ANDREW L. Tan’s Megaworld Corp. on Tuesday said that it is set to build a P1.5-billion convention center within its township in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu.

“This convention center will be a unique standalone structure that will help boost the province’s booming MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions, and exhibitions) industry,” said Megaworld Chief Strategy Officer Kevin L. Tan in a statement.

The two-level Mactan Expo Center will offer about a hectare of space and will be located within the 30-hectare The Mactan Newtown township.

Construction for the facility is set to begin within the year and is targeted for completion by 2025.

The convention center’s ground level can accommodate up to 2,500 for a theater-type setup and 1,600 people for a banquet-style setup.

Convention halls in the property may also be divided into three separate areas that can accommodate up to 700 to 900 persons per hall for theater-style, and 500 to 600 persons per hall for a banquet-style layout.

The main hall will have a foyer and pre-function areas and will also have two drop-off areas, a service kitchen area, cafés, and an event showroom.

The mezzanine level will have two meeting rooms that can accommodate 100 to 150 people. Both meeting rooms may be combined into a single venue. The floor will also have its pre-function area, outdoor balcony, and storage rooms.

Megaworld said both the main area and meeting rooms will be equipped with fixed video screens, and audio and visual systems, and video conferencing technology.

The company earlier said that it had allocated P350 billion for its capital expenditure in the next five years to expand its township footprint.

It plans to capitalize on increasing tourism in the country by expanding its MICE activities by building more hotels as well as facilities such as convention centers in key cities within the next few years.

Megaworld said the township has two hotel properties being operated and managed by the company’s Hotels & Resorts brand. These are the 547-room Savoy Hotel Mactan Newtown and the 550-room Belmont Hotel Mactan.

“Our hotel properties within The Mactan Newtown will be ready to handle the accommodation requirements of the Mactan Expo Center,” Megaworld Hotels & Resorts Managing Director Cleofe Albiso said.

Ms. Albiso said the convention center will be just a few steps away from the beach.

Megaworld closed unchanged at P2.02 per share on Tuesday. — Adrian H. Halili