News and Events
Empire East to partner with gambling tycoon Kazuo Okada
The Entertainment City on Manila Bay is aimed to become “a multifaceted leisure and entertainment center that is internationally benchmarked,” says Pagcor chairman and CEO Cristino Naguiat Jr.
MANILA Philippines – Real estate magnate Andrew Tan has teamed up with Japanese tycoon Kazuo Okada to build the upscale residential condominium component of the latter’s $2-billion entertainment complex in Manila.
Tan-led Empire East Land Holdings Inc. (ELI) disclosed to the Philippine Stock Exchange on Monday that it had signed a joint venture agreement with Okada’s Tiger Resort Leisure and Entertainment Inc. and Eagle 1 Landholdings Inc. to “take the lead with a majority stake in the development of a 12.95-hectare luxury residential resort condominium project in Entertainment City Manila. The high-end project will comprise more than 25 residential towers in several phases.
The local tycoon already has a partnership with Malaysian conglomerate Genting via Travellers Hotel International, operator of Resorts World Manila. It has been estimated that RWM – the first privately owned casino in the country – now corners 40 percent of the Philippine gaming market. Travellers Hotel also has a license to put up another casino in Pacgor City.
ELI’s partnership with Okada in the Pagcor City, however, is on residential development and is seen as a signal of its bid to grow its upscale residential portfolio. ELI has previously focused on middle-income projects while sister company Megaworld Corp. has traditionally handled the high-end developments.
“We are very honored and excited to be a partner of the internationally renowned and prestigious Okada Group,” said ELI president Anthony Charlemagne Yu.
“We believe that Entertainment City Manila will not only be the biggest tourist hub in the Philippines in the next few years but also an excellent place to live in. We foresee that this world-class city will attract one million tourists yearly, and will be a big draw for foreign investors and retirees. Many of these visitors may opt to buy properties for a longer stay or retirement. With Empire East’s participation in Entertainment City, we intend to make this place not just a great resort for tourists, but also a great resort community for people to live in,” he said.
ELI has recently approved to increase its authorized capital stock from P23.4 billion to P33.4 billion, which is expected to be completed within the end of the year.
Okada has vowed to put up a world-class in the Philippines, predicting that Asia would beat Las Vegas as the epicenter of the global gaming industry.
Earlier this year, Okada was embroiled in a bitter squabble with his former partners at Wynn Resorts, where he owned the largest block of shares until he was ejected in a boardroom coup on allegations of corrupt practices. Okada’s gaming complex is expected to be completed by 2014.
On Friday, Gokongwei-led Robinsons Land Corp. also confirmed discussions with the group of Okada to participate in a $2-billion entertainment complex in Pagcor City.