When one thinks of the Metro South, what comes to mind is different from the usual picture of a central business hub in the Philippines. Veering away from a saturated concrete jungle, Filinvest City has successfully found the middle ground of modernity and sustainability, resulting in improved quality of life for residents and rocketing opportunities for businesses.
In the recently concluded webinar hosted in partnership with the Manila Bulletin and Filinvest City dubbed “South and the City: Conquering the PH Business Hub”, Joey Radovan, the vice chairman for country firm management at Jones Lang LaSalle Philippines said that a sustainable city would look like Filinvest City in Alabang.
He said that Filinvest City, with its massive 244-hectare land, operates according to one of the key areas of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, particularly SDG No. 11, highlighting the parameters of success for sustainable cities and communities.
These include addressing air pollution by improving air quality and municipal waste management systems, well-planned urban sprawl with access to green and public spaces, and access to safe and affordable transport systems with special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations, among others.
Radovan enumerated the indicators of Filinvest City as a sustainable community including wide pedestrians with lush greens, water features around the developments on retails and parks, wide roads with greenery in the middle, trees along the roads, generous pedestrian walkway, and bike paths that encourage people to use environment-friendly means of transportation.
“The sustainability aspect gives concern to the well-being of residents and locators,” he said. “The outcome is a sustainable strategy that provides good air quality, safety, and resiliency to the entire community,” Radovan added.
Supporting this, FilinvestAlabang, Inc. Vice President for Townships Don Ubaldo said that even at the onset of planning for Filinvest City, it has been the goal to integrate the area’s natural environments in the city’s design.
“Filinvest City has always looked out for the environment because we see it as our investment in our future,” he said.
Apart from sustainability, Radovan emphasized that what makes Filinvest City attractive to investors is its location that provides the “best lifestyle balance for live, work, and play without the price of a central financial district.”
“This has been a key destination to corporations that want to be immediately close to suburban communities and have immediate access to the CALABARZON area,” Radovan said.
Radovan noted that capital value and rent appreciation in Filinvest City has seen steady growth for 25 years due to its strategy of balancing demand and supply factors, evidence that it’s a “sound real estate investment.”
Part of Filinvest City’s efforts to strengthen its business edge as a next-generation city, Ubaldo shared, is through accessibility via major roads, easy public commute, in-city mobility, affordable residential options, and technology implementation for smart city living.
These factors, he noted, make Filinvest City “the perfect office address for many residents living in Southern Metro Manila and CALABARZON,” adding that currently, Filinvest City and its locators employ a strong workforce of 78,000 people.
“Filinvest City has been strategically the address of choice of businesses. All for good reasons — its direct access to SLEX and Skyway, it’s an address that captures both the South metro market and labor pool, improved employee well-being and corporate productivity resulting from better environs,” Ubaldo said.
He furthered that their partner investors have been experiencing strong property appreciation on top of hitting their business objectives.
“Land properties in Filinvest City on the average increased almost six times and accommodation values have increased over seven times over the last decade,” Ubaldo mentioned.
Radovan adds, “If you take a look at the price performance of Filinvest City from 2010 to 2020, if you invested in that point or even earlier, you probably have made easily five to six times more of your capital investment.”
The place to be
At present, there are multiple multinational and local corporations across various industries in Filinvest City in Alabang.
Among these is the One Trium Tower, a 20-story LEED Gold-certified building constructed by The TDC Group of Companies that will house BPOs, corporate offices, and data centers, to name a few. Brian Loo Dee, the vice president for operations at the said firm, said that one of the factors that made Filinvest City a wise investment destination for their company is its premier sustainable urban development in Metro Manila.
“It also helped that Filinvest City is a LEED Gold-certified neighborhood development. What this means is that it greatly complemented our goal of making One Trium Tower a gold-certified building,” he said.
For Jonnel Borromeo, the chief corporate planning officer of Dearborn Motors Company, Inc. that handles Ford dealerships in the country, accessibility played an influential factor in their decision to move to Filinvest City from another area in Alabang. Ford Alabang opened in 2014 in Filinvest City with a five-floor facility covering a floor area of around 13,000 sqm., making it one of the biggest Ford dealerships across the ASEAN region, and the largest in the Philippines.
“The growth in the area was really fast,” Borromeo said. “We did see potential especially with the fact that the Skyway is actually in front of the dealership,” he added.
Despite the pandemic, Borromeo said that the Ford dealership in Filinvest City was able to bring in sales and he believes that location is one of the major reasons behind this.
“One of our largest communities of vehicle owners is just right behind us, which is Ayala-Alabang. Because of the location we were in and the easy access, we were actually able to keep business going,” he said.
Echoing this, Maricel Brion Lirio, the president and CEO of Filinvest REIT Corp., currently Cyberzone Properties, Inc., also emphasized location and accessibility as among the key strengths of Filinvest City as a business hub.
Cyberzone Properties, Inc. is one of the pioneer BPO office providers in the Philippines with most of its properties and offices located in the Northgate Cyberzone in Filinvest City, one of the first PEZA-registered IT parks in the Philippines.
Expanding its business, it’s now venturing into real estate investment trust (REIT), with 16 Grade-A offices in Filinvest City Alabang included in their REIT portfolio.
“Filinvest City offers a cohesive live, work, play, and learn environment,” she said. “It’s also attractive to the workforce with its affordable living alternatives within walking distance,” Brion-Lirio said.
Discover more tales from the South
Learn more insights from industry experts about the endless opportunities and possibilities Filinvest City Alabang has to offer through the replay of the mentioned webinar on July 20, 2021, at 11:00 AM on the official Facebook page of Manila Bulletin Lifestyle.