By Francis Anthony T. Valentin
Special Features Assistant Editor

ORTIGAS Center is as dynamic an office property submarket as ever, and it still has plenty of room for growth. Last year, it accounted for 66,900 square meters (sq. m.) of the 852,600 sq. m. office supply in Metro Manila, the “highest annual supply historically” for the region according to property consultancy Colliers International Philippines.

Colliers projects Ortigas Center will add 98,000 sq. m. of gross leasable area (GLA) to the regional stock this year, 23,700 sq. m. next year, and a staggering 421,600 sq. m. in 2020.

“In the long run, Ortigas has the potential to re-emerge as a key business district given the planned buildings due for completion in 2020,” the firm said. “Approximately 44% of total supply for the same year will come from Ortigas CBD (central business district).”

Anticipation is building for nearby projects, including the P50-billion redevelopment project of Ortigas & Company, called Ortigas East (formerly Frontera Verde) in Pasig City, bounded by Ortigas Ave., C-5 and Dona Julia Vargas Ave. Touted as the “natural extension” of Ortigas Center, this mixed-use property occupies roughly 16 hectares of land, just about as big as Greenhills Shopping Center in San Juan, which Ortigas & Company also developed.

“Ortigas East is designed to bring connected living in a progressive urban neighborhood. Complemented by an improved road network and transportation access, Ortigas East is going to be metro east’s prime residential, business, lifestyle, and entertainment hub,” Jaime E. Ysmael, president and chief executive officer of Ortigas & Company, said in a statement.

The development will be built in three phases. The first phase will see the construction of office, retail and residential properties; the second a park and more residences; and the third some more office and retail structures, as well as a hotel.

In a press conference held last March 15, Mr. Ysmael revealed that 40% of the total area will be reserved for open spaces.

The Glaston Tower, a 34-storey office building, will be the first to be built in Ortigas East. The 349 units to be made available, with sizes ranging from 76.88 sq. m. to 141.88 sq. m., are aimed at traditional offices and start-ups.

“It is appropriate to introduce a new product that we believe the market requires,” Mr. Ysmael said, noting that they had been hearing clamor for new office space. He added that they are pursuing a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification for the tower, whose construction may take three to four years to finish.

A planned regional mall in the development will have a GLA of 104,000 sq. m. and house a mixture of global and local brands. Mr. Ysmael said once the office tower is completed, work on the mall and the residential component will commence. The first phase of the Ortigas East development, estimated to cost around P18 billion, is expected to continue through 2025.