Corporate News

By Krista A.M. Montealegre,
National Correspondent

DMCI hopes to sell out Torre de Manila

Posted on May 15, 2017

DMCI HOLDINGS, Inc. hopes to sell out the remaining inventory in its Torre de Manila development with the resolution of a court case involving the controversial project, as the company entertains Japan’s NTT DoCoMo, Inc. for a stake in a proposed high-end, mixed-use development in Makati City.

DMCI Project Developers, Inc. President Alfredo R. Austria said in a briefing last week the company operating under the DMCI Homes brand hopes to sell out the remaining 100 unsold units out of the total 950 units at Torre de Manila “in a month” once it receives the formal written decision from the High Court and secures all the necessary regulatory permits.

Last month, the Supreme Court lifted the temporary restraining order (TRO) it imposed on the construction of the controversial project nearly two years ago.

A two-bedroom unit with balcony may have a new selling price of P4.5 million compared to the initial P3.2 million prior to the issuance of the TRO.

Construction of the project is “imminent” after being put on hold for 23 months. Torre de Manila is expected to be finished in November 2019, two years later than the original completion date.

DMCI Homes cannot simply modify the design of Torre de Manila since it has to deliver the product that was promised to homebuyers, but vowed that the project will be “more than an ordinary” residential development, Mr. Austria said.

Meanwhile, DMCI Holdings President Isidro A. Consunji said NTT DoCoMo is eyeing a 30% interest in an office and a residential project that will be developed by DMCI Homes within a 7,000-square meter property along Pasong Tamo, Makati City.

The investment will mark the Japanese firm’s foray into the Philippine property market after investing in dominant telecommunications firm PLDT, Inc.

The property will house a 30-story high-end residential and office building with a total sales value of P8 billion. DMCI Homes, known as a residential developer, will sell a portion of the office space, while the bulk will be leased out in its maiden venture into office development.

Meanwhile, DMCI Mining Corp., another subsidiary of DMCI Holdings, is planning to resume shipment of nickel ore this month amid the change in leadership at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

DMCI Mining has two nickel subsidiaries -- Berong Nickel Corporation (BNC) in Palawan and Zambales Diversified Metals Corporation (BNC) in Zambales -- which were issued suspension and closure orders by the DENR under its former Secretary and staunch environmentalist Regina Paz L. Lopez.

Both companies have pending requests from the Office of the President (OP) seeking an exemption to the DENR’s memorandum order requiring suspended companies to shell out P2 million per hectare of “disturbed land” before getting a permit to transfer ore that it already has in its inventory.

DMCI Mining has approximately 300,000 tons of ore stockpile to dispose from its Zambales mine operations and another 128,000 tons in Palawan.

“Maybe this month we can ship out from Palawan also. We filed an appeal with the OP, invoking Administrative Order 22. We are taking a gamble because we have a legal leg to stand on,” DMCI Mining President Cesar F. Simbulan, Jr. said in the same briefing.

Administrative Order 22, issued on Oct. 11, 2011, sets rules for appeals to the Office of the President and provides in part that “[t]he execution of the decision/resolution/order appeal from is stayed upon the filing of the notice of appeal.”

DMCI Mining hopes to rehire some 1,000 workers that were dismissed following the suspension of operations in its two mines.

DMCI Holdings is the holding firm for the Consunji family’s interests in power generation, coal and nickel mining, property development, construction and water utility.