Cebu’s JDC plans expansion, looks for partners

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By Arra B. Francia
Senior Reporter

CEBU-BASED property developer JEG Development Corp. (JDC) is boosting its presence in the Visayan capital with the launch of four projects in the following years, while also looking for more partnerships for the future.

JDC Chief Operating Officer Marko G. Sarmiento said they currently have the land bank to develop four vertical projects in the city, although plans have yet to be finalized.

“It’s still not final, but they will definitely be vertical projects. We’re not sure if it’s an office, residential, or hotel. We’re still weighing out the options,” Mr. Sarmiento said in an interview on the sidelines of the company’s media launch last week.

This will follow the completion of JDC’s flagship project, JEG Tower @ One Acacia, a 22-storey Grade A office towers located right across Cebu Business Park. The company is spending about P40,000 to P43,000 per square meter (sq.m.) for the project, which it noted is 20-25% more expensive than the standard building.

JDC will be topping off JEG Tower next month, in time for its full completion by the first quarter of 2020. It will cover about 26,000 sq.m of construction floor area, targeted toward corporate office tenants, knowledge process outsourcing firms, and business process outsourcing firms.

The company said potential tenants have already made commitments for lease once the building is complete.

“There’s definitely a lot of interest in the building…The government is focusing on VisMin, so it’s gonna bring a lot more business into the region,” Mr. Sarmiento said.

JDC is also awaiting approval for the building’s registration at the Philippine Economic Zone Authority, which should give tenants tax perks. The building has also been recognized with a pre-certified Silver rating by the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).

Rental rates in the tower could average at P700 to 750 per sq.m.

JEG Tower marks the fifth project under JDC’s portfolio. Other projects mostly residential properties such as Tomodachi Premium Residences, a 14-unit townhouse project incorporating Japanese features, and Blue Garden, a mixed-use building in Fulton Street, Lahug.

At the same time, JDC is scouting for more partnerships to facilitate its expansion, as land becomes more scarce in Cebu City.

“It’s very difficult to find land now, it’s very expensive. So it might be more strategic to get into more partnerships, we’re always looking,” Mr. Sarmiento said.

The top executive said they have “a few hectares” of land in the fringes of Cebu, which can also be developed into future projects.

Incorporated in 1994 by businessman Jose E. Garcia, the company previously operated as a holding company for the family’s business interests. It transformed into a real estate firm in 2003.