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With IT parks and competitive rents, Quezon City reels in more office builders

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Robinsons Land Corp. is nearing completion of its second office tower in its Bridgetowne IT Park in Quezon City, Exxa Tower, by the first half of 2018.

By Francis Anthony T. Valentin,
Special Features Assistant Editor

ROBINSONS LAND Corp. (RLC) recently held a topping-off ceremony for one of its newest structures, the Zeta Tower, situated near the busy intersection of E. Rodriguez, Jr. Avenue (C-5) and Ortigas Avenue in Quezon City. With a total floor area of 34,517.70 square meters (sq. m.), the 20-storey edifice will primarily have information technology and business process management (IT-BPM) firms as its tenants.

Zeta, which has a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, is connected to another tower called Exxa, which is of the same height. The latter is nearing completion, while the former is expected to be fully operational by the second half of the year.

Exxa and Zeta are the second and third towers to be constructed within the Philippine Economic Zone Authority-accredited (PEZA) Bridgetowne IT park, an eight-hectare development in Barangay Ugong Norte. They were preceded by Tera, which is also 20-storey high. A fourth building, named Giga, is already under construction. RLC General Manager for the Office Buildings Division Faraday D. Go said during the topping-off ceremony that there are three more towers in the pipeline.

Bridgetowne is RLC’s second IT park in Metro Manila, following Robinsons CyberGate in Mandaluyong City. “In terms of location, it’s very strategic,” Mr. Go said of Bridgetowne’s Quezon City address. It’s strategic in that Bridgetowne has easy access to two of the major thoroughfares in the region, and that it’s a short drive from Ortigas Center and Eastwood City.

It’s also strategic demographically speaking. Mr. Go pointed out that Bridgetowne’s location is close to the eastern cities of Antipolo City and Marikina City, densely populated areas from which talent can be sourced. “So it’s preferred by a lot of BPOs,” he added.

COMPETITIVE RENTS
The country’s former capital, Quezon City is fast emerging as a powerhouse in the booming office property market in Metro Manila. According to the fourth-quarter report on the office market prepared by the consultancy Colliers International Philippines, Quezon City’s office supply in 2017 stood at 89,600 sq. m. Two buildings that were completed in the fourth quarter of 2017 that added a combined 10,200 sq. m. of space to the city’s stock were 68 Kalayaan Building and The Sky Suites Tower. Of all the submarkets Colliers keeps tabs on, only Fort Bonifacio in Taguig City had a greater office supply of 383,000 sq. m.

Colliers sees the most populous city in the country contributing 148,100 sq. m. of space to Metro Manila’s total office stock this year, and 157,400 sq. m. next year.

When it comes to rents, Quezon City’s foremost mixed-use development, Eastwood City, is competitive. Colliers noted that rental rates in the development ranged from P550 to P950 per square meter per month, much cheaper than the rates in Makati Central Business District (P1,300 to P1,750) and in Fort Bonifacio (P900 to P1,500).

The number of businesses operating in the city has been steadily growing this decade. In 2011, there were 60,154 registered businesses. In 2016, the latest year for which data is available, Quezon City had 69,204 registered businesses, of which 12,116 were new.

And the city has a growing portfolio of vast information technology parks. As of October 2016, it had nine, including Bridgetowne. Mr. Go said Bridgetowne will later be expanded to 30 hectares. He added, “We will have… offices, mall, hotel and residential developments all within a total of 30 hectares.”