January 29, 2014 9:26 pm [ manilatimes.net ]
by Rose De La Cruz
Reputed as the country’s largest homebuilder, Vista Land and Landscapes Inc. never runs out of classy looking home projects and aspirational house designs for a growing number of middle class to upscale markets, without losing sight of its commitment for low-cost housing.
Vista Land recently invited a select group of journalists and real estate brokers in the opening of its Giorgio, MichaelAngelo and Renoir homes at the Portofino Heights, its upscale project in Alabang.
Even before the journalists were toured around the Portofino homes, former Senate President Manuel Villar, founder of Vista Land, had a chat with The Manila Times at the Portofino sales office.
Villar proudly said that Vista Land’s premier projects— Brittany, Crown Asia, Camella and Lumina—have all been selling well because “we provide our buyers with the class and comfort lush landscape in their yhomes, a gated community, club house with swimming pools at prices they can afford. We are also adding a commercial center in Portofino, now being developed, called Evia center.”
Pretty soon, a branch of the University of Asia and the Pacific will also operate in Portofino, bringing these institutions a short drive away from residents of these posh residences—giving them further exclusivity and security to their young children.
The website of Vista Land and Landscape mentions only the brands Brittany, Crown Asia, Camella and Communities Philippines for its prestigious housing brands and for its high rise condominium brand, the Vista Residences. Apparently this is because Lumina takes care of socialized housing up to P1.2 million worth of homes, while Camella is from P1.5 to P3.5 million.
“Our property development is the best. We are better than Ayala. They have the name but I have the product. We try harder every time. Ayala is just in land lots. But for housing, we are way ahead of Ayala,” remarked Villar.
Villar said what Vista Land was able to bring is gated communities, that used to be confined only in Makati.
“We were able to bring these kinds of amenities nationwide, when these used to be exclusively available only in Makati. We are the only property developer and homebuilder nationwide from Tuguegarao and Laoag up north to Tagum, Osamiz and Pagadian in the south. We are now in 74 cities and municipalities with more than 200 projects,” he declared.
Daang hari issue
Villar gets a bit defensive when talking about the much-maligned Daang Hari project that he finished during his stint as Senate President, and which became a political tool against him in the last presidential race in 2010.
“They claimed I built this vital road link for my housing projects but in reality, almost all the developers from Cavite to Alabang and Las Pinas are benefiting from it,” he said.
“All the developers are here. Filinvest, Stateland, FilEstate, Ayala, BF Homes, Cuevasville, Madrigal, SM and mine. The entire Cavite was able to benefit from this road project. You name it they are all here,” Villar added.
“This road can be very well be the Aquino administration’s only legacy after 2016 because the administration is connecting the South Luzon Expressway to Daang Hari for better access to north of Metro Manila. I feel very good because it has great benefits to Cavite,” he further said.
Villar’s eldest son, Paulo, is now in full control of Vista Land as its chief executive officer.
Vista Land’s Portofino Heights is about 600 hectares, all in Alabang of which only 60 hectares has been developed and 500 well-designed homes are fully occupied. The company is now developing 1.5 hectares as a commercial center.
The cuts of the lots are in 400 square meters or more which used to cost only P10,000 per square meter when first sold. The current price is P29,500 per square meter.
“Though Vista land also sells lots with the homeowners building their own homes, the design and exteriors must conform to our architectural themes per project sites,” explained Trixie Dial, sales and marketing head of Vista Land.