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Oreta: Builder of premier destination projects

    Published : Monday, June 04, 2012 00:00
    Written by : KIM BERNARDO-LOKIN SPECIAL CONTRIBUTOR
What is the importance of being unique?
For Mario “Babes” Oreta, president of Alphaland Corp., it means everything to the property development company. The firm, he said, is very selective in the property developments it undertakes—all of which are considered top-of-the-line pieces of property.
Alphaland is the brainchild of no ordinary entrepreneurs, Oreta said. Established in 2007, Alphaland is a joint venture between the Ashmore Group of London, a private equity fund which manages about $65 billion, and the RVO Capital Ventures Group headed by the legendary business tycoon Roberto “Bobby” V. Ongpin.
Oreta said he was asked by Ongpin, his long-time friend and mentor, to head Alphaland.
“He told me we would do a lot of deals and high-end projects, similar to our past real estate projects like the grandiose Tagaytay Highlands and Marbella in Cavite, which is now Caylabne Bay,” he recalled.
Right after its incorporation, Alphaland acquired 10.25 hectares in Aseana Business Park, Parañaque City, for a joint venture with DM Wenceslao & Associates Inc. for the development of Alphaland Bay City.
This planned development is a premium, self-contained seaside community with a world class Marina Club as its centerpiece. Rising within the city will be various high-end residential, hotel, office, commercial and retail developments. The Marina Club, on one hand, is envisioned to provide facilities for about 200 yachts, including several “mega yachts.”
Oreta said it is the only marina where members may use any of several yachts belonging to the club. Two months later, the company acquired another 30 hectares in Silang, Cavite.
In 2008, the company acquired the unfinished building structure at the corner of EDSA and Chino Roces Avenue in Makati City from South China Resources and the Puyat family. This property became their first flagship project and is now known as the Alphaland Southgate Tower and Mall.
In the same year, the company also invested 20 percent for Shang Global City Properties Inc. and Fort Bonifacio Shangrila Hotel, Inc. for the construction of a five-star hotel and high-end residences dubbed “Shangrila at the Fort” in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig.
Then the group acquired Sime Darby’s 100 percent stake in Silvertown Property Development Corporation (SPDC) for a 1-hectare property along Ayala Avenue Extension corner Malugay Street, under the name of Boy Scouts of the Philippines (BSP).
SPDC entered into a joint venture agreement with the BSP to develop the property into Alphaland Makati Place. This development boasts of “The City Club”, which Oreta described as a world-class sports and leisure club in the heart of Makati. It is located at the top three floors of the six-storey podium of the Alphaland Makati Place.
The group is also building the Alphaland Tower at the highly desirable address at 6789 Ayala Avenue. The tower is touted as a premier 34-storey high-end corporate facility and is expected to become one of the best buildings in Ayala.
Oreta said he and his partners are also excited over their newest resort: the Balesin Island Club, which is nearing completion.
With more than seven kilometers of white sand beaches, the Balesin Island Club in Polillo, Quezon Province is, by plane, 25 minutes away from Manila.
The club is a 500-hectare island resort covered in lush, tropical rainforest. Oreta said it will offer villas and amenities patterned after some of the most luxurious beachside destinations around the world. The island resort will be divided into six themed villages, with villas inspired by Mykonos, St. Tropez, the Costa Smeralda, Phuket, Bali and Balesin. It also features a modern airfield that can accommodate regional aircrafts as well as private jets to make it more accessible to members.
Another luxurious resort in the pipeline is the Boracay Gateway Country Club, a 500-hectare estate on the northern tip of Nabas, Aklan on Panay Island, which is directly adjacent to Boracay Island. The club’s 1.7 kilometers of powdery white sand beaches is, Oreta said, identical to those on Boracay Island.
Explaining their company’s simultaneous high-end developments, Oreta said that Ashmore is quite bullish about the prospects of property in the Philippines.
“We cannot be everything for everyone, because we don’t see ourselves as just another resort or condominium builder,” Oreta said. “We build destination projects for people to enjoy and talk about for a long time.”
For Oreta, this also means having busy schedules until the completion of their projects. It is no easy task, he admits, but it is something he had always enjoyed doing.
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