Laguna-based developer expands in Luzon
With the current housing backlog estimated at 3.6 million units—5.8 million by 2016—having able to deliver 25,000 homes may seem trivial. However, this is some sort of performance that the country needs from numerous residential developers catering mostly to low- and middle-income homebuyers.
“Like in most other countries, a house is a symbol of respectability and source of security.
Considering that several surveys show that middle-class consumption contributes about 70 percent to economic growth in many Western countries, the Philippines’ middle class is expected to play a key role in boosting economic growth through higher consumption, which includes buying a house,” said Romarico “Bing” Alvarez, chair of Laguna-based PA Properties, which celebrates its 19th year on Saturday, December 7.
He believes that developers like PA Properties would do well in investing in middle-cost housing because aside from directly responding to a basic need of families, it would have a powerful multiplier effect on the country’s economy.
“Building houses is a labor-intensive investment, requiring large numbers of construction workers and thereby creating many more jobs among lower-income and lower-saving individuals. Secondly, housing construction has a lot of allied domestic economic activities, ensuring that the money spent on housing will permeate widely in the economy and create broader benefits for more Filipinos,” Alvarez said.
In the case of PA Properties, the company has already developed 39 subdivisions, which is equivalent to 25,000 housing units.
Alvarez said: “I would consider these communities affordable but we made sure that each of them offers the best environment for its residents. We try to offer various housing options, which is why apart from horizontal communities, we also build mid-rise condominium projects.”
For this year, Alvarez said the company already topped off three condominium buildings (Las Sargas, El Montalvo and Las Palmas) for its ongoing project in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, the San Jose Residencias; another one (Garnet) in East Residences Ortigas in Pasig City.
“We also turned several of our condominium units to their owners: Las Asturias, La Frontera, and Las Sargas buildings at San Jose Residencias in Sta. Rosa, Laguna; Sapphire building at East Residences Ortigas in Pasig City; Sycamore building at The North Grove in Caloocan City; and Waterpark building at One Metropolitan Place in Pasay City,” he enumerated.
Alvarez said that while PA Properties was established and has become a major player in Laguna, the company has expanded to nearby provinces, in Metro Manila as well as in other parts of Luzon.
“This year, we did the groundbreaking of our latest projects that include the NuVista San Jose, a 30-hectare, 2,840-unit development in Bulacan; Trillium Park at Bridgepointe Place, a 5.5-hectare, 499-unit development in San Fernando City, Pampanga; St. Joseph Homes Calamba, a 9-hectare, 1,238-unit development in Laguna; Phase 2 of Ciudad de San Jose, a 2-hectare, 120-unit development in Sta. Rosa, Laguna,” said Alvarez, who added that the company is looking forward to expanding further in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, Batangas, Cavite and Bulacan.
He explained that a few years ago, the company was already happy doing projects in Laguna and Cavite. “But we saw several opportunities in nearby provinces like Batangas. It is an ideal location, especially with the linkup of the South Luzon Expressway and the Southern Tagalog Arterial Road toll road. The interconnection provides convenience and faster travel for future homebuyers in Batangas. Those in Bulacan, Pampanga and Tarlac have the North Luzon Expressway and the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway as well as the newly opened Tarlac–Pangasinan–La Union Expressway that make sure our future residents are just a few hours’ drive from their destinations in Metro Manila or even Calabarzon.”
Alvarez said it is encouraging to know that the Aquino government is putting the middle class and even those belonging to the low-income bracket at the top of its agenda.
“Pag-Ibig [Home Development Mutual Fund] had allocated P50 billion for housing loans for members nationwide. The agency had also increased the loanable amount for members from P3 million to P6 million for those with a monthly income of P15,000. Even the interest rate of the monthly housing loan amortization has also been lowered from 10 percent to 7.985 percent. Indeed, these developments are encouraging for families wanting to buy their first house or those who are no longer happy with just renting,” he said.
And considering that these buyers will be getting their first homes, Alvarez said PA Properties made sure they are not only affordable but also located in very accessible and safe locations.
Alvarez said: “In our mission to make a big impact in reducing the housing backlog, we priced our units from around P400,000 to up to around P4 million for the house-and-lot packages and around P1 million to around P3 million for the mid-rise condominium units. These are the price ranges that most low- and middle-income families could afford and within what the government wants to support through Pag-Ibig.”
Moreover, he related that even from the start, the company has made it a point to study the target location including its topography, future developments as well as surrounding establishments. “We want to ensure that our future residents will feel proud of their homes, their community and be thankful that they chose us not only for the price package that we offer them.”
To mark its 19th anniversary today, the PA Alvarez launched a new logo—a three-dimensional cube with “P” and “A” on each side.
He said: “The design shows that the company has been able to keep up with the times but without losing sight of its history, heritage and traditions. While the logo is modern-looking, the company colors remain. The golden yellow represents the sun, a symbol of divine providence that guides us toward a bright future. On the other hand, the green represents life, growth and prosperity. It also symbolizes the importance of family and more importantly, it is the color associated with St. Joseph the Worker, whom we named in many of our projects.”
Alvarez added that the cube also symbolizes the building block or foundation that keeps the company strong and unwavering. “With this new logo, we hope to reach greater heights.”
PA Properties started out as a single proprietorship known as PA Alvarez Realty in September 1993. Its first residential subdivision project, named after St. Joseph the Worker in San Pedro, Laguna, comprised of 200 units that were completely sold in less than four months. In August 1994, the business was registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission as PA Alvarez Properties and Development Corp.
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