More of­fice spa­ces to be built within trans­porta­tion hubs

Business World - - Property & Infrastructure - P. Galang Vin­cent Mariel

MORE prop­erty firms are build­ing of­fice spa­ces within trans­porta­tion hubs, as a way to max­i­mize space.

Com­mer­cial real es­tate ser­vices com­pany Cush­man & Wake­field Philip­pines said of­fice spa­ces are now be­ing de­vel­oped within or near trans­porta­tion hubs in Metro Manila.

“An­other new con­cept may be how they are build­ing of­fices near or on top, ac­tu­ally, of trans­porta­tion hubs that are be­ing built, like for ex­am­ple we have for Ayala, and then we also have the one for Parañaque In­te­grated Ter­mi­nal Ex­change, so there would be an of­fice com­po­nent to that as well,” Fran­cis Adrian H. Viernes, man­ager of re­search and con­sul­tancy of Cush­man & Wake­field Philip­pines, said in an in­ter­view with Busi­nessWorld last month.

In re­cent years, de­vel­op­ers have also al­lo­cated of­fice spa­ces within shop­ping malls, giv­ing peo­ple the con­ve­nience of work­ing in a place where they can also shop, eat and re­lax.

“This has been an ar­range­ment that we’ve seen in few years. There are of­fice por­tions be­ing added to re­tail de­vel­op­ments, like for ex­am­ple the case for SM, for (Me­ga­world’s) Up­town, it’s the usual sce­nario… and it’s not likely to change in the next years,” Mr. Viernes said.

At the same time, Cush­man & Wake­field ex­pects de­mand for of­fice space this year to be driven by busi­ness process out­sourc­ing (BPO) com­pa­nies.

“The in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy and busi­ness process man­age­ment sec­tor, or IT-BPM will con­tinue to take a huge chunk of of­fice de­mand in 2019,” Mr. Viernes said, af­ter a slow­down in the sec­tor in 2017.

“For 2018, (IT-BPM) has re­gained a bit of strength, and for 2019 we’re ex­pect­ing that to con­tinue be­cause all the un­cer­tain­ties that we had when it comes to like the fis­cal in­cen­tives, be­cause of the poli­cies that were be­ing laid out, all the un­cer­tain­ties have not pro­vided any­thing that could neg­a­tively af­fect the busi­ness, so far,” he added.

The Philip­pines re­mains one of the top des­ti­na­tions for out­sourc­ing firms. In Tholon’s Top 100 Out­sourc­ing Des­ti­na­tion for 2018, Manila and Cebu ranked sec­ond and 11th, re­spec­tively.

Aside from the Filipinos’ pro­fi­ciency in English, out­sourc­ing firms flock to the Philip­pines since of­fice rental rates are sig­nif­i­cantly lower than Sin­ga­pore or Hong Kong.

The gov­ern­ment’s mas­sive in­fra­struc­ture pro­gram “Build, Build, Build” has also been a mag­net for for­eign in­vestors.

“’Yung mas­sive in­fra­struc­ture spend­ing, it’s ac­tu­ally mak­ing some global noise… Those are seen as pos­i­tive and pro­gres­sive by for­eign in­vestors,” Mr. Viernes said. —

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