Manila is now second to Bangalore as one of the top Business Process Outsource (BPO) global destinations, bumping Mumbai down to third place.
Consultancy Tholons recently published this new ranking, prompting business districts like the Ortigas Center to further improve its competitiveness to attract call center locators, and similar office tenants.
Sheila Lobien, head of project leasing and director of global real estate services firm JLL Philippines, said that in 2014 alone, seven office towers offering a gross leasable area of 150,200 sqm., became available in Ortigas Center. This, she said, reflected a strong demand for space, already 70% or 105,500 sqm. of the new supply, which have been pre-committed.
Lobien said the new generation of BPO-ready office towers in Ortigas Center, such as the 26-story Robinsons Cyberscape Alpha, are highly efficient. A typical floor plate in the tower on Sapphire and Garnet Roads is 2,033 sqm. which is preferred by locators seeking to maximize space. The building is equipped with a Variable Refrigerant Flow air-conditioning system with individual temperature setting controls, as well as a 100 per cent backup tower for round-the-clock operations required by the BPO industry.
Now ready for occupancy, Robinsons Cyberscape Alpha and most of the newer buildings in Ortigas Center, attract BPO locators because of their proximity to the labor pools of Quezon City and other densely populated areas in Northern and Eastern Metro Manila.
“In the stiff competition for labor among expanding BPOs, established business districts like Ortigas Center continue to have an edge,” said Lobien. “This CBD has an excellent selection of malls, 24/7 restaurants and other after-work options attractive to industry workers. It is also accessible through many modes of transport, whether Ortigas Avenue, Shaw Boulevard or EDSA.”
Lobien said that buildings like Cybergate Alpha are considered superior real estate solutions in this fast-expanding industry that has been growing by an average of 20 per cent annually.
Also important to BPOs is the fact that average asking rents in the Ortigas Center are pegged at P625/sqm. per month, which remains lower than Makati CBD and Bonifacio Global City, where asking fees range from P850 to P1,200/sqm per month.
Industry studies show that new office supply of BPO-ready buildings in Ortigas Center in 2015 will be available only in the first and last quarters of the year, and the first quarter of 2016.
“ Ortigas Center is likely to be a lessors’ market in the next few years,” she said.
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