Rockwell Land in P26.3-B expansion binge

By Zinnia B. Dela Peña, The Philippine Star

Posted at Aug 04 2012 08:43 AM | Updated as of Aug 05 2012 02:08 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Rockwell Land Corp. is on an aggressive expansion mode with around P26.3 billion earmarked for the development of a new mixed-use complex on the site once occupied by Colgate-Palmolive Philippines as well as a townhouse project in Quezon City and two condominium projects in Pasig and Makati, in line with its bid to double its earnings to P2.2 billion by 2014.

In a briefing following the company’s annual stockholders meeting yesterday, Rockwell president Nestor Padilla said the company is eyeing a net income of P1.1 billion this year or 20.2 percent higher than the P914.9 million reported in 2011.

“Rockwell is on the brink of accelerated trajectory and expansion. The company is poised for growth given the acquisitions we made in 2011 and our recent public listing. I am confident that we are on the right track,” Padilla said.

Around P17.1 billion has been set aside for the construction of The Proscenium, which will feature five upscale residential towers, a 700-seater performing arts theatre and a retail center with an estimated leasable area of 15,000 square meters. Construction is slated to begin in the fourth quarter this year.

Padilla said the company has tapped Canadian architect Carlos Ott to design The Proscenium. Ott is the designer of Dubai’s Burj Al Arab.

The project, situated on a 3.6-hectare property along JP Rizal, Makati adjacent to Rockwell Center, will also house the 20-story Lopez Tower, which will serve as the headquarters of the Lopez Group of Companies. Targeted for completion in December 2014, the building will provide an additional 30,000 sqm of leasable office space to Rockwell’s leasing portfolio. The site will also give rise to the Lopez Museum, which will be home to all the art and literature collections of the group.

About P7.6 billion will go to the ongoing construction of The Grove (a mid-rise residential condominium in Pasig) and the luxurious 50-story Edades building in Rockwell Center which will comprise six floors of serviced apartments.

Padilla said Rockwell has also broken into townhouse development with 205 Santolan, which will offer a total of 105 units when completed in June next year. Development cost is placed at P1.5 billion.

The company is also looking to launch two more projects in Quezon City in the second half. Rockwell recently acquired a property in Benitez, Quezon City.

Given its 17-year excellent track record of delivering high-end residential projects, Rockwell is now ready to diversify into the broader market to widen its customer base and expand its revenue stream.

Padilla said the company will launch before yearend its second brand, Rockwell Homes, which will develop low-rise residential buildings. Around P1 billion has been budgeted for this initiative over a three-year period.

Under this brand, three -bedroom units with an average size of 90 sqm will sell for P6 million to P7 million each.

He said the company’s broader market price range is still above the mid-market segment since Rockwell wants to stick to its sterling reputation of developing high quality projects.

With all these projects in place, Rockwell is expected to double its current leasable space of around 90,000 sqm in 2014 and triple it by 2016 or 2017, said Ellen V. Almodiel, Rockwell vice-president for finance and accounting.

In the first half this year, Rockwell reported a 12-percent rise in net income P439.7 million on revenues of P2.5 billion.