Rockwell expanding leisure estate business

Rockwell expanding leisure estate business

Lopez-led property developer Rockwell Land Corp. is betting big on tourism and leisure estate with the development of a chain of luxury resorts under the “Aruga Hotels” brand, adding to its portfolio of recurring earnings.

The developer is investing P6 billion to P7 billion in two new Aruga Hotels—one in Rockwell Center in Makati (a 280-room boutique hotel) and another in Mactan, Cebu (a 300-room beachfront resort).

Rockwell Land president Nestor Padilla said during the company’s annual stockholders meeting Thursday that Aruga Hotel in Makati – pitched as its first urban resort-themed development in the city – would open in the first half of 2019.

The Makati hotel will have a 1,400-seater ballroom, specialty restaurants, a fitness gym, an executive lounge and meeting rooms.  It will be smaller than the serviced apartments currently offered by the group under the same “Aruga” brand. Construction of the new hotel in Makati is estimated to cost P3 billion.

For the Mactan development, which is estimated to cost between P3 billion and P4 billion, there will be sky suites on the upper floors with panoramic views of the 250-meter beachfront.  It will also have private villas with direct access to the beach.

Set on 11 acres of property facing the Hilutungaan channel next to the Shangri-la resort in Mactan, the hotel is set to start construction in the third quarter of 2017.  It is expected to generate P300 million to P400 million yearly upon completion by 2021.

“The strong interest from our roster of investors and partners to roll out new ventures outside Metro Manila is evidence of not only the strength of Rockwell’s hotel and leisure business but also reflects our collective vision to develop prime tourist locations like Mactan Island as the country experiences a tourism renaissance,” Padilla said.

“Tourism is one of the thrusts of government and if we believe that infrastructure will follow in the area—the Philippines is a nice country—it’s a natural extension of us being in the lifestyle area,” said Rockwell senior vice president and chief finance officer Ellen Almodiel in a briefing after the stockholders’ meeting.

Angela Marie Pagulayan, assistant vice president for Rockwell hotel and leisure development, added that the group was likewise encouraged by the 82 percent occupancy rate of Aruga serviced apartments at present.

By: Doris Dumlao-Abadilla – Reporter / @philbizwatcher
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