By Arra B. Francia, Reporter
MEGAWORLD CORP. will be spending P20 billion over the next 10 years to develop its newest township in Cainta, Rizal, as the property giant targets to have a total of 30 townships under its portfolio in the next two years.
Tycoon Andrew L. Tan’s listed real estate firm unveiled on Monday Empire East Highland City, a mixed-use estate to be developed in partnership with 82%-owned subsidiary Empire East Land Holdings, Inc. (ELI).
Located along F. Felix Avenue in Cainta, Highland City will cover 24 hectares of land that previously housed a steel mill factory before it was acquired by the Megaworld group. It will offer a mix of residential condominium, mixed-use towers, a lifestyle mall, retail areas, a church, and a park.
The first phase of development will include the Highland Mall, which is set to have a gross floor area of 58,000 square meters (sq.m.). Megaworld targets to open the mall by the end of 2020.
Meanwhile, ELI will build 38 residential towers in the township catering to the mid-income market, banking on the strong demand for condominium units in Cainta.
“We saw that there is still a big demand for residential products in this area. Most of the properties here have been developed into horizontal developments already, so with the lack of land in the area, we saw that there is no other way but to go vertical,” Megaworld Chief Strategy Officer Kevin Andrew L. Tan said in a press briefing in Eastwood City on Monday.
Mr. Tan noted that Cainta has a population of about 400,000 people, adding that a lot of remittances from overseas Filipino workers are spent in the area.
The township will also have Highland Park, an 8,000-sq.m. green and open park that will house retail areas and a 500-seating capacity church. Land development for the township will start in the second quarter of this year.
Highland City is Megaworld’s 24th township, following the launch of The Hamptons Caliraya in Cavinti, Laguna last year.
“We have plans for more townships this year. I really think we can take it up to 30 townships in the next two years,” Mr. Tan said, although declining to give more details on the locations of the next townships.
Mr. Tan noted that public transport and infrastructure projects are now a top consideration for when they build townships.
“That’s why we are evolving a lot of our townships to be able to accommodate that,” Mr. Tan said, citing how Megaworld’s Uptown Bonifacio development in Taguig will be the first township that is mass transit-oriented. The company has proposed to build a two-kilometer monorail called Skytrain that aims to connect Uptown Bonifacio to MRT-3 Guadalupe.
Shares in Megaworld jumped 1.65% or nine centavos to close at P5.54 each at the stock exchange on Monday.