Robinsons Land to develop more IT parks

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ROBINSONS LAND Corp. (RLC) is aiming to develop up to two information technology (IT) parks within the next two to three years, a top official said.

“We hope to put up one or two more within the next two, three years,” RLC General Manager for the Office Buildings Division Faraday D. Go told reporters after the topping off ceremony for one of the company’s office buildings in Quezon City last week.

The Gokongwei-led firm currently has three IT parks, namely Bridgetown in Quezon City, Robinsons CyberGate in Mandaluyong, and Robinsons CyberGate in Davao. Office buildings in these IT parks typically host business process outsourcing (BPO) firms.

“It speeds up the PEZA process,” Mr. Go said, referring to the accreditation from the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) that grants tax perks to locators. Other fiscal incentives include income tax holiday, tax and duty-free importation of raw materials, capital equipment, machineries and spare parts, among others.

Aside from office buildings, RLC’s IT parks also have residential, retail, and hospitality components. The 30-hectare Bridgetown, for instance, will have a Robinsons Mall and a hotel in the next 15 to 20 years of the estate’s development.

This year, the company is ramping up its office space portfolio with the opening of three buildings, aiming to end the year with 20 office buildings. With a gross leasable area of around 113,000 square meters (sq.m.), this will bring RLC’s inventory to 518,000 sq.m. by the end of the year, 28% higher than its 2017 figure of 405,000 sq.m.

RLC is banking on the BPO sector to continue driving demand in the coming years.

In its 2018 property forecast, real estate consulting services firm Colliers Philippines said BPO firms are expected to take up at least 450,000 sq.m. of office space in 2018. This is half of the 900,000-sq.m. office space inventory expected to be added to the Metro Manila stock for the year.

The office segment contributed P2.14 billion to RLC’s total revenues for the first three quarters of 2017, or a share of 14%.

RLC posted a net income attributable to the parent of P4.57 billion in the first nine months of 2017, slightly higher than the P4.5 billion it generated in the same period in 2016, amid a 2% dip in revenues to P16.6 billion during the period. — Arra B. Francia