BPO demand drives office leasing market

03/02/2011 | By: Edu Lopez, Manila Bulletin

MANILA, Philippines – With an estimated average annual demand of 250,000 square meters of office space, the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector continues to drive the office leasing market in Metro Manila and other large cities in the country.

A number of locations outside the large business districts are benefiting from the robust growth of the BPO sector, according to Lindsay Orr, chief operating officer of JLLL. Locations outside the major business districts where BPOs have set up offices include Quezon City and Mandaluyong.

“BPOs are looking for locations that can offer them more: Retail amenities for employees and extras such as Alphaland Southgate Tower’s security access card system and a modern intrusion detection system,” said Orr.

“With the growth of the BPO sector, office developments are certain to improve in quality, thanks to strong demand and healthy competition.”

Phillip Anonuevo, JLLL associate director, said BPOs put a premium on sites that are highly accessible to public transportation.

An example is Alphaland Southgate Tower, a Grade A office building located on the corner of EDSA and Pasong Tamo.

Anonuevo noted that within three months of his company’s appointment as sole leasing agent of Alphaland Southgate Tower, Jones Lang La Salle Leechiu arranged the lease of 7,300 sqm to Advanced Contact Solutions (ACS), one of the country’s leading BPOs.

Alphaland Southgate Tower, has a direct connection to the MRT and to major jeep and bus routes. It offers employees quick access between work and home.

Faced with an increasingly competitive labor market, BPOs must use every advantage they can get to attract employees, chief of which is a strategic location, according to Anonuevo.

Alphaland Southgate Tower’s 28 restaurants, food court, supermarket and other specialty shops were also attractive to its two major BPO tenants ACS and Teleperformance – because these serve the needs of their agents.

Anonuevo said that the development’s glass-enclosed events hall at the sixth level of the retail podium was viewed as an added benefit to BPOs who also frequently host events for their employees. As the BPO industry continues to expand, the offices offered by real estate developers no longer compete on standard features like telecom infrastructure and standby generators.

Jones Lang LaSalle offers financial and professional services specializing in real estate in 60 countries. In the Philippines, the company operates as Jones Lang LaSalle Leechiu.

The company transacted 130,000 sqm. of the estimated 312,000 sqm. taken up across Metro Manila business districts in 2010. Many of the office buildings that its project leasing teams have managed enjoy an occupancy rate of close to 100 percent.

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