Only a few days ago, it was reported that Bloomberry was ready to move forward with the groundbreaking of the Solaire North resort in Quezon City, Philippines. The company’s chairman, Enrique Razon, indicated that it would take place in June and that all permits had been secured, including the Letter of No Objection from Quezon City Hall, as was required. However, it now appears, according to a filing with the Philippine Stock Exchange, that not all the permits are in place and the groundbreaking most likely won’t happen in June. In fact, the company isn’t at all sure when things will get underway.
In its filing, Bloomberry stated, “At this time, the ground breaking and construction of Solaire North are subject to the securing of relevant permits before any construction can begin. The company, through its subsidiaries Bloomberry Resorts and Hotels Inc. and Sureste Properties Inc., will proceed with the project once such permits have been secured.”
It’s strange that Bloomberry would indicate that all permits were in place, only to state a few days later that they weren’t. It’s also a little odd that the company doesn’t even have a cost plan in place yet, as it indicated in its filing yesterday that it was “currently working on the cost plan” and that it should be ready “by the end of April to mid-May.” That’s cutting things a little close.
Once it does figure out how to proceed, Bloomberry anticipated the resort with a 40-story tower to take about 18-24 months for the construction to be complete. That completion date will remain flexible until Bloomberry can figure out how to receive all the necessary permits.
By the time it’s ready to open, a battle between Quezon City and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR) should be resolved. PAGCOR controls casino operations in the Philippines, but Quezon City took it upon itself to impose a casino entry fee on locals. This, asserts PAGCOR, is not something the city has the authority to do and neither side is backing down from its position. Given similar fights in the past that have found cities to be in the wrong, Quezon City will most likely be forced to back down.