(The Philippine Star) | Updated July 11, 2015 - 12:00am
The best real estate developments were recognized at the third annual Philippine Property Awards held last July 9. SM Prime wins the highest award as the Best Developer of the Year.
MANILA, Philippines - More than 250 of the nation’s brightest leaders and talents in real estate, architecture and design gathered in Manila July 9 to reward the best of the best in the property sector at the third annual Philippines Property Awards 2015.
The prestigious gala dinner and awards presentation ceremony, part of the decade-old Asia Property Awards series, was held at the Raffles and Fairmont Hotel in Makati following a rigorous six-month entry process – which was free to enter – and comprehensive site inspection period by the esteemed and independent panel of judges, as assessed by BDO, one of the world’s biggest accounting firms.
Featuring 25 award categories covering the best developers, developments and designs in the local real estate sector, the awards celebrated the finest current projects in the residential, commercial, office, retail, hospitality, villa and green segments in Metro Manila, Cebu and Davao.
SM Prime Holdings claimed the year’s top honor – Best Developer – beating last year’s champion Ayala Land Inc (ALI), which took home a Highly Commended accolade in the category along with fellow nominee Megaworld Corp.
With a total of nine nominations, the SM group was also declared winner in several other categories, including Best Retail Development and Best Retail Architectural Design, both for Mega Fashion Hall (SM Mega Megamall Expansion 2) Bldg. D, through subsidiary First Asia Realty Development Corp.
Meanwhile, the group’s SM Development Corp. (SMDC) unit dominated multiple categories, picking up the trophy for Best Landscape Architectural Design for Shell Residences – plus two Highly Commended certificates in the same category – the award for Best Affordable Condo Development (Metro Manila), as well as Highly Commended honors for another affordable condo project and a mid-range resort development.
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“This Best Developer award means so much for SM group, as we are in the company of the best developers in the country,” said Jeffrey Lim, SM Prime’s executive vice president.
“Our group is committed to building integrated communities across the country with residential, commercial, retail and lifestyle components, and this honor is a testament of our engagement to the property industry,” he said.
ALI did not go home empty-handed, taking the award for Special Recognition in CSR for its commitment to building sustainable communities in the Philippines, plus another award for Best Residential Architectural Design. Its subsidiary Alveo Land Corp. was declared two-time winner for its latest condo and residential projects in Cebu and Davao, respectively, while its Avida Land unit also received two Highly Commended certificates.
Other multiple winners of the evening included Megaworld Corp., with double wins in the Best Luxury Development (Resort) and Best Residential Interior Design, in addition to six Highly Commended awards; Vista Land and Landscapes Inc, taking home the Best Housing Development (Metro Manila) and Best Housing Development (Philippines) trophies; WJGlobal Inc, picking up two awards for Best Hotel Development and Best Hotel Architectural Design; Robinsons Land Corp., taking the accolades for Best Mid-range Condo Development (Metro Manila) and Best Condo Development (Philippines) for the The Sapphire Bloc; and BDO Unibank, picking up the Best Office Development, Best Office Architectural Design and Best Commercial Development (Philippines) awards for its new BDO Corporate Tower Ortigas project.
“Our highly-qualified central panel of judges have worked hard to ensure we have the highest quality winners across all categories from all deserving developers and projects that showcase the best of the best in the country’s real estate sector,” said Terry Blackburn, CEO of Ensign Media and publisher of Asia’s industry leading Property Report magazine.
“This year’s batch of winners, from Manila to Cebu and Davao, truly represents what the local real estate scene can offer,” he added. “The country’s property market continues to go from strength to strength, as demonstrated by the robust growth in the commercial, retail, office and mixed-use sectors, as well as putting the spotlight on secondary cities and resort destinations across the archipelago.”
Led by three-time chairwoman, Cyndy Tan Jarabata, president of TAJARA Leisure & Hospitality Group Inc, this year’s highly qualified judges panel also comprised the Philippines’ top real estate and design experts, including Lindsay J. Orr, chief operating officer of Jones Lang LaSalle Philippines; Architect William V. Consuella, principal, W.V. Consuella & Associates; Abelardo M. Tolentino Jr., president and CEO, Aidea Philippines Inc; Rommel M. Leuterio, group president, Property Management & Development Group/ICCP Group; Jaime A. Cura, Ph.D., vice-chairman, RGV Group of Companies; and Jose Oscar O. Salvacion, president, Design Coordinates Inc/Construction Project Managers.
“The judges panel consists of esteemed leaders of their profession and experts in their respective industries. It was a pleasure working with them as we oversaw a significantly changing landscape over three years and the continuous growth of the property market in the Philippines,” Jarabata said.
“For developers to continuously succeed, they have to incorporate smart technology not only because it is what the consumer wants, but it is the right path to progress,” she continued. “When you live in the Philippines where there is an average of 20 typhoons a year, the environment and natural disasters take on a major consideration in any development . The Philippines Property Awards has provided a respected platform to both major and niche developers to set new benchmarks in development and design, that enhances quality and living spaces, harmonizing with environment and creating value for the consumer.”
Top winners in the Philippines will go on to compete at the regional stage of the Asia Property Awards grand finals on Oct. 21, at the fifth annual South East Asia Property Awards 2015 to be held at the prestigious Shangri-La Hotel Singapore, which takes place immediately after the first-ever Property Report Congress, a high-level forum for the region’s real estate leaders.
In addition to the 25 award categories, the Philippines Real Estate Personality of the Year – the only award not chosen by the judging panel – was given to Ramon Fernando D. Rufino, executive vice president of premium office developer The Net Group. A young and dynamic figure with valuable contributions to the advancement of green building and sustainable architecture, Rufino was selected by the editors of Property Report, the region’s leading luxury real estate publication, for his achievements as chairman of the Philippine Green Building Council (PHILGBC), which was recently recognised by the World Green Building Council as an emerging member.
“I hope this award brings added visibility to the efforts of PHILGBC so we can receive even greater support and participation from the real estate industry,” Rufino commented, sharing his vision for the country’s thriving real estate industry. “The awareness and desire for sustainability is already strong, but we really need to improve on the level of commitment and action. There are so many areas to work on but our top priority is for more and more companies and projects to secure green building certification.”
With an opening speech by Noel Carino, president of CREBA (Chamber of Real Estate and Builders’ Associations Inc.), the annual event was hosted by David Celdran and presented by Property Report magazine, and was co-sponsored by gold sponsors Kohler and Uratex Premium Mattresses, silver sponsor TEKA, supporting association CREBA, and Sanpellegrino, the Official Supplier of the Asia Property Awards 2015.