The world in one community
There is that certain prestige and stature that usually go with being a boutique developer.
Such connotations often stem from the fact that when one says boutique, the other hears uniquely personal, highly customized approach that is made more distinct by the keen attention to every painstaking detail, the passion, and unrelenting pursuit for excellence.
This is exactly what Cathay Land president Jeffrey T. Ng has brought in every project the company has embarked on for more than two decades now.
In fact, a cursory tour of the sprawling 500-ha South Forbes Golf City in Cavite alone would display a kind of prowess, focus and discipline that allowed Ng to successfully create an innovative township now comprised of boutique communities with international architectural themes. Residents are offered with utmost exclusivity given the low density in each project; lush greenery and generous open spaces; and more notably, an 18-hole golf course amenity with a free membership—said to be the only offering of its kind in the Philippines.
Currently, South Forbes has the Mansions or premier boutique communities which are the Bali Mansions, Tokyo Mansions, Phuket Mansions and Racha Mansions—all catering to the well-heeled market. At the minimum, owning a house and lot in these exclusive, stunning developments could set you back by at least P20 million.
Horizons, comprised of the Villas, Chateaux de Paris, Miami, and Nirwana Bali, cater largely to the mid-market, whereas Elevations, which include Scandia Suites and Stanford Suites, refer to mid-rise residential condominiums. The Golf View Terraces, of course, are the residential condominium projects on the golf course priced starting at P7.22 million.
The latest addition to the South Forbes Golf City is the 32-ha Westborough Town Center, meant to serve as the community’s preferred place for retail, dining, lifestyle, leisure and business.
Need to innovate
Ng recalled that as a young property developer, Cathay Land had to compete with the more established players in the industry, prompting the need for him to think out of the box.
“We had to innovate. We had to think of how we can differentiate ourselves from the other projects in the area,” said Ng when asked about why he decided to create these themed boutique communities.
Ng recalled that before, he would bring his wife and kids abroad during the holidays, and it would be partly sightseeing and partly visits to residential subdivisions in the United States, Hong Kong, Thailand and Indonesia, among others.
“It was really my passion to see which were the best developments and the best (practices) in terms of urban planning. And we tried to adopt these and have it in the townships we’re planning,” Ng explained.
The company’s property in Cavite and Laguna, which were expanded eventually, served as the perfect canvasses for Ng to start from scratch, masterplan a community, and imbibe in his township all the learnings and best practices he got from abroad. At that time, being able to create a township that would make a lasting mark was necessary as Cathay Land was still a new industry player competing with established ones.
It turns out, Ng was headed towards the right direction.
Today, South Forbes has aptly fulfilled its promise of providing residents with a life redefined, with its luxurious portfolio of projects catering to the affordable, mid-market and upscale homebuyers. Facilities and topnotch amenities are well suited and attuned to the hurried pace of lifestyle of modern urban dwellers who value exceptional convenience, timeliness and of course, quality.
Even in the tiniest details, it was evident that it had a touch of a boutique developer, of someone as passionate as Ng.
From the ornaments, decor, fixtures, flora and fauna, to the way the gates, walls, gardens, pathways, islands, clubhouses and even the guardhouses were put up and styled—all these were perfectly in sync with the theme of the community.
Beyond this, it’s also important to take note of how Cathay Land’s projects have helped uplift the lives of the people who are either living or working within these communities.
“Perhaps, in my own small way, having these integrated, small cities is my contribution to nation building, leaving some significance on the society. This will be my legacy even after I am gone,” Ng concluded.
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