Mactan Leisure City, to be located in Lapu-Lapu City, just off Cebu, is scheduled to break ground in January, according to a report filed by Calata Corp. (CAL) with the Philippines stock exchange Friday. The property is being developed via a joint venture between the U.S. Colorado state-based Sino-America Gaming Investment Group LLC and Macau Resources Group Ltd. (MRG) registered in the British Virgin Islands. MRG plans to de-list from OTC trading on NASDAQ and relist as soon as possible under the name of Jade Leisure & Entertainment Group.

If construction permits are granted and the project meets Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) approval, construction will begin in January 2017. According to the filing: “There will be a 36-month construction schedule with 6 months for warranty works giving it a total of 42 months to complete. The projected date of completion would be in the middle of 2020.”

The the 25-square mile Mactan (Maktan) Island is linked by bridge and a few kilometers from Cebu Island in the Philippines. Mactan is heavily populated and is divided into Lapu-Lapu City and the municipality of Cordova. The P65-billion (US$1.4b) Mactan Leisure City is planned to cover 34.5-acres and be comprised of three hotel towers, a casino, and entertainment complex. Commercial, retail, and conference facilities as well as a yacht club are also planned in addition to the Southeast Asia’s first 7-star hotel. Earlier reports indicated Banyan Tree and Marriott may become involved but the most recent information does not mention specific hotel partners.

The involvement of farming products distributor Calata Corporation was announced on Tuesday.  In April we reported that Sino-America Gaming Investment Group LLC, and their subsidiary MRG, had presented a proposal to regulator Pagcor for two casinos – one in Cebu province and the other on the lesser known island of Napayawan. The prospects for approval seemed promising at that  time with  PAGCOR VP of gaming licensing and development stating, “For areas outside of Metro Manila, especially in underserved areas, the chances of looking into a casino licence would be higher than in Manila,” according to reports at that time.

In Friday’s filing Calata stated that they expect to receive a license from Pagcor by the end of 2017. They stated that CAL would be 51% equity owner in a new REIT vehicle and that: “The Macau Group and Sino shall initially be infusing around Eight Hundred Thirty Six Million One Hundred Thousand Pesos (Php 836,100,000.00) [US$18,032,812] into the Mactan Leisure City project, Two Hundred Thirty-Four Million Pesos (Php 234,000,000.00) [US$5,046,858] of which shall be put into Calata Corporation which shall then be investing said funds into the Calata Corporation’s majority-owned corporate vehicle and the remaining Six Hundred Two Million One Hundred Thousand Pesos (Php 602,100,000.00) [US$12,985,954] to be directly infused into said Calata Corporation’s majority-owned corporate vehicle,” the filing stated.

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