Listed Alphaland to build mall, sports club, marina

01/02/2010 | By: Kristine Jane R. Liu, BusinessWorld Online
Ongpin-led Alphaland Corp. is setting aside P3 billion to jump-start the development of a number of its projects.

Alphaland President Mario A. Oreta said in an interview that construction would start on a one-hectare property in Makati, the Alphaland Makati Place, and the 32-hectare project Alphaland Bay City located at the Aseana Business Park in Parañaque.

Alphaland Makati Place is a partnership between the company and the Boy Scouts of the Philippines. The project will have a three-storey mall, a city club and residential towers. Mr. Oreta said the firm will start development this month.

“We will likely start with the mall first so that we can get the cash flow that we need for the other components,” Mr. Oreta said, adding that he expects the entire project to be completed by 2012.

Alphaland’s three-storey city club will be “affordable” to the market not reached by the elite Makati Sports Club. Its condominium tower, he said, will likewise appeal to the middle-income bracket who can shell out P2.5 million to P5 million for a unit.

“Our target is the working executives of Makati so that they can find a place where they can relax,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mr. Oreta said Alphaland will start the construction of a “world-class” marina and yacht club in June, which he said will be the main attraction of the Parañaque project.

There is no definite plan yet for Alphaland Bay, he said, but the project will have low-rise office buildings, a five-star hotel, retail establishments, as well as high-rise buildings.

“Alphaland will not be an aggressive developer [like Ayala Land, Inc.

or Megaworld Corp.] because what we do are special projects. But it will be an exciting time for [the company],” he said.

Mr. Oreta likewise revealed that the group plans to develop an upscale office tower in Makati City and is looking at buying a 500-hectare island in Luzon.

Other assets of the company are the Alphaland Southgate Tower and Mall in Makati and its 25% stake in the six-star Shangri-La at the Fort. Alphaland joined the bourse last month after minority shareholders of listed Macondray Plastics, Inc. approved a merger, paving the way for Alphaland’s backdoor listing.

The entry of the real estate firm involved the infusion of a total of P12.7 billion worth of prime property.

Macondray Plastics is 95% owned by RVO Capital Ventures Corp., a company beneficially owned and controlled by Roberto V. Ongpin and Eric O. Recto, chairman and president, respectively.

RVO Capital Ventures had acquired a 66% stake in the formerly Lorenzo-led Macondray Plastics for P218 million. Subsequently, it offered to buy the shares of Macondray Plastics’ minority shareholders.

Following the acquisition, shares in Macondray Plastics skyrocketed to P60.00 apiece from a low of P3.00 on Oct. 12, a week after RVO Capital Ventures bought the 66% stake.

Aside from Macondray Plastics, the group had acquired 80% of listed mining company Atok-Big Wedge, Inc. through investment company Boerstar Corp.

This was on top of holdings in companies such as San Miguel Corp., Petron Corp., PhilWeb Corp., ISM Communications Corp., and Philex Mining Corp., the country’s largest miner.

Shares in the company jumped by 7.33% or P4.00 to P58.50 on Dec. 29, the last session of the local bourse for 2009.

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