Property developer Megaworld Corp. on Tuesday said it is venturing into industrial-park development through its unit, Suntrust Properties Inc., which is currently known for its low-cost housing developments outside of Metro Manila.
The company said it is spending an initial P5 billion in eight years to develop some 200 hectares of property, to be called Suntrust
Ecotown in Tanza, Cavite.
Harrison Paltongan, Suntrust president, said an initial 111 hectares will be allotted for the development of 107 industrial lots that have an average size of 5,000 square meters.
The company is selling lease-hold rights to the locators, catering to export-oriented industries such as electronics, home appliances, computer parts, car assemblies, fabric and textile goods, food products, pharmaceuticals and machineries, among others.
The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (Peza) has already accredited the area as an economic zone, allowing locators to enjoy certain tax perks, the company said.
Another 40 hectares will be dedicated for expansion and the integration of other amenities, such as hotel, commercial and retail hub, while 50 hectares will be allotted for future development that may include residential and other recreational facilities mainly depending on the demand of the locators.
“We are looking into further expanding the development to 350 hectares in the near future,” Paltongan said.
“We expect to generate around 500,000 [direct and indirect] employment within eight years in the industrial park. We look forward to hundreds of companies to locate in Suntrust Ecotown and the job generation it will bring to Filipinos,” he said.
Paltongan said about 24 percent of the 111 hectares have already been sold to 35 locators, mostly composed of locators from neighboring 287-hectare Cavite Export Processing Zone (EPZA) in Rosario Cavite that expand their operations.
The company is not treating the industrial estate as a recurring income venture, given that the properties are sold to locators, Jericho Go, Megaworld’s senior vice president, said.
“Megaworld’s entry into industrial-park development leads us to an innovative blueprint that will entice more foreign locators to invest in the Philippines. The Suntrust Ecotown is designed to respond to the needs of dynamic export-oriented industries and to exceed their expectations by offering lifestyle amenities never seen before in any industrial park,” Go said.
Megaworld said it will offer office facilities to Peza and the Bureau of Customs, while it is encouraging the local government in the area to establish its satellite office in the ecozone for it to become a one-stop-shop.
“This project came about in 2011, when we saw a 40 percent increase in direct investment in industries in the Philippines,” Paltongan said. “Many people also realized that a back-up operation in other territory is needed to ensure the continuation of operation. “
Megaworld said the industrial park will be limited to non-polluting light-to-medium industries that have superior facilities for waste management. It will also have tree-lined highways, round-the-clock security, parks and planting strips and e-shuttle services.