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Old October 5th, 2008, 04:19 PM   #461
taga-bayan
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the pagcor hq looks great but sadly i'm not a fan of the tower's design.
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Old October 5th, 2008, 05:41 PM   #462
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The idea of doing a design contest for it may suit your palette.
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Old October 21st, 2008, 11:16 AM   #463
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i think the shape of the tower is too common or used..but the design looks great. I hope that they would think of something more unique, out-of-this-world, iconic, and nationalistic. ok?..
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Old October 21st, 2008, 11:18 AM   #464
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NO WORRIES

Gaming novice Andrew Tan is rolling the dice on two new casino resorts in the Philippines at a risky time.



Source: Forbes Asia Magazine, October 2008 by Suzanne Nam 10.09.08, 5:00 PM

Andrew Tan is a novice at the betting tables. The first time the soft-spoken tycoon ever touched a playing card was in June, when he visited Macau to research casinos. But that hasn't stopped him from making a big bet on gambling in the Philippines, which until now has been controlled by the nation's government.

In April, Tan announced plans to partner with Star Cruises, a unit of Genting, the Malaysian gaming company founded by late billionaire Lim Goh Tong. Together they are investing $1.55 billion to build two megaresorts and casinos, one across from the new terminal at Manila City Airport and one in the city's historic Bay Area. Tan, who ranks No. 4 on FORBES ASIA's list of the Philippines' 40 Richest, is to spend $1 billion more on office buildings and condominiums surrounding the casinos. "If it was just casinos, I wouldn't be interested," he says.

The audacious goal: transform Manila into the Monte Carlo of Asia. "We can do it better than Macau and Singapore," says Tan in a rare interview from his downtown Manila office. "[Those cities] have gambling, but what else do they have? In the Philippines, we'll have world-class casinos, but we also have a beautiful natural landscape and some of the best beaches in the world."

There are significant hurdles. The Philippines, despite its thousands of islands, friendly people and fluency in English, only attracted 3 million tourists last year, compared to Macau's 9 million and Singapore's 7 million. Coups, a reputation for corruption and unreliable infrastructure, including its dreary airport in Manila, haven't helped matters.

The timing is bad. Casino resorts need lots of capital as well as gamblers big and small with money in their pockets, and all of this is in shorter supply in the economic contraction. Nearly all casino stocks have tumbled. Australian billionaire James Packer's Crown Limited decided not to pursue its investment in a proposed Philippines casino. "The recent and ongoing events in world credit markets have made it very difficult for gaming operators to develop commercially viable casino-entertainment projects where those projects require significant external debt funding," stated Crown's chief executive, Rowen Craigie, in July.

Tan's holding company, Alliance Global (AGI), which posted sales and net profits of $593 million and $71 million last year, has lost half its market value in 12 months. It is down more than 40% since the start of September. Tan's net worth has slipped in the past year from $1.1 billion to $700 million. The drop would have been more dramatic had he not sold $200 million of his personal shares as part of a secondary offering by AGI last June.

Tan, 57, isn't worried. He believes the Philippines is in a good financial position and its banks still have the capacity to lend as their loan-to-deposit ratio of 73% is considered low compared to regional neighbors. At least initially there is limited financial risk. In the deal, AGI put up land it already owned and a license it had obtained at no cost, though it had to make certain promises to government regulators. Tan doesn't expect to borrow a dime to fund the first casino resort, estimated to cost $450 million, but will need to tap the teetering credit markets to help fund the second one.

He has survived worse. The 1997 Asian financial crisis almost destroyed his reputation and real estate development firm, Megaworld. A trip to Thailand over the Easter weekend that year sparked rumors that Tan had fled the country due to his company's inability to meet debt obligations. He apparently had to hold a press conference when he returned to denounce the rumors. By January of 1998 his stock was off 95% from its previous year high. A year later the company was almost entirely debt free. Since then he has kept a tighter rein on the balance sheets of his companies and, as a result, AGI has $540 million in cash and Megaworld $211 million. Both companies have announced stock buybacks.

Tan doesn't back down or give up easily. "He is not afraid to compete," says AGI Chief Executive Officer Kingson Sian. "He is an action man. Once he is committed, he focuses on it until it is executed. Remember he came from nothing and went up against much larger companies in several industries."
The son of a Chinese factory worker, Tan moved to the Philippines and put himself through college in part by working as a salesman in a watch store. He often walked to Manila's University of the East because he couldn't afford the bus fare and ate a lot of fried bananas from street vendors. He likes to joke that while other guys were chasing girls, he was chasing the guys for a ride home.

Eager to put those penny-pinching days behind him, Tan started selling kitchen appliances such as coffeemakers and blenders. After eight years he had saved $250,000, which he invested in a distillery. First he tried making gin, then rum. In each case, he competed unsuccessfully against a liquor giant that had been in business for decades. He didn't give up and in 1990 started making a homegrown brandy that he could sell at much cheaper prices than imported brandy. He positioned it as the drink of responsible, successful people; ads mostly featured men in suits. Today Emperador has 63% of the Philippine market, and brandy, once a niche drink, accounts for 40% of all spirits sold in the country.

Using some of his liquor profits, Tan moved into glass-container manufacturing and real estate, another industry dominated by much larger players. He made an even bigger name and fortune for himself in property, by catering to middle-class home buyers and foreign companies. One of his best-known developments is Megaworld's Eastwood City, built just as the outsourcing boom hit the Philippines in the late 1990s. It is now home to 80 multinationals such as Dell, Citibank and IBM. In addition to renting office space for call centers, Megaworld sells residential condos to their employees and, like many mall owners in Asia, shares in the revenues brought in by dozens of restaurants and shops on the premises.

Last year, in an effort to streamline his various interests, which by then included a food business and a 49% stake in the Philippines McDonald's franchise, Tan reorganized them all under AGI, which was already publicly listed. In a secondary offering that temporarily led the Philippines Stock Exchange to suspend the stock's trading while it learned more details of the transaction, Tan sold his brandy business to AGI for $42 million and swapped most of his shares in Megaworld for AGI shares.

The gaming opportunity came about suddenly. Last year, before the stock market started falling, the government-run gaming regulator, Philippine Amusement & Gaming Corp., known as Pagcor, decided to try to grab more of the gaming money sloshing around Asia and invited investors to apply for casino licenses. It already operates 13 casinos as well as VIP rooms and slot-machine arcades. Pagcor brought in $580 million in revenues in 2007, up 18% a year over the past five years.

Tan was intrigued, betting that outsourcing and gaming tourism weren't all that different. Both industries have a cascade effect on the economies of surrounding communities. Both rely on foreign money, adding much-needed cash to a country's economy. He and his company had already built Pagcor's Hyatt Hotel & Casino in Manila and were developing a second one on a portion of 61 acres of land he owned across from the new Terminal 3 at Manila's airport. He had bought the land in 2005 when it wasn't clear if the corruption-riddled terminal would ever open.

Tan applied for a license and eventually negotiated with Pagcor to let him run the casino he was building for it. The government agency is to get a share of the gaming and tax revenues.

In the meantime Star Cruises executives visited potential gaming sites in Manila but decided they needed a Philippine partner and approached Tan. It was a good opportunity for him, in that the company had the gaming expertise he lacked. Its cruise ships have gaming. Its parent, Genting, runs Malaysia's highly successful Genting Highlands Resort and is opening a casino on Singapore's Sentosa Island in 2010. Another reason: the potential to market to Star Cruises' 2 million passengers, the equivalent of two-thirds of current Philippine tourist traffic.

A deal was finalized in August. AGI put 19 acres of land across from the airport and the gaming license, which it had secured two months earlier, into a subsidiary and sold half of that company to Star Cruises for $335 million. Together they are developing the area, called Newport City, into a casino, three hotels, an entertainment complex and 15,000 square feet of retail space. Tan's Megaworld, which owns another 42 acres, is building 4,000 condominiums and ten office buildings around it. The $1 billion cost for Megaworld's portion is to be funded through preselling (70% of condos have been presold) and cash flow.

Construction is continuing around the clock to ensure the venture is first on the draw. The partners expect to open Resort World Casino (the same brand name as Genting is using in Singapore) in 2009. So far only one other player has thrown in its chips, despite the fact that the country has said it will not limit the number of licenses it issues. It is a stark contrast to the frenzied competition back in 2002 for Macau's licenses.

Japan's Aruze, maker of pachinko and slot machines and 22% owner of U.S. gaming giant Wynn Resorts, was awarded a license in August. It plans to invest up to $2.5 billion in a resort casino to open in 2010.

The odds against these kinds of massive projects being funded and actually paying off seem to grow longer each day as world markets swoon. Still, the 2009 opening of Resort World across from the airport is pretty close to a sure thing, already funded and well on its way. What happens next is dicier. Tan and Star have committed, as part of their agreement with Pagcor, to spend $1.1 billion, partly funded by debt, on another gaming resort in historic Manila Bay. The plans are still being drawn up, but it is to have a theme park, museums, stores and hotels in addition to casinos. In that deal, Star is to have a 70% stake, AGI 30%.

One risky aspect of this venture is the expectation that it will be a big draw for foreign tourists, particularly from mainland China. "China is limiting access to Macau for [Chinese] citizens, and Singapore is too expensive and feels too restrictive," says Aruze Executive Officer Mikio Tanji. Chinese tourists are the fastest-growing segment of Philippine visitors but only 157,600 of them visited the country last year, hardly enough to make a dent in tourism spending. The other two key markets, Korea and Japan, accounted for one-third of the Philippines' tourists.

China did recently crack down on its citizens' visits to Macau, dictating that people had to wait three months between trips. China's loss could be the Philippines gain. But Macau is practically a household name. Sentosa, Singapore's gambling center, has done a good job marketing and publicizing its 2010 opening. Most people think of Manila as a beaten-down, messed-up place with terrible food and awful traffic. There are also fears that people will cut down on travel and leisure spending as economic growth slows. Not to mention political risks: A new administration, to be elected in 2010, may not be as friendly to gaming as that of current President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

So AGI and Star have a daunting sales job to do. Yet their marketing plans, which largely rely on reaching travel agents and using Star Cruises' customer base, are modest. The country's tourism authority doesn't appear to have plans to help them in the way Singapore has helped Sentosa.

Undaunted, Tan predicts AGI's profits will double by 2011, due to the gaming and tourism revenues. Adds AGI's chief, Sian: "We really had to sell the Philippines as a center for outsourcing before we could sell the Megaworld project. This is the same thing."

At Tan's first time gambling last summer, he lost all his money at the poker table. Despite the risks, he insists, for his company's bet on Philippines gaming: "The odds are better."
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Old October 22nd, 2008, 05:31 AM   #465
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who's your daddy now?
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Old October 23rd, 2008, 09:47 AM   #466
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I think with this tower they must put a leveled skybar or dining within the observatory deck and overlooking around the main observatory deck like a mezzanine floor, wow very spectacular view most especially at nite dining and drinking with surrounding landscape and minimal water feature like jungle in the sky....
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Old October 23rd, 2008, 11:28 AM   #467
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I just do a fast hand sketch drawing about the design concept I am referring to the above.
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Old October 23rd, 2008, 06:37 PM   #468
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Nice design, Kuya Adverg!

But can you do your own render for the PAGCOR Tower?
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Old October 24th, 2008, 09:37 AM   #469
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@ Stanleymalls,
Thanks for your appreciation, I have sketches but I am not that good in 3d rendering, I try to post my proposed design for the tower.
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Old October 24th, 2008, 04:02 PM   #470
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image hosted on flickr
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Old October 24th, 2008, 04:03 PM   #471
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Old October 24th, 2008, 04:04 PM   #472
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image hosted on flickr


[IMG]http://i33.************/23syec1.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i38.************/2vvq6vq.jpg[/IMG]
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Old October 24th, 2008, 04:46 PM   #473
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the last pic looks amazing
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Old October 24th, 2008, 08:11 PM   #474
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Credit skyscraper100 for that render.
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Old October 25th, 2008, 05:37 PM   #475
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nice

Last edited by koki_motok; October 25th, 2008 at 05:45 PM. Reason: wrong post
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Old October 25th, 2008, 10:30 PM   #476
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This thing is UGLY. What's with that bulge in the middle of it? gross.
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Old October 26th, 2008, 12:12 AM   #477
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Definitely have to agree. The last render is amazing.
It's a different design compared to existing buildings. Especially because the spire is not that big as it maybe could be.
Looks a bit like the Seattle Space Needle though.
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Old October 27th, 2008, 09:47 AM   #478
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Usually the mid bulge you are talking too for what I know is also an observatory deck with dining and retail outlets for tourist souveiners and the spire that seem you interpret as a niddle, I remember there's one proposal in quezon city, philippines, a tower with the same concept of the spire and it depicts the form of pointed protruding the helmet of an army during the spaniards time and also represents the Philippine architecture.
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Old October 28th, 2008, 04:48 AM   #479
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I have a feeling the whole render for this tower may change. Might as well change it, for I'm already bored of the design..haha. whew! nosebleed!

Last edited by JulZ; October 30th, 2008 at 06:11 AM. Reason: usage of local language. my bad ^^..sorry guys
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Old October 29th, 2008, 08:32 AM   #480
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Let's hope that the design will be iconic yet very Filipino.
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