by MANUEL T. CAYON
The construction of high-rise structures including malls and high-end housing subdivisions here has boosted the excitement level of the property-development sector in this city, an executive of an architectural and engineering design firm said.
Phany Castillo-Ho, marketing communication consultant of Far East Associates, said that construction took off anew after the 2008-09 global recession, with the construction of the P5-billion Ayala-owned Abreeza Mall as the biggest so far this year and with the second SM mall to be finished next year.
“These are exciting times and Davao City benefits the most because investors are looking for peace and order in a progressive economy and favorable weather conditions,” she told the BusinessMirror at their booth outside the Davao Investment Conference hall of the Marco Polo Hotel here on Friday.
Being constructed were the 10-story hotel and the 26-story condominium buildings of the Ayalas. To break ground soon was the 33-story mixed-use building of the Francisco-Tan-Cruz group, all within the Abreeza Mall area.
“And there are lots of subdivisions, many of them for the high-end market, that are being constructed,” she said.
The opportunities seen in Davao City appeared to have wrought a contagion effect after other big shopping-mall owners were poised to establish their presence in other areas in Mindanao, Ho said.
“Watch out for these ones. It’s really good for construction and real estate,” she said.
Only in July this year, Director Jesus Motoomull of the Construction Industry Authority of the Philippines (CIAP) said Davao City is the “booming city in the country today,” with the total number of contractors here and the rest of the region reaching 400.
This number doubled that of Cebu, which had only 200. Of the 153 total applications filed at the offices of the Department of Trade and Industry, where the CIAP is based as an attached agency, Davao City processed 43 of these applications.
“Davao is definitely a high-growth region today, with a lot of projects for both government and the private sector,” Motoomull said.
Edrin Kaye C. Pedro, project manager at the Far East Associates, also told the BusinessMirror that the company has noticed an increase in the number of its clients compared “not only five or seven years ago, but as of even 2008.”
Pedro handed out a brochure of the projects that the company has handled so far, with its strength lying at its added service of already incorporating urban planning to the design of the building and other projects.
“We are the only one here offering green technology to the design and actual construction of our projects,” she said.
Ho said that while the owner may spend “a little bit more” to construct a “green” building, the savings that green technology would have over the years would easily cover their initial investment.