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Freeman Cebu Business

Property sector to benefit from admin’s infra thrust

Carlo S. Lorenciana - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines – Colliers International Philippines foresees vast opportunities in Cebu's property sector moving forward amid the current administration's thrust for infrastructure buildup and growth decentralization.

Joey Bondoc, research manager at the property consulting firm, said this should entice more outsourcing, offshore gambling, and traditional companies to set up shop or expand operations.

"We believe that the vibrant office market in Cebu offers opportunities to both landlords and tenants," he said.

He cited the plan of the Cebu City government to develop a Call Centre City at the South Road properties, which is a 300-hectare island-type reclamation area.

Based on the local officials' initial pronouncements, the development will house office buildings, residential towers, dormitories and training centres that will cater to BPO companies and their employees.

"Other project details will be announced soon but at this stage, we encourage developers and tenants to look at business opportunities within the area," Bondoc said.

He said Colliers also encourages developers to construct office spaces that could accommodate non-outsourcing and traditional businesses that require smaller space.

"Developers should be more flexible and keep in mind that the expansion of the Cebu economy drives the growth of traditional firms such as those involved in engineering and logistics that occupy smaller office space. This is particularly important for office towers that will be built around the uptown or downtown area which remains as the preferred location of traditional and non-BPO businesses," he explained.

Likewise, Colliers also projects a rapid expansion of these segments over the next 12 to 24 months particularly in light of the plan to transfer international port operations to Consolacion.

"This is part of the government's plan to decongest the current port area. A more robust logistics segment translates into greater absorption of office space," he said.

Moreover, Bondoc believes the Mactan area is becoming a preferred location of offshore gambling firms.

"Hence, we encourage developers in the area to carefully assess the needs of these firms to entice more potential locators. As a start, developers should construct buildings with large floor plates and residential complement," he added.

He said they also see a rising demand for co-working spaces.

Metro Cebu is part of Central Visayas which is considered a hotspot for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

"The continued growth of MSMEs and start-ups should fuel demand for flexible workspace. Given this trend and the worsening traffic in Cebu, we encourage developers to carve out more flexible office space especially in malls," the research analyst pointed out.

PROPERTY SECTOR

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