Supply of BPO-ready buildings in Metro Manila now dwindling
June 16, 2017
[The Philippine Star] MANILA, Philippines - With office vacancy rates hovering at four percent in the Ortigas-Pasig-Mandaluyong area and in the rest of Metro Manila, office spaces like Ortigas Technopoint Two to be completed at the last quarter of 2017 are in tight demand.
While there remains a strong supply of office space coming in 2017, demand for strategically located buildings continue to be rapidly taken up by business process outsourcing (BPO) companies and more recently, by online gaming firms, according to studies by Leechiu Property Consultants (LPC), a leading wholly-Filipino owned real estate company. LPC is the preferred brokerage and consulting partner of global real estate firm CBRE.
According to David Leechiu, LPC CEO, there is “an unprecedented level of pre-commitments at 500,000 sqm in the Metro Manila office market.” In anticipation of space being snapped up by expanding BPOs, and now, online gaming firms, companies are reserving office spaces that have yet to be completed.
Consequently office buildings offering the advantages of a central location and BPO-friendly facilities like Ortigas Technopoint Two along Julio Vargas in the Ortigas area are experiencing high inquiry levels. Mikko Barranda, associate director of Leechiu Property Consultants, exclusive leasing agent of the building with VRF air-conditioning, points out that the property’s biggest advantages are its tall ceilings and large floor plates that are typically 4,000 sqm. This allows a 1:5 density ratio or one person for every five square meters of space.
“Large floor plates translate to greater floor efficiencies, a benefit all BPOs seek,” he said. Given the large numbers they employ, BPOs focus on keeping costs low as a means of staying competitive. At the same time, they are keen on providing a comfortable and conducive work environment for their employees.
Ortigas Technopoint Two is the second BPO-oriented facility in the immediate vicinity. Ortigas Technopoint One received warm market reception upon completion in 2016 owing to the limited supply of office buildings in the Ortigas district now dominated by buildings constructed in the last century.
The building was also distinguished by its efficiency and central location. The Ortigas Technopoint compound is highly accessible via public transportation from the residential communities of Quezon City, Pasig City and Mandalu-yong City. At the same time, it includes a six-story parking building to meet the needs of locators and guests.
The five story Ortigas Technopoint Two, with a gross leasable area of 22,313 sqm, has retained the expansive floor plates of its predecessor. It also has eight passenger elevators to facilitate the quick entry and egress of BPO workers. Still currently available for lease is 4,000 sqm in the second to the fourth floors.
Most of the centrally-located Metro Manila business districts will be fully built up by 2018, according to studies by Leechiu Property Consultants. Because large properties are now becoming scarce in the heart of the metro, buildings that efficiently meet the needs of BPOs like Ortigas Technopoint Two are a vanishing breed, according to Barranda.