By Arra B. Francia, Reporter
ANCHOR LAND Holdings, Inc. (ALHI) is bullish on the Binondo area this year, where it plans to build an office building and an “alternative accommodation” project to take advantage of the high purchasing power of residents in the country’s first business district.
ALHI President Digna Elizabeth L. Ventura said the company has a residential building and an office project lined up in the Chinatown area, banking on the younger generation who would like to conduct their businesses there.
“We’re reviving in fact the Manila CBD (central business district). And, also old Chinatown has to be revived… Because we see the next generation still wanting to do business in the area because that’s where they’re traditionally, culturally more comfortable,” Ms. Ventura told reporters on the sidelines of a press conference by online real estate portal Lamudi Philippines in Makati last week.
Binondo is touted as the center of trade and commerce in Manila, where several Filipino-Chinese businesses are currently located. Other financial districts in the country, such as the Makati CBD and Bonifacio Global City, have however overtaken its development over the decades.
Ms. Ventura said the office spaces, which will be up for sale, will have facilities and amenities that will cater to the younger generation.
The listed property developer will also be developing residential units designed as “alternative accommodations.” Comparable to online hospitality service provider AirBnB, ALHI will be selling fully furnished residential units that will be ready for lease upon turnover.
“We named it ‘alternative accommodation’ because the setup in the unit is already provided: fully furnished and there’s a digital lockset… So whatever the way of renting later on for the convenience of the unit owner is there,” Ms. Ventura explained.
The ALHI executive noted that they enjoy “very good returns” for projects in Chinatown, since most buyers pay in cash instead of going through banks. Meanwhile, investors can get yields of about 11-12% annually.
“The (price) per square is getting better. Less complaints, because it’s just a small community. We’re able to address concerns easily, so easier operations, selling, more profit,” Ms. Ventura said.
The alternative accommodation units will be similar to the company’s project in Davao called 202 Peaklane, which Ms. Ventura noted has received strong interest. Following its launch in December last year, the company has already sold about 200 units in the 28-storey development.
With the strong demand for 202 Peaklane in Davao, ALHI is assessing the development of another project in the city moving forward.
The company will also develop an alternative accommodation project in the Bay Area, located across integrated resort and casino City of Dreams Manila and the soon-to-rise Ayala Malls Bay Area. With this, ALHI will have more than 4,300 units in the Bay Area alone.
ALHI’s net income attributable to the parent slipped 15% to P377.4 million in the first nine months of 2018, as gross revenues also went down by 10% to P3.63 billion during the same period.
Shares in ALHI dropped 4.5% or 50 centavos to close at P10.60 each at the stock exchange on Monday.