Jimenez firm putting up P 2-B office tower in BGC

Menarco Development Corp., a property company controlled by the family of businessman Menardo R. Jimenez, Sr., wants to shake up the office building sector with its maiden project in Bonifacio Global City that goes beyond being “green” as it also considers the health of its occupants.

The company Friday gave the media a preview of its Menarco Tower, a 32-story office building now rising along 32nd street in BGC. The company is pouring a little more than P2 billion into the project, which will have its topping off ceremony next week and will be completed by January 2017.

Menarco Tower would add more than 25,400 square meters of gross leasable area to the area, which is one of Metro Manila’s key business districts.

Menarco Tower differentiates itself from competitors by focusing also on the wellness of the building’s tenants. It provides more natural lighting, special air filtration systems and whole food dining options.

Moreover, it is poised to be the first building in the Philippines to register for WELL Certification.

The WELL Building Standard, established in 2013 by the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI), measures and monitors the performance of building features that impact the users’ health and well-being.  Menarco Tower is already a pre-certified LEED GOLD Tower.

“We were not satisfied with the standard, so we’re here to create a new standard,” Carmen Jimenez-Ong, managing director of Menarco Development, said in a briefing Friday.

The business proposition here was that healthy employees would be happier, take less sick leaves and work harder, spelling more profits for the companies that employ them.

That sales pitch is working well for Menarco Development, thus far.

This early, it is already luring interested locators, local holding companies and multinationals setting up shop in the country. Ong said lease rates per square meter were set at about P1,100, below the average P1,200 charged by other premium office towers in the area.

Menarco Tower would have 22 office floors and 10 parking floors, information from its broker Leechiu Property Consultants showed. Datem was tapped as contractor while its lead architect was AIDEA. Arcadis served as its LEED consultant.

Jimenez-Ong said the company tapped mainly Filipino companies in the construction process, a practice that would also be maintained for future projects.

Menardo R. Jimenez, Sr., one of three major shareholders in broadcast giant GMA Network Inc., has been investing in property since the 1970s.

This article is written by Miguel R. Camus of Philippine Daily Inquirer.

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