Local firm to set up condominium, hotel

A HOMEGROWN company, Santos Land Development Corp., is setting up its own condominium project which will have a hotel component.

Antonio Nicolas S. Domingo, company president, told the TIMES the company is spending about P1.2 billion in setting up the Ivory Residences Davao, an 18-floor condominium located in the Bajada area, considered the most expensive location in the city.

“We will start the condominium first,” said Domingo, adding that the company is targeting to complete the entire project within the next three years.

The company, which has even sold about 10% of the units, with about a third of the buyers being those looking for places “where to park their money,” he explained. He said these investors have been buying properties that they rent out as they earn faster in buying properties than in depositing their money.

“I would say that our market is within the middle market,” he added, as the cheapest unit of the 300 units is sold at P2.9 million.

He said the project is also focusing on the locals who have become the clients of the company in its subdivision projects as well as those out of towners who have either migrated into the city or those who are transients who want to stay in condominium units instead of hotels.

The number of middle income earners, or those who earn between P40,000 to P80,000 a month, has been increasing and that these people have become the primary markets of condominium developers.

Another large chunk of the market are those persons who are retiring and who want to invest their money, he added.

He said that the increase in the number of schools that are setting up in the city has also provided a new market for these kinds of projects. “There are new schools that are being built and these have attracted students from the nearby areas,” he said.

Among those that have announced to set up schools in the city are the De La Salle University which is setting up its campus at the 10-hectare mixed-use development project of Megaworld and Mapua University which has started building its Malayan Colleges just in front of the high school department of Ateneo de Davao University in the Matina District, the immediate southern part of the city.

Other major developments that have been taking are hospitals as St. Luke’s Medical Center is also building its hospital within the 25-hectare mixed use joint venture project of the Alcantara and Ayala groups as well as the Lanang Premiere Doctors Hospital in the Megaworld project.

On the hotel component, the company is setting up a 10-floor 95-room hotel whose target market are the business executives who have been coming to the city to look for opportunities for their companies.

The hotel and the condominium will share amenities like swimming pool and the two-floor club house which can be used as function rooms.

“These are your markets (both for the condominium and the hotel),” said Domingo, adding that the company, which has landbanked the property, has decided to cash in on the growing market for these kinds of projects.

He said the company, which used to develop high-end projects, decided to focus both on low and middle class projects after the 1997 financial crisis.

He said the company has been looking at developing its landbanked properties because of the continued appreciation of the market.

Officials of real property consulting company Prime Philippines earlier said landowners in the city have held on to their properties instead of selling them because of the continued price appreciation.

Jennifer Joyce D. Namis, company assistant business manager, said that based on the company research, landowners tend to develop their properties or look for companies for joint venture projects even when prices of land, particularly within the Bajada-Lanang area in the northern side, have climbed to P50,000 to P100,000 a square meter from just half the price early this year.

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