Taft Properties, Hong Kong Land eye P130B microtownship in Cebu

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Mandaue City (CNN Philippines) — The expanding economy of the Central Visayas has prompted Filipino real estate developer Taft Properties and Hong Kong Land to join forces to develop a P130 billion waterfront micro township project in Cebu.

The joint venture will build a mixed-use development of high rise residential, office, commercial and retail establishments on a 20-hectare property along the Mactan Channel which will be called Mandani Bay, Taft Properties COO Cristopher Narciso told reporters Thursday (May 19).

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Taft Properties is backed by Vicsal Development Corp., the company behind the Metro Gaisano chain of stores.

According to the latest (July 2015) figures from Philippine Statistics Authority, the Central Visayas economy grew by 8.8 percent in 2014. The growth rate is higher than the national average of 6.1 percent. Cebu accounts for a major portion of the region’s economy.

"We strongly feel that the residential demand here in Cebu will remain robust among different market segments," Narciso said. He cited the province's future developments, such as the Cebu-Cordova bridge and plans for a bus rapid transit (BRT) system navigating Metropolitan Cebu, which are expected to further enhance growth.

Hong Kong Land representative Finn Carew said his company’s joint venture with “a very strong Cebuano partner who knows this market and local tastes so well” is a “very powerful” combination.

Mandani Bay will feature a 500 meter-long waterfront along the Mactan Channel, Carew said.

Narciso said they obtained the services of the group responsible for authoring the environmental sustainability master plan of Vancouver, Canada, in planning the Mandani Bay, plus a traffic consultant to integrate the development to Mandaue City and Cebu City.

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The plans also include support for future public ferries at the marina that will be built, Narciso said.

Hong Kong Land has a 40 percent stake in the joint venture, the constitutional limit for foreign companies in such a project. It will take 15 years to complete the development.

Carew said the "vast majority" of buyers are from Cebu and the rest of the Visayas, but they are planning to market the development outside the region and among overseas Filipinos.