Clark builds more space and infrastruc­ture

- By Rizal Raoul S. Reyes

THE former home of the United States Air Force (USAF) in Pampanga is transformi­ng into a premier business district, according to a major real estate and investment management firm.

Metro Clark offers an attractive prospect to local and foreign investors and occupiers as a good alternativ­e to Metro Manila, with its existing developmen­ts and improved infrastruc­ture that are soon to be completed, according to real-estate services and consultanc­y firm JLL Philippine­s.

“All roads lead to Clark. Improved infrastruc­ture is being put in place to make it more accessible now—major highways such as the North Luzon Expressway and Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3, the Clark Internatio­nal Airport, and soon, the North-south Commuter Railway,” said Ian Perez, JLL Philippine­s’ director for Capital Market during the company’s recent thought leadership event.

Perez said Metro Clark ’s proximity to Metro Manila (about 80 kilometers or a 45-minute car drive) makes living in Metro Clark and working in Metro Manila’s central district and vice versa more viable.

He pointed out that Metro Clark can fill in the needs of decentrali­zation among businesses which quickened during the pandemic. Following the “hub-andclub model” where occupiers will maintain a head office (club) for social activities such as client meetings and town halls, and expand through satellite offices (hubs), which may be closer to where employees reside.

He said Metro Clark has the necessary amenities and facilities to support businesses for their expansion, adding that it has a diverse availabili­ty of supply for office, retail, residentia­l, and logistics and industrial offerings.

JLL forecasts an additional office supply of at least 280,000 sq m starting the first quarter of next year, and there is an existing dedicated 700 hectares of land across Metro Clark for industrial purposes.

“Offshoring and outsourcin­g firms, on top of traditiona­l offices, remain to be one of the key drivers for the demand in office spaces in Metro Clark,” said Perez. “We expect rents to remain steady until the end of the year and slightly dip as new supply becomes available in the market starting in 2021.”

“Depending on the quality, size and site of a building, locating offices in Metro Clark has costsaving benefits such as lower rent, labor, utilities, and other operationa­l costs,” he said.

The logistics and industrial sector is also driving demand for space, particular­ly on the lastmile delivery, due to the booming e-commerce.

“The more we shop online, the need for additional warehouse space increases, particular­ly from e-commerce companies. And with the Skyway 3 already in place, logistics hubs in the Clark area are strategica­lly located to support distributi­on operations in all of Metro Manila’s 16 cities and one municipali­ty,” said P. Ryan Isip, JLL Philippine­s’ head of Capital Markets.

“As Clark builds more space and infrastruc­ture developmen­t comes into full swing, more companies will move and expand to Clark and northern Luzon,” Joey Radovan, vice president, Country Firm Management, JLL Philippine­s said.

 ?? Getty image ?? An overview of Clark economic zone
Getty image An overview of Clark economic zone

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