[ sunstar.com.ph ] Wednesday, January 28, 2009
AS the global economic turmoil deepens, property developer Filinvest Land Inc. (FLI) continues to invest in ongoing and future projects in Cebu.
Louie Carandang, FLI business development officer, said two of the company’s ongoing projects are on time—the Grand Cenia Condotel and Residences in Cebu City and the Seascapes Resort Town in Lapu-Lapu City.
Both projects bank on Cebu being a tourism hub even while reports point to a slowdown in the travel market, as a result of the financial crisis that is affecting many major economies worldwide.
“It (tourism) is a cycle. It will recover later. We’re not scared about our investments, particularly in the Visayas and Mindanao,” said Carandang. He cited Department of Tourism figures that show Cebu would need about 400,000 to 500,000 hotel and resort rooms a year.
He said buyers of condotel units at Grand Cenia also see the same potential. “Our sales have not been affected by the crisis,” he added.
He pointed out that buyers of Grand Cenia are mostly foreigners or Filipinos with foreign income (like overseas Filipino
workers) “who are not so much affected” by the global crisis.
While Seascapes is considered “very high-end”—with lots priced around P15,000 per square meter and prices for condo units going up to as much as P9 million—FLI is confident the property will sell very well. Its target markets are foreigners and overseas-based investors.
Carandang reported that all Seascapes lots have already been sold out within a year after the developer began pre-selling the property.
FLI, however, has decided not to sell shares to its club house that will feature a spa and sports facilities.
Carandang said FLI has seen the business potential of keeping the ownership of the club house and its amenities. He added that FLI might contact an international spa operator to manage the facility.
FLI is also confident about the success of its future projects: the One Oasis condo compound in Mabolo, Cebu City, which will be implemented this year; and its expansion of existing housing subdivisions in Lapu-Lapu City and Talisay City.
Cecille Canturias, FLI Cebu sales team head, said the company’s sales continue to go up. In 2000, its sales were only P30 million a year, which went up to P450 million in 2007 and P700 million in 2008.
“We have many repeat buyers, they buy condo units for investment,” she said.
Grand Cenia condotels are projected to earn P300,000 to P400,000 a year for the unit owner, which means “it will pay for itself,” said Carandang.
“FLI has been around for more than 15 years, surviving crises is nothing new to us. But we’re very prudent and in 2009, we will continue to be; but we will not sacrifice the quality of our products,” said Carandang.
He admitted, though, that to respond to the needs of its target markets, FLI has decided to develop products that are more affordable. He cited One Oasis, whose condo units will be priced from P1.4 million to P2 million.
He said One Oasis, which will be located near major malls and universities, will be ideal for new families and those with children who study in Cebu City.
To make it easier for buyers, FLI has also lowered the interest rates of its in-house financing program to 11.5 percent for the first years from P19 percent. It has also extended its low-interest rate period to 36 months from 18 months.
FLI will also invest in a 50.6-hectare mixed-use development at the South Road Properties of Cebu City in a joint venture with the City Government. (LAP)