Projects like Ayala Land’s Alegria Hills residential project helped boost the property sector in Northern Mindanao.

Property business in this city has bounced back after experiencing slow-moving inventories two years ago.

Alegria Hills, Ayala Land, Inc.’s first residential project in Northern Mindanao, is now 64% sold, with major facilities of the subdivision already completed.

Medium-rise residential structures are also being constructed in various parts of the city, even as shopping malls are expanding in response to increasing consumer expenditures.

The situation is in stark contrast to that of two years ago when the global economic crisis halted property development in the region.

Upscale projects were almost at a standstill back then until the industries started their recovery last year.

Revenues in 2009 for Ayala Land Visayas-Mindanao operations went up 53% due to sales from Alegria Hills as well as Plantazionne Verdana Homes in Talisay City in Cebu.

“We are embarking on a significant geographic and product expansion and we continue to evaluate prospects in many growth centers across the country, including Mindanao,” said Alfonso D. Reyes, spokesperson of Ayala Land, Inc.

The biggest project of Ayala Land in Mindanao, so far, is the Abreeza Complex, a 10-hectare joint venture with Antonio Floirendo Group in Davao City.

The complex’s 2.9-hectare shopping mall is set to open six months from now.

Early this year, reports of an Ayala Mall to be constructed in this city also came out.

City Mayor Vicente Y. Emano announced in his radio program the signing of a joint venture similar to Davao’s Abreeza project between Ayala Land, and the Floirendo family, which owns the prime land along this city’s C.M. Recto Avenue, near the region’s two biggest shopping malls.

Outside of Ayala’s upscale projects, Cagayan de Oro is also host to other property developments that started last year.

Primavera Residences, a project of ItalPinas Euro-Asian Design and Eco-Development Corp., is the first green building in the city, a 10-floor structure offering clean energy residential spaces.

Granvia Square, a condominium-hotel project of Johndorf Ventures Corp., is also being constructed at this city’s Pueblo de Oro area.

There are also talks on the establishment of a new hotel in the city after the Crown Regency Group acquired a property in Carmen district.

Similarly, consumers in this city, and nearby provinces are expecting more shops to open by next year.

City officials have announced the expansion plans of the Gaisano Group, adding to the five retail establishments it currently operates in the city.

The top shopping destination, however, remains the Lim Ket Kai Center, which houses a shopping complex of over 100,000 square meters also hosting the city’s Robinson’s outlets.

The Ororama chain still has two shopping malls — one in Cogon district near the public market and another in Carmen.

SM Prime has the SM City Cagayan de Oro at Pueblo de Oro, and the new Save More shop in Agora district.

article by Louise G. Dumas of BusinessWorld

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