Seeing opportunities beyond metro
When Ma. Theresa L. Antonio would pitch potential areas in the provinces for future development, she kept in mind a few basic considerations.
Acting on the guidance of Sta. Lucia Land Inc. president Exequiel Robles, Antonio made sure that the property would be at least within a five-kilometer radius from the city center; preferably located along a national highway or a main provincial road; has a clean title; and situated in an area where the economic profile, density and topography of land are economically viable for the project.
“I followed Mr. Robles’ advice and that’s why the different pieces of property I presented were approved,” said Antonio, who is currently the AVP for operations at Sta. Lucia Realty and Development Inc.
Antonio related that she initially recommended a site in Cebu to Robles back when she was still employed by a property consultancy firm. But her interest in real estate eventually found Antonio going full time with the Sta. Lucia Group.
Antonio then became instrumental in helping Sta. Lucia become a national developer.
“Sta. Lucia’s strength was in Cavite and Rizal. I told Mr. Robles I would check Bacolod and Iloilo, because based on my studies, these would be the next most viable in terms of growth and income in the Visayas. That was around 1992 or 1993” Antonio said in a recent interview.
She recalled that at that time, Sta. Lucia was among the first to develop projects in those areas and people there knew that it was a big developer from Manila. So while their projects were in good locations, it also helped that Sta. Lucia had a good track record and credible reputation, she noted.
“In 1995, I then presented a location and Davao and when that pushed through, I could say that Sta. Lucia finally became a nationwide developer. I then had to set up the offices in Bacolod, Iloilo and Davao,” she said.
“I am thankful that God used (and is still using) Sta. Lucia and me to fulfill my desire to bring business and other income opportunities outside Luzon. It’s our own little way of helping our countrymen and our country,” Antonio concluded.