Watch out for the East Grid: Prime government property in Quezon City to be redeveloped

State-run Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) is eyeing to transform its prime Quezon City property into a mixed-use development once it gets its corporate life extended. 

PSALM president and CEO Irene Joy Besido-Garcia said the redevelopment of the government-owned property in Diliman, Quezon City is a long-term plan to bump up the state-run firm’s revenues and this would require the extension of its corporate life. 

The Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 created the PSALM to undertake the restructuring of the country’s power sector within 25 years or until 2026, unless extended by law.  

Besido-Garcia said Pampanga second district Rep. and House committee on energy chair Juan Miguel Arroyo filed a bill to extend PSALM’s corporate life. 

House bills proposing the extension of PSALM’s corporate life have been pending since 2013.    

The 1.5-hectare Diliman property is one of PSALM’s most valuable properties since it is at the heart of Quezon City’s Central Business District. 

Due to its strategic location and on-going high-rise development in adjacent properties, it is considered a prime property with high potential for residential, commercial and mixed-use development. 

It is the property where the main offices of the National Power Corp. (Napocor) and National Transmission Corp. (TransCo) sit.

Besido-Garcia said the Department of Finance (DOF) has already cleared the Diliman property’s redevelopment. 

The DOF’s go signal was based on the new feasibility study conducted by Isla Lipana & Co., a member firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Philippines. 

In 2019, PSALM engaged the services of Isla Lipana through Republic Act 9184, or the Government Procurement Reform Act, to conduct the feasibility study to determine the most optimal structure for the privatization of the Diliman property.  

However, the study completed in 2020 required some revisions as the COVID-19 pandemic changed the landscape of the country’s real estate industry, Besido-Garcia said.  

In 2019, PSALM completed the Design Contest for the Diliman property. 

The winning entry of WTA Design Studio, titled “The East Grid,” aims to develop PSALM’s Diliman property into a mixed-use office development integrated with wellness and commercial elements and combined with energy efficient systems and innovative, sustainable design ideas.  

PWC’s feasibility study—with a contract cost of P5.98 million—would confirm the numbers detailed in the winning architectural conceptual design for the development of the prime property.  

Based on WTA Design Studio’s entry, the masterplan would have an estimated total construction cost of P17.2 billion and would result in about 400,000-square meter leasable space.