Spread across Quezon City, San Juan, Mandaluyong, and Pasig are four master planned estates that exemplify the vision of Ortigas Land to build lasting spaces that balance life, work, and recreation. Now in its 90th year, Ortigas Land’s president and CEO Junie Jalandoni talked about the company’s storied history and practice of building for the future while adapting to stay relevant to the needs of today.
Ortigas Land has its origins in a 4,033-hectare estate covering what is now some of the most valuable real estate in Metro Manila, but getting to where it is today required tremendous planning and foresight.
“Our founders had the vision to develop this estate with foresight that it would become what it is today,” said Jalandoni. That meant master planning to anticipate the needs of future inhabitants, and building the roads, infrastructure, and utilities that would allow the estate to thrive in the decades to come. This experience of designing for the future has become one of its greatest strengths today, said Jalandoni.
Now, Ortigas Land is developing four estates in Metro Manila – Greenhills Center, Capitol Commons, Circulo Verde, and Ortigas East, all of which are in various states of construction or redevelopment.
What is the thread that binds these estates together? “It’s striving to be relevant to the needs of today,” said Jalandoni. “Our developments are anchored on being great places to live, work, and play so we plan to achieve that while constantly adapting to be relevant to the current market situation.”
It’s this responsiveness to market needs that has motivated Ortigas to undertake an extensive upgrade to its Greenhills estate in San Juan, which will feature a new office tower and more open spaces to support the company’s ethos of live, work, and play. Likewise, Ortigas is revisiting its pre-pandemic master plans to make sure the needs of the new normal are met.
“The pandemic has shown that people want space and access to greenery,” said Jalandoni. “So we are revisiting plans when necessary to give people even more access to these features in our estates.”
Beyond the pandemic, Jalandoni described how Ortigas Land is responding to the far more existential threat of climate change and sustainability. The company is transitioning to obtain its power only from renewable energy sources, and exploring ways to offset emissions through investment in carbon sinks like mangrove forests.
Ultimately, the goal is for these adjustments to allow Ortigas to be carbon neutral in the next few years. “Climate change will be the defining issue for this generation so our aspiration is that within five years, we will be carbon neutral,” said Jalandoni.
Shifting the lens to homeowners and investors, Jalandoni explained Ortigas Land’s focus on quality property management as a means to create and maintain value. The company has an in-house property management team to manage all its developments.
“If we are to make sure that properties are maintained in the long term and are able to retain their value, we need to have our own team,” said Jalandoni. It’s this commitment to maximizing property value that the Ortigas brand has become synonymous with.
Today, Ortigas Land boasts two of the country’s largest real estate companies as shareholders: Ayala Land and SM Prime. When asked about the impact that its two heavyweight partners have had, Jalandoni was quick to mention the synergies that make for an ideal partnership. “Ortigas was already a strong company with a rich history, brand, and organization. Ayala, with its experience in township development, and SM, with its strengths in retail, are just building on that foundation.”
What’s next for Ortigas Land? With four estates in various stages of development in Metro Manila, Jalandoni said that the company is focused on bringing out the best in each of its estates. It’s an exciting time for the developer, and with its two partners in tow, Ortigas Land is a shining example of how in real estate, cooperation instead of competition can create even greater value for the consumer.
“Our latest projects were the first major developments between two competing developers bringing their own unique expertise. It had never been done before, but if anything, we’ve proven that the template works.”