'2015 is the year of townships'

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 21 2015 12:55 PM | Updated as of Mar 22 2015 10:34 AM

MANILA – Township projects will continue to be a real estate trend across the country this year, with several projects being established even outside Metro Manila.

Michael McCullough, managing director at real estate services provider KMC MAG Group, said major developers such as Megaworld, SM and Ayala are continuing to focus on township projects.

Megaworld Corp. has invested more than P100 billion for its high-end project McKinley West and Uptown Bonifacio in Taguig.

Uptown Bonifacio in Taguig. Photo from Megaworld Facebook page

The Andrew Tan-led firm is also investing P35 billion over the next 10 years to build two townships in Negros Occidental.

It also has townships in Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Cebu, Iloilo and Davao. Two more townships in Luzon and one in Mindanao are expected to be launched within the year.

Megaworld, Filinvest, and Ayala also have township projects in Cebu.

SM Development Corporation, meanwhile, is looking into reclaiming more land and expanding the Mall of Asia complex in Pasay while Ayala Land is developing the Arca South in Taguig, Makati Circuit in Makati, and Vertis North in Quezon City.

Ayala Land's Arca South development. Photo from Ayala Land Facebook page

Federal Land has also started to build townships in Pasay and Taguig. Vista Land is also spending about P50 billion for the Vista City project that covers Las Piñas, Muntinlupa, Cavite, and Laguna.

“The live-work-play lifestyle encapsulated in these townships have resulted into a lot of success for some of the major developers, so it’s no surprise that new players are working to capitalize on this and bring the concept to new areas,” said McCullough.

He also said the big developers are also spending record amounts as capital expenditure programs are now expected to breach the P300 billion mark this year.

The funds will be used for land acquisitions, ongoing projects, and launches.

“The township concept also provides a way for developers to be part of the solution to the congestion in Metro Manila…With developers taking the critical first step and building in other areas within and outside of the Metro, they’re creating new microdistricts and encouraging more Filipinos to live, work, and play closer to home. We hope that this will help reduce congestion and make Metro Manila more liveable,” McCullough said.

McCullough, however, noted that the challenge for government now is in building infrastructure to connect these districts.

“We hope eventually that the Rapid Bus System, which is very easy to put in place, will help connect these cities,” he said.