Office, Residential, and Retail Sectors
In this release, we have identified key issues and opportunities in the province of Bacolod particularly in the office, residential and retail sectors.
BACOLOD OFFICE SECTOR
Bacolod City remains a preferred location for outsourcing operations. A number of existing voice business process outsourcing (BPO) firms are continuously expanding while some knowledge process outsourcing (KPO) companies are looking at the city as a potential site outside of Metro Manila. While Bacolod City remains a major destination for call centre services, its talent pool needs to scale up if the city is to corner a larger fraction of the local KPO pie. With expansion from existing locators and limited office supply in the pipeline, Colliers encourages developers to continue constructing office towers especially in Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA)-accredited zones where cost-sensitive locators can take advantage of fiscal incentives. Local and national firms should explore the possibility of developing plug-and-play offices as incoming KPO firms are in immediate need of buildings ready for occupancy and want to reduce their capex. Companies should continue developing offices within integrated business hubs as these master-planned communities provide the retail and residential complement required by outsourcing firms. Colliers also encourages tenants and landlords to explore opportunities in the Bacolod port and old airport site that can be redeveloped into mixed-use projects.
BACOLOD RESIDENTIAL SECTOR
The Bacolod residential sector is primarily driven by horizontal (house and lots) developments. At present, there are over 25,000 house and lot units in Bacolod City. By comparison, vertical (condominiums) developments total merely 1,200 units. This is not surprising given the absence of a sizeable business district like major cities in the country as offices are limited in the city centre along Lacson Street. Until then, demand will still be concentrated in house and lots. Take-up of house and lots in 2017 reached over 2,000 units, the highest level in the last five years. Several horizontal projects are also nearly sold out or better. Condominiums on the other hand have reached only 290 units, and take-up is relatively slow with only two buildings sold out. This may change, however, when bigger business process outsourcers (BPO) locate in the provincial city. Thus, Colliers recommends that developers focus on horizontal developments within Bacolod City, while keeping an eye on Talisay City which is also a preferred location for house and lots given the less busy environment yet still accessible to and from Bacolod. Meanwhile, they should also be mindful of the potential of condominiums especially within mixed-use developments which may have office space components, particularly those within the city centre or near the Bacolod-Silay Airport.
BACOLOD RETAIL SECTOR
Bacolod City is one of the largest retail markets outside of Metro Manila. At present, national developers cover about 30% of the market while local players account for the remaining 70%. Colliers has observed that despite the influx of foreign retail brands and establishment of a major SM mall, homegrown food and beverage (F&B) brands and old retail shops operated by local players continue to thrive. We see the retail space offered by national developers expanding over the next 12 to 36 months as Ayala Land and Megaworld have lined up a number of regional malls. Colliers believes that local mall operators should continue extending exclusive credit lines and loyalty programmes to locals but should adjust their offerings based on the young consumers' preferences. We also recommend that retailers and developers undertake the following: (1) continue catering to BPO workers' needs; (2) assess the retail potential of idle Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA)-proclaimed parks and the old airport site; (3) look for alternative locations for neighbourhood malls; and (4) develop retail outlets near public infrastructure projects.
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