro Manila, business districts are likely to keep bourgeoning throughout the metropolis in the next few years, according to studies by global real estate services firm Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL).

JLL is the leading advisor to business process outsourcing (BPO) firms in the Philippines.

Lizanne Tan, JLL national director, explained that the urgency for BPOs to provide 24/7 service to their clients, combined with a need to be closer to highly populated areas where potential employees live, have resulted in the metro-wide growth of office developments integrated with retail and residential uses. Five new districts were added last year alone.

Just recently, Emerson Electric Asia, a diversified multinational in manufacturing and technology, leased 50 percent of SM Cyber West Avenue, an office development in Quezon City, as part of a strategy to have multiple locations in the Philippines.

Emerson Electric also has offices in Mandaluyong, in Makati and, by the end of 2014, in SM Cyber West Avenue, so that the sites have the ability to back up each other or to provide redundancy, should one experience an emergency.

Moreover, the 15-story SM Cyber West Avenue location with gross leasable area of 20,000 square meters developed by SM Land, the commercial property development arm of Sy-owned SM Investments Corp., will provide easy access to the MRT and the transport hub of SM City North EDSA via bridgeways.

Tan, whose firm provides consultancy services to property owners targeting multinational corporate offices and BPOs as tenants, explained that "this Quezon City location is easily accessible to the rich labor pools of Caloocan and Bulacan.

“Bulacan, in particular, has a big working age group of close to two million. Accessibility to the homes of their employees matter a lot to BPOs, particularly now that more BPOs are competing for the same talents,” she added.

As a developer of office spaces, SM Land has captured a substantial share of the BPO business by offering these firms strategic locations. It has two developments in the Mall of Asia Center (MOAC) in Manila within the reach of the labor pools of Manila, Cavite, Las Pinas and Paranaque. Following the success of the two E-com Centers in MOAC, ground was recently broken on a third building to be completed in 2015.  It also has BPO-ready developments in Makati and Baguio. Most of the projects further have access to SM retail and mall developments that service the transport and retail needs of employees.

JLL studies made early this year forecast sustained demand for Metro Manila office space up to 2016, driven largely by BPOs as well as companies doing business in the Philippines and are expanding. This means that new developments will continue to come onstream throughout the metropolis in locations attractive to BPO and other employees, said Tan.

CALOOCAN AND BULACAN CITY NORTH CYBER WEST AVENUE EMERSON ELECTRIC EMERSON ELECTRIC ASIA INVESTMENTS CORP JONES LANG LAS PINAS AND PARANAQUE LIZANNE TAN METRO MANILA QUEZON CITY
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