Developer sees potential growth of green projects

Carlo Lorenciana (The Freeman) - May 11, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — JEG Development Corp. is seeing a rising potential of “green” development in Cebu’s property industry.

In an interview yesterday with the FREEMAN, Marko Sarmiento, the company's chief operating officer, said green developments aren't a standard yet in Cebu, but its real estate industry has so much potential in going green.

"I think Cebu is ready for it (green investment in real estate)," Sarmiento said as he also oversee the company's ongoing office project,  the JEG Tower @ One Acacia, dubbed as a green building.

Sarmiento noted only a few developers are venturing into green projects in Cebu but he sees the growing interest.

"It would be better if more developers do it. It would benefit the whole industry," the COO said.

While it's JDC's first foray into green development, Sarmiento said they hope to encourage other developers to push for a more sustainable approach to architecture and design.

JDC is currently among the developers building green projects in Cebu.

For one, Arthaland Corp. is also building its green office project, the Cebu Exchange, in Salinas Drive, Lahug, Cebu City.

JDC's JEG Tower, a Grade A office and retail building, has already been recognized by Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) with a pre-certified Silver rating.

Sarmiento said the 22-storey office building, located along Archbishop Reyes near the Cebu Business Park, is set to be completed by 2020.

The 1,700-square meter tower, which will soon house BPO companies and corporate offices, is designed to utilize less water, energy, and emit less greenhouse gases.

It will also have an enhanced interior space for maximum views and natural lighting to reduce energy costs.

The project is a collaboration among JDC One Acacia Corp., KMC Savills, Arcadis Philippines and Casas + Architects.

Meanwhile, Metro Cebu has breached the 1 million square meter mark in terms of leasable office space.

In 2018, Metro Cebu’s office stock reached 1,051,100 square meters (11.3 million square feet), 9% higher than the 970,000 square meters in 2017. About 82,500 square meters (887,700 square feet) of new office supply was delivered in 2018.

Among the new office towers are HM Tower, Pacific World Tower, Mabuhay Tower 1, and Tech Tower. About 67% of new supply was completed in the Cebu IT Park and 18% in Cebu Business Park. Developers continue to build office towers in the main business districts as spaces are easily absorbed by outsourcing firms.

However, the lack of developable land within the business districts has compelled developers to look for other locations such as Mactan and Mandaue, according to real estate consultant Colliers International in a recent report.

"While we expect Cebu IT Park and Cebu Business Park to account for 41% of new supply from 2019 to 2021, we also see major projects in Mandaue from 2019 to 2021 including Oakridge IT Center 3 and The Space," Colliers aid.

From 2019 to 2021, Colliers projects the completion of 453,700 square meters (4.9 million square feet) of new office supply, 62% higher than the annual average from 2016 to 2018.

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