Jakarta firm opens $2-M facility in Makati

BETTING that Philippine businesses will require more offices, a Jakarta-based company which provides serviced workspaces opened its seventh center in Metro Manila’s premier financial district.

Worth $2 million, the office serviced by CEO SUITE offers motion sensors which control lighting and air-conditioning and card tap technology for each of its hundred workstations located on the 37th floor of the LKG Tower in Makati City.

CEO SUITE, which runs a boutique style of serviced-office business across Asian cities, allows individuals to use rooms for an office or formal work areas.

The company charges between P12,000 to P40,000 a month for use of a workstation – a table, a leather seat, a desk lamp, black canisters for pens and paper clips – in a wall-to-wall carpeted room.

Besides being able to provide secretarial services, CEO SUITE, which claims to be Asia’s expert in the serviced office industry, also offers fixed-line communications and wireless internet connections.

“People who would need this kind of service are those starting up a business and they need a distinguished and highly sophisticated office without going through the hassles of finding a space here in Makati, [such as] applying for telephone lines, and the taxing tasks that come with the start-up process,” Ems Llanes, the company’s country manager, told Business Mirror.

Meanwhile, Joseph Siswanto, co-owner and spouse of CEO SUITE’s president Mee Kim, told reporters that foreign investors undertaking research in the Philippines “may need a business center” even as they keep their options open regarding investing in the country.

“They may decide later that there are opportunities here. So we link them up with other agencies like CB Richard Ellis (CBRE) if they would require buying or leasing business space on a longer term,” Siswanto said. He added that their customers who are not ready to invest in the country “wouldn’t have to worry about a lease contract that still has six or more months of use.”

Nevertheless, Siswanto believes the market would swing upward owing to double-digit growth rates in the local property sector. He also said that the company is a seriously looking at establishing facilities in Cebu City.
“I was in the Philippines when the region’s property bubble burst and I see a different, more uppity, market demand a decade later,” Siswanto said.

Earlier, property broker CBRE said that vacancies in the Makati central business district has fallen to a ten-year low of 1.3 percent from double-digit growth rates ever since the Asian crisis hit the Asia-Pacific region’s real estate industry a decade ago.

According to CBRE, office and business space demand have grown so much that investors and developers are already looking outside Makati for areas which could be developed for companies engaged in business process outsourcing.

Besides Manila, CEO SUITE also manages serviced offices in Singapore, Beijing, Shanghai, Jakarta, Bangkok, and Kuala Lumpur.

Apr 26, 2013

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