By Francis Anthony T. Valentin
Special Features Assistant Editor

PROPERTY DEVELOPER Nova Group has completed the development of NEX Tower, a 28-storey office building along Ayala Avenue in Makati City, and tenants are beginning to move in.

The structure, aimed at multinational companies, financial institutions and leading local firms, is already “about 65% leased out,” Ricardo Cuerva, managing director of Nova Group, told BusinessWorld after leading members of the press and other guests on a tour of the property last May 8.

Among the tenants are an insurance company, a real estate consultancy, and a Chinese technology firm.

“There’s a lot of interest ever since we finished the building. And we’re confident that more will be leased out very soon,” Mr. Cuerva said. A typical floor area is 1,400 square meters, and the floor-to-ceiling height is three meters or nearly 10 feet. The rent can go for P1,600 per square meter.

Nova collaborated with the international architectural and engineering firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) on NEX Tower. SOM designed Burj Khalifa, currently the world’s tallest building, located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and the One World Trade Center in New York City.

“SOM is really well known for office towers… We just thought that if we’re building a premium corporate office building, SOM is certainly one of the best companies to work with,” Mr. Cuerva said, adding that NEX Tower is their first project with SOM.

NEX Tower has a “crystalline” exterior and a “unique slice” design affording wide views of the environs. It features common areas landscaped with greenery, multilevel parking for hundreds of vehicles and a soaring lobby with a 16-meter floor-to-ceiling height.

Designed to be energy- and resource-efficient, the tower uses highly efficient air conditioners available on the market, low-flow fixtures and double-pane curtain wall with low emissivity. According to a press release, it is pre-certified for a gold-level LEED certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.