MEGAWORLD Corp. is investing P18 billion in the next 15 years for the development of a new township in Cavite along with leisure and tourism estate unit Global-Estate Resorts, Inc. (GERI).

In a statement issued over the weekend, the listed property developer said the township called Arden Botanical Estate will cover 251 hectares at the boundary of Trece Martires City and the municipality of Tanza in Cavite.

Residential and leisure villages will make up more than half of the project, with the rest of the space allocated to a mixed-use commercial district, sports and adventures parks, and a school.

The township will feature several gardens and natural parks, namely a Flower Park, Flower Tunnel, and a Children’s Garden that aims to showcase the variety of Philippine flora. It will also be surrounded by natural rivers and lotus ponds, among others.

Arden Botanical Estate will also have its own Electric Tram, which can transport passengers from the township’s entrance to the town center and vice versa.

“Arden Botanical Estate is a one-of-a-kind township development, which will be curated to engage and stimulate the senses. We will put design and aesthetics at the forefront, and function and purpose at the backbone of its planning,” Megaworld Chief Strategy Officer Kevin Andrew L. Tan said in a statement.

The township will have a six-lane avenue leading up to a Welcome Pavilion and the Town Center surrounded by commercial areas. It will also have sustainability features, including solar street light, electric shuttles, storm water recycling, permeable pavements for driveways and parking spaces, and organic fertilizers and pesticides for gardens.

Arden Botanical Estate marks the 25th township development under Megaworld’s portfolio, and the seventh under GERI.

This is the second township Megaworld has launched this year, following Highland City in Cainta, Rizal last March. The company earlier said it targets to have 30 townships by 2020, for a total land ownership of more than 6,000 hectares.

The company’s townships are spread out across the country, with nine in Metro Manila, nine in Luzon, six in Visayas, and one in Mindanao.

To support its expansion, Megaworld said it will spend P300 billion in capital expenditures from 2020 to 2024, higher than its P285-billion spending from 2014 to 2019. The company’s capex for this year alone is P65 billion.

Megaworld’s net income attributable to the parent grew 16% to P8.3 billion in the first six months of 2019, after revenues surged 20% to P16.8 billion.

Megaworld is part of tycoon Andrew L. Tan’s holding firm Alliance Global Group, Inc., which also has core interests in liquor, gaming, quick-service restaurants, and infrastructure development. — Arra B. Francia