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Taiwanese firm opens posh Subic Freeport village

Vol. XXII, No. 3 [ BusinessWorld Online ]
Wednesday, July 30, 2008 | MANILA, PHILIPPINES

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT — A Taiwanese property developer has opened a high-class subdivision here to meet real estate demand from a growing number of foreign investors, retirees and expatriates.

Grand Pillar International Development, Inc.’s subdivision will consist of 100 Mediterranean-styled housing units.

Grand Pillar Chief Executive Officer Josephine Chua said the housing project would address the housing shortage inside the freeport zone.

REY GARCIA

"Our company is committed to supply the growing demand in the freeport for housing units for new investors and their families," she said in an interview.

Located along the former Greyback community at the East Kalayaan Housing area inside the former US military base, Grandville Estate is an exclusive community with 24-hour security.

Johnson Yang, Grandville chief business development officer, said the company had committed $5 million worth of initial investments to renovate 100 dilapidated houses in the area and build a high-class community.

The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) approved Grand Pillar’s business proposal to renovate 100 dilapidated housing units left by the Americans.

He said the Taiwanese are attracted to the Subic Freeport, which is just two hours away by plane.

Subic Bay Development and Management Corp. (SBDMC), which is managing the 300-hectare Subic Bay Industrial Park, is promoting Grandville to existing and new investors.

SBDMC is host to several Taiwanese manufacturing firms like computer giant Acer, air-con maker Hitachi, home appliance manufacturer TECO and about 100 more Taiwanese firms.

Grandville is also banking on the Philippine-Taiwan economic corridor agreed upon by both governments to promote trade and business between the two countries.

Grandville will have its separate sentry and guard house, three playgrounds, a multipurpose covered court, a swimming pool and tennis court.

Grandville offers two-storey five-bedroom housing units with a total floor area of about 220 square meters. Other models have three and four bedrooms, with prices ranging from $180,000 to $230,000.

Ms. Chua noted that since the housing project is covered by Republic Act 7727 or the Bases Conversion Act, Grandville is offering 50-year leasehold rights to prospective buyers.

She said the law prohibits ownership or sole proprietorship of government-owned real estate properties inside the freeport zone.

But freeport residents will enjoy tax and duty-free incentives given to investors.

Ms. Chua said among their early clients were Caucasians and American retirees who wanted to retire in Subic. — Reynaldo M. Garcia

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