News Article

Biz Buzz: Buying air rights

08/05/2012 | By: The Staff, Philippine Daily Inquirerr

Upscale property developer Alphaland Corp. topped out last week its 34-story Alphaland Tower, which company president Mario Oreta says will be the “newest, smartest and prettiest” building along Ayala Avenue, the country’s version of Wall Street.

At a cocktail party that toasted the structural topping out (in construction, the ceremonial placing of the last beam at the top of the building), Oreta says the P3-billion skycraper will be open for business by January 2013.

More importantly, Alphaland—led by the group of former trade minister Roberto V. Ongpin—paid about P93 million to purchase “air rights” from the owner of the adjacent KPMG Center (the former Prudential Bank building), thus giving an unobstructed view of the central business district on its left side.

Oreta said the building owner sold the equivalent of four unused floors from its 16 floor area ratio (equivalent to about 9,600 square meters of floor area) entitlement.

This means that if they decide in the future to tear down the current building and build a new one, it has waived the right to build anything taller that will block Alphaland’s current view.

Interestingly, Oreta also made a pitch for the air rights of the current Vicente Madrigal building on Alphaland Tower’s right side, to no avail. The Madrigals agreed to meet up with Oreta but in the end, the latter was told: “We have more money than Alphaland, so why should we sell to you?”