PH green buildings attract global locators

published in The Manila Times

June 07, 2017

Green buildings in the country's top business districts are becoming increasingly attractive to environmentally conscious global companies, according to Real Estate Services company Jones Lang LaSalle Philippines Inc. (JLL).

Take for instance the landmark Net Park building at 5th Avenue of Bonifacio Global City in Taguig, which is a 38-storey prime office building and has a total of 65,000 square meters of gross leasable area.

Net Park, completed in 2015, is the first project in the Philippines to pursue a 5-star certification for Building for Ecologically Responsive Design Excellence (BERDE). Developed by the Philippine Green Building Council (PHILGBC), the rating scheme is used to measure, verify and monitor the environmental performance of buildings that exceed mandatory regulations and standards.

"From drawings alone, we were able to secure globally-renowned companies and fully lease this green building in over a year," said Sheila Lobien, JLL Philippines' Regional Director and Head of Project Leasing.

JLL got global brands Procter & Gamble, Infor, Deloitte, and Lazada to occupy prime office spaces at Net Park, along with other major corporate names and business process outsourcing firms.

Tina Samson, co-president of The Net Group, credits JLL for its expertise in leasing as well as building tenant relationships.

"The past years that we have been working with JLL has been a wonderful experience. We've basically created a personal relationship with the team of JLL that actually led us to create a very good relationship with our tenants," she said.

She also expressed that through the help of JLL, The Net Group was able to establish a good name in the industry and obviously, fully lease out their two latest buildings, which are in fact both BERDE certified.

"Going green is an international standard. That is where the market is going now," Lobien told The Manila Times.

She said green buildings are becoming a popular choice among tenants, who want a change in environment amid the urban sprawl.

"Tenants, for instance, now want natural airflow and lighting, instead of the boxed, fluorescent-lighted conventional high rises," the Regional Director said.

"Green buildings are thus energy-efficient and environment-friendly," she added.

JLL feels proud to spearhead the shift to green buildings and become part of nation-building and sustainable development, especially by being able to market high-class properties to blue–chip occupiers.

"We know the market very well and we have a global reach," Lobien said, explaining JLL's remarkable success in the Philippine real estate industry.

She noted that the office space is a barometer of a good economy, and added that the outlook for the real estate market is positive, especially with the "Golden Age of Infrastructure" envisioned by the government.

The ambitious P9-trillion infrastructure plan is expected to yield more jobs for Filipinos and draw more investments from overseas in the next five years.

Also, the Philippines has a large pool of young, English–speaking, high-value talents, which attract foreign investors to come here. Aside from that, our real estate property prices are still competitive compared with other countries, according to Lobien.

She explained that the government's infrastructure strategy, dubbed as the "Build, Build, Build" scheme, will lead to a virtuous cycle and further accelerate economic growth.

"This infrastructure development will result in a growing trend of employees preferring to rent condominium spaces near their workplaces to avoid traffic, which could support high demand for the residential market in urban areas," she said.


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