Well, here it is, the final installment of our three-part series on the country’s Top Twelve names in real estate. Here we look at four developers that have shown remarkable staying power over the years – no small feat in a competitive industry dominated by a who’s who of the Philippines’ wealthiest.
Each name here has proven that there’s more than one way to hit it big in real estate, whether by excelling in a specific niche, banking on one of the most renowned brands worldwide, or catering to new markets outside of Makati’s upper crust.
The property development arm of the Kuok Group of Malaysia, Shang Properties first came to Philippine shores in 1987. In addition to a central business structure rooted in the residential, office and retail leasing sectors, the developer is affiliated with Kerry Properties and the Shangri-La brand, known worldwide for its five-star hotels and resorts. The company still earns steady revenue from its property portfolio, which includes the Enterprise Center in Makati and the Shangri-La Plaza along EDSA.
Today, Shang Properties firmly believes the country’s upscale property market is back on the upswing, real estate bubble threats be damned. Just last February, the company rolled out a massive P35.7 billion investment for its three ongoing developments. To supplement funding for larger projects, Shang Properties also capitalized on its low debt levels to acquire P6.4 billion in bank credit. Seeing as the developer had earned a substantial net profit of over P1 billion in 2011, this can only be seen as a highly strategic business decision.
The Shangri-La Plaza: still a favorite destination for high-end shopping and dining in the Ortigas Center. Image courtesy of weecommunitydevelopers.com.
The developer’s latest project is Shang Salcedo Place, located at Makati’s Salcedo Village and offering over 700 units to prospective homebuyers. The planned 65-storey luxury condo shall be the developer’s second project in the Makati CBD after the Shang Grand Tower, which was also their first entry into the residential market. Shang Salcedo Place holds a unique location at the intersection of three key roads in the city: Gil Puyat (Buendia), H.V. de la Costa and Tordesillas. An estimated P5 billion was invested in Shang Salcedo Place, with buyer turnover expected to start by 2015.
Also in the pipeline is One Shangri-La Place, a P12.5-billion twin-tower development situated in Ortigas. With approximately 1,300 residential units scheduled for completion by 2014, the project shall also encompass a six-level mall expansion of the Shangri-La Plaza. An additional 150 units of leasable retail space will accompany the expansion. To date, One Shangri-La Place has gained Shang Properties over P140 million in sales in the first six months alone.
Finally, set to open in 2014 is Shangri-La in the Fort, done in collaboration with Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts. The ultra-deluxe 1.5-hectare complex will offer a limited number of fully-serviced units to the public, including 96 residential condos, 97 hotel residences and over 500 guest rooms.
Vista Land and Lifescapes
Vista Land and Lifescapes is a familiar name in the industry, having upheld success spanning nearly three decades with signature brands like Camella Homes, Crown Asia and Brittany. As the industry leader in terms of total houses built, Vista Land is committed to providing accessible, high-quality living spaces for every major income segment in the Philippines.
2012 marked the launching of 32 new projects worth an estimated P32 billion for the company, including 8 condominiums. Having announced its planned debut in the high-rise market the previous year, Vista Land wasted no time in mapping out a full slate of vertical developments worth a combined P10 billion. The entirety of the developer’s condominium portfolio is to be handled exclusively by its latest in-house brand, Vista Residences. Bursting into the scene in mid-2006, as of November 2012 Vista Residences accounts for 7% of Vista Land’s income. The figure is projected to rise further still this 2013, growing to a potential 10 to 15%. Locations for the imprint’s vertical developments include Pasig, Quezon City, Cagayan de Oro and Manila’s University Belt.
Crown Asia marks a decade of providing quality homes for the Filipino family. Image courtesy of vistaland.com.ph.
Of Vista Land’s 2012 lineup of projects, 20 were expansions of residential communities the company had successfully launched in the past. Another 12 were completely new horizontal developments built from the ground up, signaling Vista Land’s branching out into more territory. OFWs remain the strongest of Vista Land’s various target markets, accounting for up to 60% of the company’s pre-sales.
Recently the developer secured SEC approval to hike up capital for its various projects under Communities Philippines, dedicated to the production of affordable housing in the provinces. Communities Philippines is currently undergoing operations in regions such as Ilocos, Bulacan, Leyte, Isabella, Tarlac and General Santos. Vista Land also signed a partnership deal with Rustan’s Supermarkets, allowing the local retail giant a presence in Evia, Vista Land’s flagship development at Las Piñas.
With a solid and well-kept background in the construction industry, DMCI Holdings kick-started its bid for the real estate trade with the creation of DMCI Homes in 1999. Now, the Consunji-led conglomerate’s housing division is set to leave a lasting mark on the city, with over 40 projects scattered throughout the Greater Manila Area alone.
DMCI Homes very quickly found its niche among the country’s leading property developers, cornering the market on resort-style residential developments. So far the company has seen an 81% improvement in profit performance for the first quarter of 2012, translating to P405 million in net profits. Housing sales also increased to a robust P1.7 billion, growing by 51%. The local BPO boom has certainly helped, with foreigners now comprising 41% of DMCI Homes’ residential leasing clientele.
As always, DMCI Homes upholds its high standard for excellence by engineering prime locations with first-class amenities and family-friendly living spaces. Among the company’s largest undertakings is Acacia Estates, a budding Taguig township encompassing over 80 hectares and six themed medium- to low-density communities. This January alone marks significant progress in the construction of 12 projects elsewhere in the metro, including The Amaryllis in Quezon City, Sorrel Residences in Manila, Flair Towers in Mandaluyong, and Maricielo Villas in Las Piñas.
Located at Taguig’s Acacia Estates, Royal Palm Residences offers a wide range of luxury amenities to homeowners. Image courtesy of dmcihomes.com.
DMCI Homes prides itself on its strong community values, geared towards building and providing ideal homes even for underprivileged Filipinos. Under the DENR’s Adopt-An-Estero program, DMCI Homes has signed on to assist in the much-needed rehabilitation of Makati’s Pasong Tamo River. The company also entered a partnership with the District 3830 Rotary Homes Foundation and CFC ANCOP Tekton Foundation, bankrolling a P12-million housing project for Parañaque’s informal settlers.
Filinvest Land, Incorporated
Helmed by the Gotianun family, the Filinvest Group of Companies made its splashy real estate debut in 1993 with the creation of Filinvest Land, Incorporated. Soon after the groundwork was laid out for what would become Filinvest Corporate City, a vast 244-hectare development located in Alabang. In the last quarter of 2012, the developer launched a massive promotional campaign touting the complex’s rebranding into Filinvest City. This fresh, new image follows in the heels of Filinvest’s continuing efforts to develop the most vital business district in southern Manila. One of the newest additions to Filinvest City, Northgate Cyberzone, wasted no time in emerging as one of the top BPO/IT hubs in the south.
Filinvest recently announced plans for its P7-billion makeover of the Festival Supermall, strategically located at the heart of Filinvest City. The expansion is set for a target completion date of 2014, covering the addition of a brand-new wing that would nearly double Festival’s leasable space. The proposed new wing would also place a renewed emphasis on lush outdoor landscaping, spotlighting the importance of maintaining natural spaces within the most aggressively urbanized environments. To meet the growing demand for homes in the area, Filinvest followed up with a string of ongoing residential projects such as Studio City, The Levels, and the Entrata Urban Complex.
Filinvest is gearing up to make Festival Supermall bigger and brighter than ever. Image courtesy of skyscprapercity.com.
Also in the pipeline are several new projects in Metro Cebu, a key city in the Visayas region. Following the debut of the 25-storey Grand Cenia Hotel & Residences, Filinvest continues work on Citta di Mare, a 50-hectare residential infrastructure project done in partnership with the Cebu city government. In February 2012 the developer also secured a deal to redevelop the site of former Bagong Buhay Rehabilitation Center into a ten-storey commercial tower. A retail/shopping complex in a similar vein as the Festival Supermall is also in its planning stages.
Their efforts in upscaling towards a more high-end market aside, Filinvest Land remains committed to providing more accessible housing options for the average Pinoy. Through Filinvest Land’s Futura Homes division, they are working towards developing affordable residential communities in Cavite, Batangas and Bulacan. Their newest project in Pasig, One Spatial, is a mid-rise condo development offering many of the high-end amenities normally expected at a much higher price point.
Dominique Cordero lives in the Philippines and writes for HousingInteractive Inc. You can contact her at email@example.com or add her to your Google+ circles:+Dominique Cordero.