SINGAPORE: Keppel Land Limited and BDO Unibank, Inc., a member of the SM Group, marked the grand opening of the office and retail mixed-use development, The Podium, at a ceremony in Manila, Philippines, today.
Keppel Philippines Properties, a subsidiary of Keppel Land, holds a 40% stake in The Podium, while BDO and an associate company hold the remaining stakes.
The Guest-of-Honour was Madam Halimah Yacob, President of the Republic of Singapore, who was accompanied by Mr Mohamed Abdullah Alhabshee; Ms Indranee Rajah, Minister, Prime Minister’s Office, Second Minister for Finance and Second Minister for Education; Dr Koh Poh Koon, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Trade and Industry; Mr Silvestre Bello III, Secretary of Department of Labor and Employment; Mr Ramon Lopez, Secretary of Department of Trade and Industry; Mayor Carmelita Aguilar Abalos of Mandaluyong City and senior officials from Singapore and the Philippines.
Senior management from the Keppel Group, led by Dr Lee Boon Yang, Chairman of Keppel Corporation; Mr Loh Chin Hua, CEO of Keppel Corporation and Mr Tan Swee Yiow, CEO of Keppel Land, as well as Ms Teresita Sy-Coson, Chairperson of BDO; Mr Hans Sy, Chairman of the Executive Committee of SM Prime Holdings and Mr Nestor Tan, President and CEO of BDO, were also present.
Ms Teresita Sy-Coson, Chairperson of BDO, said, “Today, we mark the completion of The Podium development, comprising an expanded Podium mall and an office tower, which is envisioned to serve the growing demand for prime office spaces of the Ortigas Center. The Podium project clearly demonstrates the shared optimism of Keppel and BDO on the growth prospects of the Philippines’ retail and office sector as economic growth and domestic demand remain strong.”
Mr Tan Swee Yiow, CEO of Keppel Land, said, “We celebrate the successful collaboration with our like-minded partner, BDO, with the opening of this landmark eco-icon in the Ortigas central business district. Keppel Land has been contributing to and participating in the growth of the Philippines’ economy since the early 1990s. The Podium is a landmark commercial development that hosts multinational companies and retail tenants and its successful completion is a testament of the strong relationships, network and execution capabilities that we have built up over the years.”
Developed in phases, Phase One of The Podium comprises The Podium retail mall, which was opened in 2002. Phase Two retail mall commenced operations in 2017. Construction of The Podium West Tower started in 2015 and was completed in May 2019. The total net leasable area of The Podium development is about 140,000 sqm, comprising about 50,000 sqm of retail space and about 90,000 sqm of office space.
The Podium has a 2,000 sm garden wall, the largest vertical green wall in the country with over 6,500 plants, which provides a green lung to the property’s environment. In recognition of its sustainable features, The Podium was awarded the LEED Gold Mark (Core & Shell) pre-certification by the US Green Building Council, and is the first building in the Philippines to receive the provisional Green Mark Gold Award by the Building and Construction Authority of Singapore.
In conjunction with the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Singapore and the Philippines, Enterprise Singapore is staging Singaporium, an exclusive lifestyle and food pop-up fair, at the atrium of The Podium retail Mall from 6 to 15 September 2019. The fair showcases 17 Singaporean brands in the fashion, food and lifestyle sectors.