Corporate News

By Keith Richard D. Mariano, Reporter

MyTown developer planning 12 more dormitories near BGC

Posted on November 07, 2016

THE COMPANY behind the MyTown dormitory brand is tripling its inventory to around 4,500 bedspaces midway to 2018, taking advantage of the underserved market of young professionals in the country.

A worker pushes shopping mall carts in front of an advertising tarpaulin on a street in Manila on May 29, 2014. -- AFP
Philippines Urban Living Solutions, Inc. (PULS) intends to develop 12 more properties near the Bonifacio Global City (BGC) in Taguig under the MyTown brand that currently has three operating dormitories.

The projects will offer around 3,000 bedspaces in addition to the 1,500 units in existing MyTown dormitories in Makati City, PULS Founder and Chief Executive Officer Mark Arellano Kooijman said during a Nov. 3 interview in Makati City.

“We start building all of them by first quarter or second quarter of next year -- around that period. These buildings will be completed on different timelines,” Mr. Koojiman noted.

At present, PULS operates MyTown Paris along Camia Street in Pembo; MyTown Manila along Samar Street in Pitogo; MyTown London along Kalayaan Avenue in Guadalupe Nuevo and MyTown New York at the corner of E. Jacinto and Capas Streets in Guadalupe Nuevo.

The dormitories mainly cater to young professionals working in BGC. The company has 12 more properties near the central business district formerly called Fort Bonifacio for serving as headquarter of the Philippine army.

“With those 12 sites, we are looking at roughly another 3,000 beds in the next 12-15 months. Those are all also in this generic area around the Fort,” PULS Group Director and Executive Advisor Jelmer Ikink said separately.

The dormitories are attracting workers mostly in the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry that has established and continues to expand its footprint in BGC.

“It’s such a huge untapped market and the growth reports for the Fort continue to grow and grow and there is still no credible party that really focus on the demographic that we’re focusing on,” Mr. Ikink noted.

MyTown targets professionals earning around P20,000 a month, who cannot afford to rent a place within the central business district or acquire a condominium unit, Mr. Koojiman said.

The growing business has caught the attention of SM Investments Corp. (SMIC), the holding firm of the country’s richest man Henry Sy, Sr., which intends to make an equity investment amounting to over P1 billion in PULS.

“We try to get investors on board, where we can scale up our operations,” Mr. Koojiman said, noting that PULS continues to scout for more properties to develop toward the end of 2018 or early 2019.

Mr. Ikink noted the company will have “barely scratched the surface” of the underserved rental housing market in BGC when the 12 existing properties are developed.

“We have large expansion plans after these 12 buildings, we’re looking at developing in other areas here in the metro and potentially in other cities in the Philippines that have a high need for this as well,” Mr. Ikink said.

Mr. Koojiman cited the Alabang Center in Muntinlupa City and Ortigas Center in Pasig City as well as the emerging business districts in Pasay City and Quezon City as potential locations for future MyTown developments.

“In our view there’s such a demand for affordable rental housing and we maybe can set it up in Pasay near Mall of Asia for people that are working there in the BPO industry, but also for the casino workers and all the people in the entertainment industry there. We can go to Ortigas, we can go to Makati CBD, we can go to areas in Quezon City, we can go to Ayala Alabang,” he said.