MANILA, Philippines--Where the land meets the sea in the metropolis, commercial and real estate activities have intensified lately.
Within the stretch of land reclaimed from the South China Sea, between the Coastal Highway, Roxas Boulevard and the sunset-beautiful Manila Bay, will rise the 54-hectare development masterplanned for the gaming and hotel industry Pagcor City.
With the economic ?promise? of Pagcor City, combined with the SM Mall of Asia, Manila Ocean Park and a host of other commercial and residential developments already established and in operations, what is collectively known as the Bay City area has spurred a flurry of construction activities, and market demand seems insatiable.
In the last two years alone, more than 2,000 condominium units have been sold, averaging 100 units per month.
Celedonio Pile Jr., president of Landmark Communities Inc., is more than aware of this development in Bay City. His company?s luxury oceanfront residential project?the Mandara Waterfront Residences?has already sold a majority of its first phase. And business has just literally started for the company in the area.
In a recent press conference in Makati City, Landmark Communities proudly unveiled its Mandara Waterfront Residences project to property reporters. Pile subsequently declared that this would be the only oceanfront residential property in Manila.
To be built on a joint venture with Veterans Bank, the Residences will feature 12 buildings spread out in a 14,000-sq-m lot, all built in a programmed four-year period (at a build rate of three per year).
Each unit will range from 72 to 164 sq m, each with private roof decks and pocket gardens.
Pile stressed that Mandara will highlight its ?low density? as there will only be a total of 216 units in the 1.4-hectare lot. ?If a high-density development is built on an equivalent size of land, it probably would have 3,000 to 4,000 residents. That is a very big difference in exclusivity and lifestyle.?
There will be a price to pay for such a low density, though, and it is pegged at P5.8 million to P15 million per unit.
Pile predicted that the bulk of other condominiums in the Roxas Boulevard area would be priced in the P2- to P4-million bracket, and that all new players will offer high-rises 12 stories and above, none of which would offer the same low density as Mandara does.
?Land prices in the area will be north of P30,000 per sq m. At these numbers, only mid- to high-density developments will be feasible. More so, it is also financially more attractive to go high-rise now, particularly since the market is absorbing the supply adequately,? he said.
Pile disclosed that Amara, Mandara?s first building to be completed, will be turned over to owners in April 2010. The second building will begin construction this March and will be finished next year. The third building is forecast to start third quarter this year.
On average, each building would be built in 18 months. ?The construction phasing is very prudently done so that there is minimal risk of flooding the market with supply or overdeveloping it,? he said.
Amara and the second building, however, is nearly all sold out. Pile said that if needed, the construction of the other buildings could be safely accelerated.
Mandara is strategically positioned in the Bay City area. Pagcor City is less than a km away, while MOA is about three km away, and two km from the airport.
?We were very aware of the proximity of the site to the major landmarks. The pleasant surprise is the acceleration of the developments at Pagcor City. We knew there were plans but were not aware how real the project would be. Apparently, with the investors and locators publicly published and land development underway, its really pushing through,? he said.
Most importantly, perhaps, is Mandara?s proximity to the Bay itself.
?We are fortunate enough to be located literally by the channel, by the sea. We have a shoreline of about 270 meters that we are developing into a baywalk. We know of no other residential development this close to the water,? he said.
Pile said his group is fortunate to have landed a joint venture with Veterans Bank on a rare piece of property so close to Manila Bay and in a fast-developing area, an expanse of economic and entertainment potential 660 hectares in size.
?As Makati and Fort Bonifacio have developed into very progressive business districts, so too would the bay-side area progress, in similar manner, in perhaps similar magnitudes. Mandara is positioned in the growth area, providing excellent high-end products,? he beamed.