SMDC finalizing project in the city

The SM Development Corp. (SMDC), the real property arm of the Henry Sy group, is looking at launching its first condominium project in the city within the year, a top official said over the weekend.

The project will be integrated into the company’s mall, the SM Lanang Premier, as the company has started its preparations, said Clarinda Luna-Magtulis, vice president for marketing of the company as the company launched its showroom for the project last week.

Without providing the details of the project as the company is still finalizing it although the target is to is to build a project of about 3,700 units, Luna-Magtulis is confident that the market will get attracted to what it can offer. “People here know city living but without losing the touch of being more relaxed,” she told the TIMES in an interview after the event.

She said the project has also the label of the SMDC which establishes projects that “are communities that are self-contained” as the project is within the 10-hectare area that the mother company, the SM Prime Holdings, acquired from the Dacudao family.

She said the company always makes sure to ensure premium convenience to its buyers by putting their projects near the company’s malls and transport terminals.

Although she said the company cannot make predictions in relation to the local market, Luna-Magtulis said that based on the experience of the company, “our developments are usually taken up in three years and that by that time the units are turned over to their owners immediately.”

The good thing, she added, some of their buyers in their Metro Manila projects are those from the city and that because, they “know what to expect and that these people might be the first to buy in this project.”

Although the company has yet to launch the project, it usually launches the project per phase and builds simultaneously all the towers in the phase.

The company has also started venturing into other places outside Metro Manila, its first base, as it has a horizontal project in Pampanga and a condominium project in Bulacan, although it “will not let go Metro Manila (as project location),” she added.

“We have definite plans for other areas, but we are just waiting for the right time,” said Luna-Magtulis, adding that the company is looking at the result of its first project in the city and it will continue exploring other projects in Mindanao.

In Mindanao, the company has two malls in the city and two others in the nearby Cagayan de Oro City.
The project, she said, is to target middle-income buyers who are both end-users or those who buy as investments. Buyers can always buy two or more units that they can collapse into one bigger unit, she added.

On those buying as their way of investing their money, most of them go into buying units intended for the middle market because they believe their money earns better than when they place it in their bank accounts.

When the company was just starting 12 years ago, most of the buyers of its projects were the end-users, but at present, the ratio between end-user and investors has become 50:50 as the end-user “is still a strong market,” while many also want to invest their money for bigger returns.

On the expectation of a good market in the city for the project, Luna-Magtulis said buyers usually look for “better home maintenance, security, convenience and practicality” which the project can offer as it is just beside the mall.

The company also provides a condominium management unit that both maintains the upkeep of the building, including the setting up of gardens, and provides better security and that the project also offers amenities that buyers can use.

Based on its briefer, the company has so far built about 30 projects, sold about 85,000 units, about 50,000 of them turned over to the buyers.

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