Regus to set up another center

WORKING place solutions provider Regus is putting up a second center here within the next two years even as the as the company is also planning to expand in other cities of Mindanao.

Lars Wittig, Regus Philippines country manager, said the company is looking for another building to set up a new center even as the company has also started discussing with its partner in its first center, the Damosa Land Inc. (DLI) of the Floirendo group.

Regus, whose center at the Topaz tower in Damosa the biggest in the country with 1,600 square meters in area, decided to plan for another center as its present center has continued to attract new locators with about 40 inquiries a month.

Ricardo F. Lagdameo, DLI vice president, said that his company is ready to discuss with Regus its expansion plan, but if the latter will look for new places, then it could do so. “So who are we to deny a good plan,” said Lagdameo.

Wittig said the expansion in the city will still “likely come ahead of any expansion outside the city” as the company is looking also to put up centers in the cities of Cagayan de Oro, General Santos and Zamboanga.

Despite the recent incidents in Mindanao, particularly the declaration of martial law, Wittig said the average occupancy of the center is at 82%, “which is very high” with about 300 people using it as they represent 25 companies, with about 60% of these companies foreign.

Adding that the company has identified some areas in the city for its expansion, Mr. Wittig said the company is looking for a new center conducive to those who will decide to locate in the city either as executives of companies that have presence here or those looking for opportunities.

“We need to pursue what is possible,” he said, adding that at present, among the 25 centers in the country, the one in the city is considered among the fastest growing as it achieved an 80% occupancy six months after it opened in August last year.

The need for a new center in the city, he added, is also “driven by the high renewal rate,” as last month, of the four companies whose contracts expired, three of them re-signed. “That (renewal rate) is pretty high in our experience in the Philippines,” he said, pointing out that even with the declaration of martial law in Mindanao, “nothing has slowed down” in terms of the operations of the center.

The high renewal rate as well as the high number of inquiries are both indicators that the attention of the companies on the city as an investment area is not waning. Mr. Wittig pointed out that in Vietnam, the company could only operate seven centers as he jokingly said the company told him to “bring with” him “the magic wand” that he is using in the Philippines.

He said companies have “shown how serious they are in their plans in the city” either on possible expansion of their footprints or starting up their operations. “They have to convince their stakeholders that the city is a mature area for their investments,” he said.

The good thing is that, the city is always ready to help new investors based on the experience of his company, Wittig said, citing that he and Lagdameo “shook hands for the partnership in February (2016) and we started operating in August (of that year).”

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