July 25, 2022

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Filinvest REIT’s Cebu properties attract blue-chip BPOs

FILINVEST REIT Corp. (FILRT) continues to boost its presence in Cebu and attract multinational and blue-chip business process outsourcing (BPO) firms to its office developments.

FILRT, the real estate investment trust of Filinvest Land, Inc. (FLI), reported that 91% of its tenant mix comprises BPO that occupies 240,998 square meters (sq.m.) of gross leasable area (GLA) out of over 300,000 sq.m. consisting of 17 Grade A office buildings in its portfolio.

“The BPO sector remains to be the top demand driver for office space in the country. Thus, we are aggressively expanding our footprint and will continue to build sustainable premium BPO-ready developments in Cebu,” FILRT President and Chief Executive Officer Maricel Brion-Lirio said in a press release on Monday.

At the end of 2021, its Cebu Tower 1, with close to 20,000 sq.m. of office space GLA and 675 sq.m. of retail GLA is 100% occupied by BPOs. The tower is a 13-storey Grade A, PEZA-accredited office building located near Cebu IT Park in Lahug City, Cebu.

FLI has three other office buildings in Cebu that are in various stages of development: Cebu Towers 2, 3 and 4, with Tower 2 currently 73% occupied by top global BPO locators. These may be infused in FILRT’s portfolio in the future once they are accretive to the REIT company.

The company expects the completion of its Cebu Towers 3 and 4 with a combined GLA of 38,718 sq.m. of office space and 5,471 sq.m. of retail space in 2023.

“We are also in talks with some major global BPO players for an early pre-leasing of these buildings,” Ms. Brion-Lirio revealed.

The company reported that in its Filinvest Cyberzone Cebu Towers 1 and 2, around 29,000 new jobs were created. It expects towers 3 and 4 to generate approximately 21,000 new jobs from the office spaces alone.

FILRT also expects economic activity to be spurred by the completion of infrastructure projects such as the Cebu Cordova Link Expressway, which will connect Cebu to Mactan Island, and a bus rapid transit making it accessible to go to and from the city proper.

“We expect that the easing of restrictions for COVID-19, return to work policies, and the untiring support of the provincial government of Cebu will boost the resurgence of the province’s BPO office industry as we have managed to retain 100% occupancy in FILRT-owned Cebu Tower 1 and increased occupancy in FLI’s Cebu Tower 2 while pursuing construction of FLI’s Cebu Tower 3 and 4,” Ms. Brion-Lirio said.

At the stock market on Monday, shares in FILRT ended lower by P0.05 or 0.74% to P6.70 apiece. — Justine Irish D. Tabile