PHILIPPINE REAL ESTATE and RELATED NEWS in and around the country . . .

Tax appeals court rejects BIR appeal on Metro Rail tax assessment

December 26, 2019 | 10:21 pm [ ]


THE Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) denied for lack of merit an appeal of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) seeking to overturn the cancellation of the P1.63-billion deficiency tax assessment against Metro Rail Transit Corp. (MRTC).

The BIR filed the motion for reconsideration against the amended decision on Oct. 2, which cancelled the tax liabilities assessment for 2007 due to a void Letter of Authority (LoA) for revenue officers (RO) to assess the company.

It said in its motion for reconsideration that the issue on the authority was raised only by MRTC in its supplemental motion for partial reconsideration, claiming that it should not be allowed to raise an issue that has not been raised “at the administrative forum, nor during the pretrial of the present case.”

In a five-page resolution on Dec. 4, the court’s special second division, the court, however, said it finds the arguments of the BIR “untenable.”

“Section 1, Rule 14 of the Revised Rules of the Court of Tax Appeals, as amended, provides that this Court may not limit itself to the issues stipulated by the parties but may also rule upon related issues necessary to achieve an orderly disposition of the case,” according to the ruling.

It also cited a Supreme Court decision which affirmed the authority of the CTA to settle issues on scope of authority of revenue authorities in conducting an audit although it was not raised by the parties in pleadings and memoranda.

The court also noted lack of authority of ROs to assess through a valid LoA puts into question the validity of the assessment. It said that the lack of an LoA meant the nullity of the assessment.

“Be it noted that in the absence of such an authority, the assessment or examination is a nullity. An invalid assessment bears no valid fruit. The law imposes a substantive, not merely a formal requirement,” the court said.

“To proceed heedlessly with tax collection without first establishing a valid assessment is evidently violative of the cardinal principle in administrative investigations: that taxpayers should be able to present their case and adduce supporting evidence,” it added.

The court also rejected the claim of the BIR that a referral memorandum is sufficient to authorize ROs to continue the audit of a taxpayer.

It cited revenue Memorandum Order No. 29-07 which said that an RO can conduct examination of a taxpayer through an LoA issued by the regional director or by that assistant commissioner/head revenue executive assistants.

For re-assignment, a new LoA is not needed, provided that the letter or notice or memorandum for the re-assignment was signed by the Assistant Commissioner/Head Revenue Executive Assistants of the Large Taxpayers Service.

In the case, however, the referral memorandum was signed by the chief of the Large Taxpayers Audit and Investigation Division I, which is not sufficient to authorize an RO to continue the investigation.

“Indeed, taxes are the lifeblood of government and should be collected without hindrance. Yet, the collection of taxes should be exercised reasonably and in accordance with the prescribed procedure,” the court said.

Associate Justice Catherine T. Manahan wrote decision which was concurred in by Associate Justice Juanito C. Castañeda. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas

Miner sells Subic property for P100M

December 27, 2019 | 12:01 am [  ]

DIZON COPPER-SILVER Mines, Inc. on Thursday said that it has agreed to sell its property in Subic, Zambales to a real estate developer for P100 million.

In a disclosure on Thursday, the listed mining company said that it has “entered into a Contract to Sell with Sunplaza Development Corp. for the sale of the property.” The move was approved by the company’s board of directors on Dec. 24.

The property consists of 20,534 square meters (sq.m.) located at Barangay Matain in Subic. It was formerly the site for its storage facility for copper concentrates and a loading pier called Port of Dizon.

Dizon said Sunplaza will make a downpayment of P23.5 million upon signing the contract to sell. The remaining P76.5 million will be paid within two years.

The company said it was selling the property to “improve the cash position and equity.”

Sun Plaza owns, develops, and manages real estate properties located in Mandaluyong in Metro Manila, as well as upcoming developments in Antipolo, Rizal, Batangas, Taguig, and San Jose del Monte, Bulacan.

Dizon was incorporated in 1966. Aside from the Subic property, it has a mineral processing permit in the Bayaring Tailings dam and 4,070 sq.m. of land in Barangay Parada, Valenzuela City.

In the nine months to September, the mining company recorded a net loss of P1.47 million, wider than the P1.34 million loss during the same period a year ago.

Shares in Dizon went up a centavo to close at P6.93 apiece at the stock exchange on Thursday. — V.M.P.Galang

Sta. Lucia ventures into Davao hospitality sector

December 27, 2019 | 12:03 am [ ]

SOTOGRANDE Hotel Suites Davao is located in the heart of Davao Riverfront Corporate City Complex.

STA. LUCIA Land, Inc. (SLI) is venturing into the hospitality sector in Davao City, with the introduction of the SotoGrande Hotel brand.

In a statement, SLI President Exequiel D. Robles said the company has seen the potential of Mindanao, particularly Davao City, as a business and tourism hub.

“Given its numerous offerings, from its famed dive spots, farming resorts, to the numerous parks, not to mention its rich cultural heritage, it’s but natural for Davao to become a top-of-mind destination. This is also the reason why, after developing several communities and condominium projects in the city, we decided to venture in the hospitality sector through our SotoGrande Hotel brand,” he was quoted as saying in a statement.

Located in the heart of Davao Riverfront Corporate City Complex, SotoGrande Hotel Suites is a “perfect home option for vacationers and visitors who want to have access to quality and comfortable accommodations at a practical rate,” Mr. Robles said.

SotoGrande Hotel Suites is five minutes away from the Davao International Airport, and within walking distance of the Davao Crocodile Park, the Butterfly House and the Tribu K’ Mindanawan Cultural Village.

Also within the Davao Riverfront City Complex are the Rancho Palos Verdes Sports and Country Club and St. Paul College of Davao. Tourist destinations like the Eden Nature Park, Jack’s Ridge, GAP Farm and Zip City are also easily accessible.

“We’ve always believed in the need to provide guests the best experience whether their in our hotels for business or pure leisure. This is why every time we build our SotoGrande hotels, we make it a point to design and configure it with the comfort, safety and convenience of our guests in mind. This latest addition to our growing SotoGrande Hotel brand also serves as a testament to our commitment to help promote and further grow the country’s tourism industry,” Mr. Robles said.

SotoGrande Hotel Suites’ amenities include lap and kiddie pool, a jacuzzi area, poolside bar, spa, veranda or viewing deck, and gym among others.

Hotel guests can also access the Rancho Palos Verdes Sports and Country Club, considered the first fully-equipped sports and recreational hub in the city. It has an indoor basketball court, indoor tennis court, indoor badminton court, bowling alley, billiard hall, fine dining restaurant, swimming pool and gym.

“Sta. Lucia Land will remain committed to its promise of delivering only the best developments that individuals could enjoy and find value from… Our commitment doesn’t end with just building houses and communities as we will also help contribute in the evolving and growing tourism industry through our hotel and condotel offerings,” Mr. Robles said.


NTRC says real property tax key to improving local government finances

December 26, 2019 | 12:31 am [ ]


A STATE think tank is pressing for improvement in implementation of property-related taxes as part of efforts to boost local government units’ (LGU) revenue-raising capacity.

National Tax Research Center (NTRC) said property tax collections grew by 7.28% annually in the 2012-2016 period, to P55.57 billion in 2016 from P42 billion in 2012, keeping up with the country’s 6.75% average gross domestic product growth in the same period.

But “[w]hile the tax collection generally experienced growth during calendar years 2012-2016, the LGUs still have not harnessed the full potential of increasing their revenues, specifically property taxes since these are their main sources of revenue,” NTRC said in a March-April journal titled, “Analysis of the Revenue Performance of Local Taxes on Real Properties.”

Despite the improvement of locally generated revenues, data showed that LGUs “continued to rely heavily on externally generated revenues comprising mainly of the internal revenue allotment, share from the utilization of national wealth, grants and aids and others.”

Hence, the think tank urged the government to implement reforms and adopt new technigues to help LGUs improve revenue collections by minimizing the political influence in the valuation processes, establishing a complete real property database and digitizing assessment records and collection records of taxpayers, among others.

It said passage of the Package 3 of the Comprehensive Tax Reform Program should help address some of these issues as it will establish a single valuation base and establish a database that “will increase revenues and improve local autonomy.”

Real property tax collections contributed the bulk of LGUs’ total property tax revenues at 91.06%, while transfer tax take accounted for 7.93%, and special assessments and idle land tax made up 0.48% and 0.54%, respectively.

Republic Act No. 7160, or the Local Government Code of 1991, requires real property tax rate adjustments — usually involving increases — every three years, but this requirement has been largely ignored since local officials are elected every three years as well. — Beatrice M. Laforga

Roxas unit sells Cubao property

December 23, 2019 | 7:00 pm [ ]

ROXAS and Co., Inc. (RCI) said its subsidiary in the hospitality business is selling its hotel in Cubao, and relocating “to a more strategic location” in a move aimed at improving the company’s finances.

“Proceeds from the sale of Cubao (property) of about P411 million will be used to improve existing sites and lower the subsidiary’s outstanding debt until a new site has been identified,” the listed company told the stock exchange on Monday.

RCI said the decision by its unit Roxaco-Asia Hospitality Corp. (RAHC) was part of “continuing objective of improving net income and reducing the group’s overall debt.”

RAHC operates five budget hotels under the Go Hotel franchise.

Separately, RCI disclosed that it had sold more treasury shares, bringing the total sold so far at 37,486,989 out of the 933,703,514 shares authorized for sale. The board approved in 2014 the continuous sale of treasury shares as a fundraising initiative for working capital and expansion projects.

Based on the company’s quarterly financial report, it incurred a net loss of P102.37 million in the third quarter, or lower than the P113.08 million recorded in the same period last year.

During the same period, it managed to post nearly a 90% rise in gross revenues to P208.55 million. Hotel revenues contributed more than half of the company’s top-line figure in the third quarter.

RCI has short-term and long-term loans amounting to P1.30 billion and P2.75 billion, respectively, which it used for working capital and to fund real estate, hotel and coconut projects.

As of the third quarter, the company said its debt-to-equity ratio slightly increased to 0.64:1 from 0.61:1 in December 2018. It said the latest ratio was still within the 0.75:1 ratio limit required by banks for term loans.

To improve its liquidity and debt-to-equity ratio, it started to sell several of its assets and investments with the proceeds used to reduce debt. It has also refinanced about P450 million of its outstanding long-term debts with new term loans having longer repayment terms and with two-year grace periods before repayment. It secured new short-term credit lines with banks to support operations.

RAHC is the former Roxaco-Vanguard Hotels Corp., which changed its name in October 2018. Its hotel management subsidiary looks after all its five Go Hotels and the premium Anya Hotel and Resorts Tagaytay, which began full-year commercial operations in 2018 with 80 hotel suites, premium restaurants, heated pools, a library, function rooms, events venues and lounges.

On Monday, shares in RCI rose by 0.47% to P2.15 each. — Victor V. Saulon

SEC approves Arthaland’s green bond shelf offering

December 23, 2019 | 7:10 pm [ ]


THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has approved Arthaland Corp.’s shelf registration for ASEAN Green Bonds of up to P6 billion.

In a statement on Monday, the corporate regulator said the approval of Arthaland’s registration statement will still be subject to its compliance with certain conditions detailed in the SEC’s pre-effective letter dated Dec. 17.

“The first tranche of P2,000,000,000.00 with over-subscription option of up to P1,000,000,000.00, if fully exercised, shall be offered over a period not exceeding three years from the effective date of the registration statement,” the SEC said.

The green bonds will be issued in scripless form, in denominations of P50,000 and in multiples of P10,000 after. The bonds will be traded in denominations of P10,000 in the secondary market.

Arthaland is aiming to raise P2.945 billion from the offering, which will be used for new or existing green projects. The developer is allocating P1.5 billion for development of Savya Financial Center, or its other green projects to maintain office and retail units, while P305.35 million will be allotted to repay loans for the development of Arthaland Century Pacific Tower (ACPT).

Savya Financial Center, which was launched early this year, has been registered for dual certification under US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and the Philippine Green Building Council’s Building for Ecologically Responsive Design Excellence (BERDE).

Arthaland also earmarked P1.14 billion from the offering’s proceeds to acquire properties under its “Manila Long Term Project.”

Philippine Rating Services Corp. gave the green bonds a rating of “PRS Aa minus” with a “stable outlook.”

BDO Capital Investment Corp. and ING Bank N.V. have been tapped as underwriters and book runners, while PNB Capital and Investment Corp. will be the co-lead manager.

Last year, the SEC said it is adopting the ASEAN Green Bonds standards, which will promote the use of such bonds to finance and refinance, partially or fully, new or existing eligible green projects. Green projects are those which incorporate features such as renewable energy, energy efficiency, pollution prevention and control.

Shares in Arthaland ended flat at P0.80 each at the stock exchange on Monday. — Vincent Mariel P. Galang

DM Wenceslao unit completes 1st residential project

December 23, 2019 | 6:46 pm

Pixel Residences is located at 2007 Cuenco corner Celerio Drive, Block 2, Aseana City, Parañaque City.

A UNIT of D.M. Wenceslao and Associates, Inc. (DMWAI) has completed its first residential project.

In a statement, Aseana Residential Holdings Corp. (ARHC) said it has inaugurated Pixel Residences located at DMWAI’s flagship mixed-use estate, Aseana City in Parañaque.

“With Pixel residences, our residential chapter in the company’s ever evolving transformational story has begun. Our buyers can have peace of mind knowing that they not only invested in a condominium, they invested in a holistic masterplanned and livable city,” DMWAI and ARHC Chief Executive Officer Delfin Angelo “Buds” C. Wenceslao was quoted as saying.

Pixel Residences offers studios, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom units ranging from 36 square meters (sq.m.) to 88 sq.m. International design firm Spark Architects collaborated with local architecture firm, CASAS +Architects, for the project.

DMWAI recorded an attributable net income of P1.65 billion in the first nine months of 2019, up 11% from the same period last year.

Seda set to open 2nd hotel in Cebu

December 23, 2019 | 6:47 pm [ ]

 Seda Central Bloc is set to open in Cebu City in January 2020. -- COMPANY HANDOUT

AYALA LAND, Inc. (ALI) is opening its second Cebu City hotel under the Seda brand in January 2020, amid growing demand from tourists and business travelers.

Seda Central Bloc will rise within ALI Central Bloc community in the Cebu IT Park business district.

The 17-storey hotel will have 214 rooms, including 48 serviced residences.

In a statement, Andrea Mastellone, senior group general manager, said Seda is adding a second property in Cebu City “which we are experiencing as a vibrant hot spot for business as well as tourism.”

He said the hotel’s serviced residences will cater to mostly to young professionals and managers of business process outsourcing (BPO) firms that already have offices in the business district and of those expanding to Cebu.

Seda Central Bloc is also looking to attract leisure and business travelers, particularly those attending events at a nearby convention center.

Guests can choose hotel rooms that are sized 28 square meter (sq.m.) or serviced apartments ranging from studios (30 sq.m.) to three-bedroom units (90 sq.m.).

Seda Central Bloc will also have an all-day dining outlet, swimming pool, meeting rooms, gym and roofdeck bar.

Mr. Mastellone noted the new hotel’s location within a business district gives guests “everything they need within walking distance.”

“In addition to location, we expect guests to keep coming back because of the warm personable service now associated with the Seda brand. In each of our properties throughout the country, guests have come to expect a certain level of service excellence and we are proud of that,” he said.

Seda Central Bloc brings to 11 the number of Seda properties around the country, including resorts and serviced residences.

Amaia unveils QC condo

December 17, 2019 | 12:04 am [ ]

AMAIA Land has launched a residential condominium within parent company Ayala Land, Inc.’s new estate in Quezon City.

The condominium is located in The Junction Place, an 11-hectare project between Tandang Sora Avenue and Quirino Highway in Novaliches.

Amaia Land will develop a cluster of five buildings with a total of 1,300 units. The first building, Aria, will offer 208 units.

“Because Amaia acknowledges the evolving needs of Filipino homeowners, prospective residents can choose from a range of units such as Studio, which is approximately 24.13 square meters (sq.m.) in size; Deluxe, which is approximately 32.18 sq.m. in size; and Premier, which is approximately 48.41 sq.m. in size,” the company said in a statement.

The condominium project will have a basketball court, swimming pool and play area, as well as linear parks.

As part of The Junction Place, condominium residents will have access to a planned transport terminal and a spine road between Tandang Sora Avenue and Quirino Highway.

Horizon Land tops off Marikina tower

December 17, 2019 | 12:02 am [ ]

A SUBSIDIARY of Federal Land Inc. topped off the first building of its Siena Towers project in Marikina City.

Horizon Land recently held a topping off ceremony for the first tower. Located on a 5,473-square meter lot along Sumulong Highway, Siena Towers will have two towers with 227 units and its own retail strip.

Siena Towers offers easy access to schools in Marikina and Quezon City, as well as business parks and shopping malls.

P.A. Properties, Japanese firm ink two deals

December 17, 2019 | 12:05 am [bworldonline.comn ]

P.A. ALVAREZ Properties & Development Corp. (P.A. Properties) has forged two new deals with Japan’s Hankyu Hanshin Properties Corp. (HHPC) for development projects in Laguna and Bulacan.

In a recent statement, the Laguna-based property firm said it signed its fourth and fifth joint venture agreements (JVAs) with the Osaka-based firm to continue expanding its community development project Idesia.

“The JVAs will cover the development of Idesia in Cabuyao, Laguna and in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan,” it said.

The past three JVAs of P.A. Properties and HHPC were for Idesia Dasmariñas Phase 1, Idesia Dasmariñas Phase 2 and Idesia Heights. The two firms previously said they were aiming to launch two to three projects every year through 2023.

The joint venture of P.A. Properties and HHPC’s Hankyu Realty Co., Ltd. started in 2017 and is known as P.A. Properties Hankyu Hanshin Corp.

A tribute to Gokongwei’s hometown and the sea

December 17, 2019 | 12:07 am [ ]

The Dusit Thani Mactan Cebu’s spacious lobby offers a view of the sea. -- BW/MSJARA
By Marifi S. Jara
Mindanao Bureau Chief

ROBINSONS Land Corp. (RLC) formally marked its venture into the luxury hotel sector with the recent launching of Dusit Thani Mactan Cebu, and it will be the first in a planned network of top-end accommodations.

“We’ve had hotels for a while now. Moving forward, we thought we should go to the high-end segment,” Arthur G. Gindap, senior vice-president and business unit general manager of Robinsons Hotels and Resorts, told BusinessWorld on the sidelines of the Dusit Thani Mactan inauguration on Dec. 5.

The RLC hotels division had a portfolio of 3,705 rooms as of end-2018, covering its partnerships with international hotel operators Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn, along with its own two brands — Summit Hotels and Resorts and the Go Hotels.

The next five-star hotel lined up for RLC would be located at its upcoming Bridgetowne complex in Quezon City.

Mr. Gindap said going upmarket does not mean the budget and mid-range segments are already saturated, but more a recognition of the Philippine’s service sector capability.

“You know the Filipino is globally-renowned for its service capacity,” he said.

“The team here has been doing such a great job and we have been received so well so soon,” Dusit Thani Mactan Cebu General Manager David Anthony Baldwin said at the launching ceremony.

The property had its soft opening in April this year and full operation — with all the 272 rooms and suites, facilities, and services, including exclusive boat transfers to and from the Mactan-Cebu International Airport — set this month.


RLC’s first luxury hotel venture, Mr. Baldwin said, serves as a “tribute to Cebu,” hometown of the late John Gokongwei Jr., founder of the JG Summit conglomerate that includes the Robinsons group.

 Dusit Thani Mactan’s 100-meter infinity pool faces the Magellan Bay and gives a view of the Cebu sunset. — COMPANY HANDOUT

“It is an honor (for Dusit International) to be part of making that dream come true,” said Mr. Baldwin, who himself has roots in Cebu through his Filipino mother.

The Dusit Thani Mactan, currently the only top-end resort hotel on the western side of the island’s busy Punta Engaño strip, has exclusive claim to an uninterrupted view of the sunset with the Cebu mainland on the horizon.

Mr. Baldwin said that is expected to change in the near future with the slew of developments in the area, but being first would always be an edge they can bank on.

He added that they have taken full advantage of Dusit Thani Mactan’s location fronting the Magellan Bay with “everything designed to highlight the sea.”

It starts off at the spacious open-air lobby with its almost floor-to-ceiling windows that provide a view of the sea, then there’s the Sunset Sports Bar that opens out into the 100-meter infinity pool, and a boardwalk that gives ample personal sitting spaces.

The hotel also carries the Dusit International signature brands such as the Benjarong Thai Restaurant and Namm Spa, among other dining choices and amenities.

Facilities and packages for meetings, conferences and events have also been planned to include outdoor options.

“We are letting the sea be the star here,” Mr. Baldwin said.

SMC submits proposal for elevated highway on EDSA

December 16, 2019 | 12:05 am [ ]

SAN MIGUEL Corp. (SMC) has submitted a proposal to the Department of Transportation (DoTr) to build an elevated expressway along Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA), in order to address traffic congestion.

Ramon S. Ang, president and chief operating officer of SMC, is hoping to start construction on the proposed ten-lane, five-by-five expressway along EDSA by mid-2020, and complete it within a two-year period.

“Nagsubmit po tayo ng lahat ng requirement sa DoTr, kay Sec. (Arthur P.) Tugade. I hope makumbinse natin syang bilisan ‘yung kanilang processing. (We have submitted the requirements to the DoTr, Mr. Tugade. I hope we can convince him to speed up the processing),” he told reporters on Dec. 1.

“Kung magagawa natin yun, so we start building it let’s say middle of 2020, matatapos natin yan mga two years after. So kumbinsihin natin sya na bilisan yung assessment (If we can do that, we start building, let’s say mid-2020, we can finish it two years after. So we have to convince him to speed up the assessment),” he added.

Transportation Undersecretary for Planning Ruben S. Reinoso, Jr. has said the plan is to build a “Skyway” that will link the Manila-Cavite Expressway (CAVITEx) to the North Luzon Expressway (NLEx) in Balintawak, Quezon City.

It will be an elevated, steel toll road built higher than the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3), which runs along EDSA as well.

The expressway, according to Mr. Reinoso, will have dedicated lanes that will operate a bus rapid transit system. This is seen to help reduce traffic on EDSA, and ease congestion on the MRT-3.

The Metro Manila Development Authority said in July there are about 385,000 vehicles passing through EDSA every day at any given hour. This exceeds the highway’s designed capacity of only 240,000 to 250,000 vehicles a day.

Aside from the elevated EDSA, SMC is also currently building Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3: an 18.68-kilometer toll road from Buendia, Makati City to Balintawak, Quezon City, which is scheduled for completion by early 2020. — Arjay L. Balinbin

DMCI’s QC project generates P8.6-B in reservation sales

December 10, 2019 | 12:04 am [ ]

DMCI Project Developers, Inc. said its residential project in Quezon City is close to selling out, having generated P8.615 billion in reservation sales so far.

In a statement, the company, which operates under the DMCI Homes brand, said Infina Towers is now 92% sold as of Nov. 18. Only 185 units are available for sale.

“We’re optimistic of selling out the remaining units soon because of the strategic location of the project and future growth prospects in the area,” DMCI Homes Assistant Vice President for Project Development Dennis Yap was quoted as saying.

Located along Aurora Boulevard, Ifina Towers is located near two proposed stations of the Metro Manila Subway — Anonas and Katipunan Ave.

The two-tower resort-inspired project is targeting first-time buyers, start-up families and investors. The 39-storey North Tower and 40-storey South Tower offers a mix of one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom units, sized from 27.50 square meters (sq.m.) to 89 sq.m.

Unit prices start at P3.601 million.

DMCI Homes is aiming to turn over units at the North Tower in September 2021, and units at the South towers in September 2022.

PHirst launches Calamba project

December 10, 2019 | 12:07 am [ ]

PHirst Park Homes Calamba is the company’s second project in Laguna.

PHIRST Park Homes, Inc. (PPHI) continues to expand its portfolio in the Calabarzon area with the launch of its new residential project in Calamba, Laguna.

PPHI President and Chief Executive Officer Ricky M. Celis said the company expects to generate P1.5 billion in sales from the initial 900 units offered at PHirst Park Homes Calamba.

The gated residential community, launched on Nov. 23, initially covers nine hectares but can be expanded depending on the demand.

“Calamba is a very competitive [city]. The single biggest reason is most of the developments are here, in terms of large estates. You have all the large players in the area, two industrial estates… It is also accessible, with SLEX (South Luzon Expressway), [and] CALAX (Cavite-Laguna Expressway),” Mr. Celis said told reporters on the sidelines of the new project’s launch event.

PHirst Park Homes Calamba is around an hour and a half from Metro Manila via the Mayapa or Batino exits of the SLEX.

This is the company’s fourth residential project in Calabarzon after Tanza, Cavite; Lipa, Batangas; and San Pablo, Laguna. Overall, PPHI has five residential projects, including one in Pandi, Bulacan.

Like previous projects, PHirst units start at 40 square meters (sq.m.) to 80 sq.m. for a combined unit. A single-attached unit covers 54 sq.m. All units can be expanded on the second floor.

“(Unit prices are) close to P1.5 million. We’re sticking to the average price of under P2 million, so we can secure income tax holiday (ITH) from the BoI (Board of Investments),” Mr. Celis said.

“When we get the ITH from the government, we give it back to the buyer in the form of lower price points. The government is enticing everybody to build and develop within these price points,” he added.

Mr. Celis noted around 80% of the units offered are two-bedroom town homes, as the company sees more demand for those units.

Amenities at PHirst Park Homes Calamba include bike lanes, jogging paths, fitness station, basketball court and a clubhouse with a swimming pool, kiddie pool, shower room, and parking area.


Meanwhile, PPHI is hoping to launch another project before the end of the year.

Mr. Celis said the company is securing the necessary permits and licenses to be able to launch PHirst Park Homes Batulao in Nasugbu, Batangas. The initial 13-hectare project will offer 1,000 units.

“We’re thinking possibly the price points will be higher and some tweaks in terms of the model units, we will probably be introducing new models there… We think the market that we can capture there will slightly be more affluent,” he said.

However, Mr. Celis assured that the prices will be kept under P2 million.

The Batulao project is adjacent to Century Properties Group, Inc.’s (CPG) residential tourism estate Batulao Artscapes.

PPHI is a joint venture between CPG and Japan’s Mitsubishi Corp. The company is targeting to have 15 masterplanned communities with 33,000 homes by 2023. — Cathy Rose A. Garcia

RLC, DoubleDragon team up for new project in Bridgetowne

December 10, 2019 | 12:07 am [ ]

ROBINSONS DoubleDragon Square will be located in Libis, Quezon City.

ROBINSONS Land Corp. (RLC) and DoubleDragon Properties Corp. (DDPC) are partnering to develop a prime commercial lot adjacent to the former’s Bridgetowne township in Quezon City.

In separate disclosures to the stock exchange, RLC and DoubleDragon said they signed an agreement for the joint development of the 10,032-square meter (sq.m.) commercial lot along E. Rodriguez Avenue in Libis. The two companies will share the buildable gross floor area on a 50-50 basis.

RLC told the stock exchange it is investing P644 million for the property acquisition.

DoubleDragon did not give financial details, but said the joint venture company will build Robinsons DoubleDragon Square, which will have retail and office components.

“The rationale for the joint venture is to build office buildings for lease to corporations, BPOs (business process outsourcing), and retail outlets. The joint venture is expected to be beneficial to both RLC and DDPC and shall strengthen the leasable portfolio of both companies,” RLC said.

The Gokongwei-led property company said the new project will be part of Bridgetowne, which will have residential condominiums, office buildings, shopping malls, and a 5-star hotel, as well as a transport terminal and park.

“We are glad to have this joint venture with Robinsons Land as we see the great potential of Bridgetowne to become one of the most relevant business parks in Metro Manila. We believe this partnership between DoubleDragon and Robinsons Land will bring about long-term fruitful gains to both companies,” DoubleDragon Chairman Edgar “Injap” Sia II said in a statement.

A hotel will also rise on the site, but this will be developed solely by DoubleDragon’s Hotel of Asia, Inc. The Hotel 101 — Libis is set to be the company’s eighth hotel in the country, after branches in Manila, Fort Bonifacio, Davao, Boracay, Bohol, Palawan and Cebu.

The joint venture between RLC and DoubleDragon will still require approval from the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC).

Bridgetowne is the RLC’s first township project, which covers a total of 30.61 hectares. The company will develop the property within the next 10 to 15 years.

Pasay-SM Prime Manila Bay reclamation project set to proceed

December 6, 2019 | 7:41 pm [ ]

SM Prime Holdings, Inc. has received the official notice from the Pasay City government to proceed with its 360-hectare reclamation project within the city’s municipal waters, the Sy-led listed company said in a disclosure on Friday.

“This new reclamation project in Pasay City will be connected to the Mall of Asia (MOA) Complex, which is also a reclaimed-land project of both parties, and turned into a vibrant business district featuring world-class mall, offices, residences, entertainment arena, 5-star hotel and convention center,” the company told the stock exchange.

SM Prime, which described itself as one of the largest integrated property developers in Southeast Asia, said it would develop the raw land reclamation and horizontal development works as Pasay City’s joint venture partner.

In a statement, SM Prime President Jeffrey C. Lim said: “We have complied with all the requirements of national agencies and secured all the required permits and clearances to enable SM Prime to commence with the reclamation project.”

“We expect thousands of job opportunities to be generated in the process, and to also contribute significantly to both local and national development.”

On Friday, shares in the company rose by two percent to close at P40.80 each.

“SM Prime remains committed to its role as a catalyst for economic growth, delivering innovative and sustainable lifestyle cities, thereby enriching the quality of life of millions of people,” the company said.

SM Prime, which ended last year with 72 malls in the Philippines and seven shopping malls in China, earlier reported an 18% growth in consolidated net income to P27.6 billion as of the third quarter. Its consolidated revenues during the nine-month period rose by 14% to P85.03 billion, while consolidated operating income grew by 17% to P41 billion.

Mr. Lim earlier said SM Prime’s recent developments and expansion programs in “progressive cities” in the country had contributed significantly to the company’s strong performance as of September.

“Our core businesses, led by the malls and residential segments, are set to sustain the strong performance as we approach the fourth quarter of the year,” he had said. — Victor V. Saulon

Amaia project bets on Pampanga growth

December 3, 2019 | 12:03 am ; ]

AS Pampanga’s economy continues to grow, developer Amaia Land, Inc. is looking to take advantage, with the development of a residential community in San Fernando.

In a statement, the unit of Ayala Land Inc. said now is the right time to invest in the province’s capital through Amaia Scapes San Fernando.

Amaia Scapes San Fernando offers single homes, twin homes, twin pod, bungalow pod and multi-pod options. Unit prices range from P1.3 million to P2.8 million.

“Families wanting to relocate and old-time residents aspiring to buy a home in a secure and wholesome gated community such as Amaia Scapes San Fernando will find attractive options among its modern and well-laid-out units,” the company said, noting that its properties usually have a 5% annual increase in value.

Amenities include a basketball court, a children’s play area, a village pavilion, and patio greens.

Amaia Scapes San Fernando is located near the Coca-Cola Corporation, San Miguel Corporation, Waltermart, SM City San Fernando, Robinsons Starmills, Mother Theresa Calcutta Medical Center, Our Lady of Fatima University, and St. Scholastica’s Academy.

Pueblo de Oro launches new community

December 3, 2019 | 12:04 am [ ]

PUEBLO DE ORO Development Corp. recently launched The Grove at Pueblo Golf, an exclusive boutique community in Cagayan de Oro City.

The Grove features residential townhouses with a “modern Asian” aesthetic, surrounded by the greens and open spaces of the Pueblo de Oro Golf Course.

The low-density community only has 92 two-storey units within the 1.66-hectare development.

Each townhouse has three bedrooms, three toilets & baths, a flexi-room, a balcony with view of the golf course, and a carport for two vehicles.

Lot sizes at The Grove range from 88 to 132 square meters (sq.m.), with floor areas from 90 to 101 sq.m.

The Grove is part of the 400-hectare Pueblo de Oro Township, which is home to several residential subdivisions, Xavier University (Ateneo de Cagayan), Corpus Christi School, and the St. Francis Xavier Parish.

Ayala estate to rise in Tarlac City

December 3, 2019 | 12:07 am [] ]

Ayala Land, Inc. is developing a 290-hectare estate called Cresendo in Tarlac City.

AYALA LAND, Inc. (ALI) is looking to replicate Tarlac City’s beloved poblacion within its new mixed-use estate Cresendo.

The property giant recently launched the 290-hectare Cresendo, envisioned as a “modern local community” with residential, commercial and industrial components.

At the heart of Cresendo is a 30-hectare urban core with a 1.5-hectare central plaza with a church, school and a commercial district.

“Tarlac City has a poblacion — with San Sebastian Cathedral and across it is the plazuela and at the center is F. Tañedo St. — the central business district of Tarlac. We were inspired by this one, and so in Cresendo, that will be our core,” John R. Estacio, Cresendo estate head, said during a briefing in Makati City on Nov. 15.

Mr. Estacio said ALI is creating this new downtown area to complement the existing one in Tarlac City.

“What we bring as ALI is we will inject life’s new conveniences and best practices over our collective experience. We feel this will work with them. It will be familiar, a little greener and organized.

“Cresendo Town Plaza is as big as the Tarlac City plazuela. In our culture, it would be the center for activities and seasonal community events. That’s our ambition,” he said.

The town plaza will be surrounded by commercial buildings with sizes ranging from 500 square meters (sq.m.) to 2,000 sq.m. Mr. Estacio noted these shophouses are ideal for small and medium enterprises who want to live above their stores or offices.

ALI is also developing a 1.5-kilometer greenway from the town plaza to the 7-hectare River Terraces, which is near the planned residential development. The River Terraces will feature landscaped gardens, jogging paths, viewing deck and also as the estate’s detention pond.

Don Bosco Technical Institute will open a senior high school and Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Center on a six-hectare lot within the Cresendo estate.
“We partnered with Don Bosco Tarlac to deliver quality and holistic education… By 2022, senior high school will first be offered here. The TVET Center will operate by 2025,” Mr. Estacio said.

Around 32 hectares will be allotted for the Cresendo Industrial Park (CIP), which will offer lots from 1,200 sq.m. to 10,000 sq.m. for sale at P6,000 to P9,000 per sq.m.

Mr. Estacio said CIP is looking to attract locators in light to medium, non-polluting industries. It is expected to open by 2022.

Avida Land will be the first ALI brand to develop a residential village in Cresendo. It is expected to be launched by early 2020.

ALI has allocated P18 billion to develop Cresendo, including P5 billion for Phase 1 which will involve the completion of the church, opening of Don Bosco senior high school, as well as the development of the residential community, transport terminal and the industrial park.

“We believe (Tarlac City) is a next wave city, accessible via land, air and sea,” Mr. Estacio said.

Located in Barangay Central, Cresendo is near the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) and MacArthur Highway. It is also near the Clark International Airport and Subic Bay Freeport.

The estate’s name takes inspiration from the musical term “crescendo” which means “the highest point reached in a progressive increase of intensity.”

“(Cresendo) is a symbolism that we will help you go up there… We hope to deliver life’s essentials,” Mr. Estacio said. — Cathy Rose A. Garcia

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