Doris C. Dumlao
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Publication Date : 18-04-2013

Philippine Property giant Ayala Land Inc. plans to debut into the affordable hotel property business and expand its industrial estate developments to establish new growth areas as a full-range property developer.

In a press briefing after the company’s stockholders meeting on Wednesday, ALI officials announced plans to develop a new hotel chain under a new homegrown brand that would offer rooms for US$60 a night, half the price of the group’s new boutique brand Seda, which has been selling rooms for $120 a night to business travellers.

Jose Emmanuel Jalandoni, ALI capital and hotels group head, said the first of such “affordable” hotel property would break ground by the fourth quarter of this year at the group’s newly acquired property in Muntinlupa – the “South Park District” that used to be the site of a Nestle coffee factory. The new hotel property will be “up and running” in a year’s time, according to Jalandoni.

Typically, the affordable hotel projects would have 150 to 200 rooms, Jalandoni said. After the Muntinlupa project, plans are under way to put up similar hotels in Iloilo and Bacolod.

By 2015, ALI expects to have built up a portfolio of 4,000 rooms. In 2012, it opened the 280-room upscale Fairmont Hotel and the 32-room Raffles Suites. Its first homegrown hotel brand Seda also opened in Bonifacio Global City (BGC) and Cagayan de Oro, adding a combined 329 rooms.

Although industrial estate has been a laggard among local property segments, ALI believes that this segment would soon catch up. “We certainly feel manufacturing is back,” Aquino said, noting that ALI’s Laguna Technopark has been running out of capacity and ALI has started talks to acquire additional landbank for industrial estate development in the Calabarzon (Cavite-Laguna-Batangas-Quezon) area. Pampanga is another area being considered by ALI for such types of development. Asked whether ALI has been looking outside Luzon, Aquino said the company would always look at opportunities.

During the stockholders meeting, ALI chair Fernando Zobel de Ayala cited “indicative signs of a revival in the manufacturing sector as the country becomes a compelling alternative to our Asian neighbours.

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