The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority said it approved a $30-million investment in a golf course and a 2,000-unit residential project of a Japanese group led by Smart Community Co. Ltd. founder Masafumi Miyamoto.
SBMA chairman Roberto Garcia said the Japanese company would develop Subic Bay golf course into a world-class venue for tournaments and a housing facility for the elderly and retirees. Smart Community is the first and largest continuing-care retirement community in Japan.
“This project is a game-changer for Subic,” said Garcia. The project will use the existing fairways left idle in recent years and is expected to attract more visitors into the area that will generate more economic activities.
SBMA said on top of the $30-million development cost, the project will pay a fixed annual rental fee of $350,000 and a five-percent gross revenue share payable to SBMA for a 50-year lease period.
Garcia said that in awarding the lease development contract to Miyamoto, SBMA considered the overall concept of the project, the proponent’s financial capability, market availability and business plan presented to agency officials in December last year.
“This is a two-pronged development project that considered the best potentials for what could be considered a major asset in Subic Freeport,” Garcia said.
The first component costing $3 million would involve the renovation and re-development of the whole golf course within two years, from June 2016 to June 2018 to cover clubhouse renovation, sprinkler systems and repair of ponds, improvement of the golf course and upgrade of machinery and equipment, golf carts and service vehicles.
The proponent assured SBMA that the golf course would remain operational throughout the renovation period through a rotational renovation plan that would keep a minimum of nine holes open at a given time.
The second component is the $27-million development of all allowable open areas for the Subic Smart Community within a six-year period.
This would consist of the construction and development of an initial 200 condominium units from 2016 to 2018 followed by the completion of about 1,800 condominium units with various amenities such as gym, sports center, arts and crafts studios, karaoke or music rooms, function rooms, library and bars and restaurants.
Garcia said Miyamoto’s proposal was based on a market study that showed Japan’s aging society led to the emergence of elderly care businesses valued at $252-billion industry as of 2015.
Aside from starting the Smart Community in 2004, Miyamoto founded in 1986 the Square Enix Co. Ltd., which is engaged in publishing, distribution and licensing of digital entertainment content worldwide, including the highly successful Tomb Raider Final Fantasy.
Miyamoto also founded the Sunpia Golf Club in Japan’s Tokushima City, which has a total of 100 hectares, with three helipads, 300 parking slots and driveways lined with cherry blossom trees.