Harnessing a niche brand, an Ortigas & Company Business Strategy

by Steve Van Derodar

When I think of two landed Spanish-Filipino haciendero clans in Metro Manila, Zobel de Ayala and Ortigas come to mind. The Zobel de Ayalas has since changed the landscapes in Makati making it the country’s primary financial and commercial capital. In the north, we have the Ortigas clan, which similarly transformed Ortigas Center into the county’s other important business district. Though bought in the 1920s, only In 1931 when Ortigas, Madrigal y cia., S. en C. was incorporated as a limited partnership with the sole purpose of acquiring the Hacienda de Mandaloyon, a massive 4,033 hectares owned by Augustinian Friars. The estates originally covered parts of San Juan, Mandaluyong, Pasig City, Quezon City, and other areas. Most portions were sold off to what shaped into prime villages, corporate headquarters, malls, hotels, residential towers etc.

Existent for about 90 years, Ortigas Land’s commitment has not changed over the years in its real estate-focused interests, encompassing commercial leases, land subdivision resale, commercial center operations and real estate residential development. It currently owns strategic land bank areas in the Ortigas Business District, Greenhills Center, Ortigas East, Circulo Verde, and Capitol Commons.

“Because of its central location, Ortigas Center became a home to major companies and establishments . . .”

Because of its central location, Ortigas Center became a home to major companies and establishments such as Robinsons Galleria, SM Megamall, Unilab, Shangri-La hotel, Asian Development Bank, San Miguel Corporation, Jollibee Headquarters and many others owning their respective lots that contributed to its dynamism for their commercial and corporate presence. Similarly, Ortigas & Company’s famous estates, which were sold off, became the subdivisions of Capitol, Wack Wack, Greenhills, Valle Verde and Greenmeadows. Ortigas Land developed the subdivisions.

Ortigas & Company has undergone organizational restructures and change of business entities from a limited partnership to a corporate entity — Ortigas Holdings Inc. The restructuring paved the way for the entry of a new investor, a stock debut or both. It had taken some time for the Ortigas holding firm to take this corporate route because of the diverse ownership, the old partnership being an old entity whose shares of stocks had been passed on from one generation to another. HSBC was once its major single stockholder with 34% stake in the company which was later bought back also by the Ortigas’s by early 2010s.

While we rarely hear limited partnership, it is a brilliant idea in forging partnerships if you have considerable assets or cash. According to our Civil Code of the Philippines, a limited partnership is one formed by two or more persons under the provisions of the following article, having as members one or more general partners and one or more limited partners. The limited partners as such shall not be bound by the obligations of the partnership. Notably, it furthers that: Art. 1845. The contributions of a limited partner may be cash or property, but not services; Art. 1846. The surname of a limited partner shall not appear in the partnership name unless: (1) It is also the surname of a general partner, or (2) Prior to the time when the limited partner became such, the business has been carried on under a name in which his surname appeared. A limited partner whose surname appears in a partnership name contrary to the provisions of the first paragraph is liable as a general partner to partnership.

Today, Ayala Land and SM Prime have strategic investments in OCLP Holdings Inc. making them significant investors of Ortigas and Company Limited Partnership in a synergistic business alliance. Both conglomerates’ expertise will add value to Ortigas and Company real estate portfolio.

“Ortigas Center’s success is a testimony to Ortigas and Company’s claim to business prominence. And with the challenges of the times for competitiveness, it has ventured more so, recently into a niche in upscale vertical residential and office development …”

Ortigas Center’s success is a testimony to Ortigas and Company’s claim to business prominence. And with the challenges of the times for competitiveness, it has ventured more so, recently into a niche in upscale vertical residential and office development like The Galleon Residences and The Galleon Offices and commercial center extension to what is Capitol Commons and key projects in its prime urban lots in Greenhills, Ortigas East, etc.
The Offices and Residences at The Galleon, the only mixed-use development within Ortigas Center, takes pride in bringing together a thriving community onboard where live, home, work, and play are made available in a high-quality, modern two-tower Ortigas Land development.

Capitol Commons is a P25-billion, 10-hectare mixed-use commercial, residential and office development in Pasig, features Pasig’s first high-end shopping center called Estancia and upscale residential buildings at Capitol Commons. Also, at its commercial and entertainment component, the first-ever Ortigas cinemas and an SM store can be found; Unimart; and Gastro Hub, a food strip offering different dining concepts to the market. The Capitol Commons development is complemented with 35,000 square meters of retail space, 20,000 square meters of office space for knowledge process outsourcing (KPO) companies, and 280,000 square meters of residential units.

Interestingly, the high-rise residential developments of Capitol Commons such as the 64-story Royalton, the 62-story Imperium, the 62-story Maven, and the 56-story Empress cater to a segment that celebrates architecture, excellent amenities, well-planned condo living environment.

“Without a doubt, Ortigas & Company land assets reimpose its position as the true center of the megalopolis Manila, a key determinant to its optimal potential of its business house….”

Being new to Manila in 2004-2005, I was involved in a liquor distribution company as brand ambassador and in a food industry as an account manager. With my liquor distribution engagement, I was exposed to upscale bars and restaurant businesses especially those serving premium liquor brands in Makati, Ortigas and Greenhills, San Juan as my areas. With real estate, the unimaginable become possibilities, making the future a test of time. Greenhills now has Viridian and other buildings in the pipelines, Ortigas & Company broke ground in 2019 The Galleon two-tower project, The Capitol Commons – currently offers a distinctive lifestyle. My point is, nearly 20 years now, Ortigas & Company has evolved its branding, made business pursuits enriching its land banking, redefining its major contributions to the real estate industry.

Without a doubt, Ortigas & Company land assets reimpose its position as the true center of the megalopolis Manila, a key determinant to its optimal potential of its business house. On behalf of the discerning clientele, I sensed their excitement and approval in seeing more infrastructures and buildings in communities within a niche brand.

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(Stevenson’s experience in Philippine Real Estate spans more than 15 years. He has been involved in horizontal, vertical, vacation and commercial properties. He has worked as an International Property Specialist to markets in Asia, Europe and North America with Ayala Land, Federal Land and Century Properties. Through PhilHouseHunters, he offers real estate investment opportunities, marketing, and consultancy with a key focus to Metro Manila and Mega Cebu areas. Visit www.philhousehunters.com. Email at derodarsales@gmail.com.)

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