Cebu Landmasters cements foothold, leadership in VisMin | Inquirer Business

Cebu Landmasters cements foothold, leadership in VisMin

By: - Reporter / @amyremoINQ
/ 03:00 AM December 05, 2020

Davao Global Township

Founded on passion, expertise and humility, Cebu Landmasters Inc. finds itself rightfully at the peak of its game—an exceptional leap from where it was 17 years ago.

While the idea for a property company did stem from an accidental discovery of a business opportunity, this homegrown property developer was able to carve a niche at the onset—from the company’s inception in 2003 and from the launch of its first project, the San Josemaria Village Balamban which was located in the then untapped countryside of Cebu. Even so, it had sold out immediately.


Cebu Landmasters founder, chairman and CEO Jose Soberano III would muse in earlier interviews with the Inquirer how he didn’t think the company would grow this big and fast. He humbly believed that, despite the company’s impressive roster of achievements, there’s much more that can still be done.


CLI Board behind the fastest growing developer in VisMin today

Cebu Landmasters was named Best Developer of the Year for Visayas and Mindanao in Lamudi Philippines’ The Outlook Awards in 2019.

Expanding diversified portfolio

From that single 3-hectare lot where its first project stood, Cebu Landmasters has since expanded tremendously. Today, it has already gone beyond providing low cost, economic and mid-market homes to Cebuanos. It has become a fully integrated real estate developer that boasts of an expanding, highly diversified portfolio of residences, offices, retail spaces, hotels, mixed use developments and a township—not only in Cebu, but across Visayas and Mindanao.

Specifically, it has 76 projects in varying stages of development and completion in 15 key cities across VisMin, plus 21 more on the pipeline. From its beginnings in Cebu, it has now expanded to key VisMin cities including Iloilo, Bacolod, Ormoc, Dumaguete, Bohol, Cagayan de Oro and Davao.

Given its unique regional expertise, sound “acquire-to-develop” strategy and experienced team, Cebu Landmasters has successfully expanded its residential offerings with Premier Masters, its line of premium high rises; Garden Series, which promises open spaces and well-designed homes; Casa Mira, its economic housing brand; and Villa Casita, its socialized housing projects.

Venturing to new platforms, the company expanded into commercial development in 2013. These developments opened additional revenue streams—a source of recurring income in the form of commercial leases. Its first commercial project—Park Centrale was created for both local and global businesses that sought to gain access to the city’s 24/7 hub and first-class talents. In 2014, Park Centrale bagged the best commercial development award during the Philippine Property Awards, making Cebu Landmasters the first developer from Cebu to win such honor.

Building from Park Centrale’s success, Cebu Landmasters also launched Base Line HQ and four-star Berde-rated Latitude Corporate Center, which will bring the company’s total gross leasable area to 27,551 sqm by end 2020. The company is also developing more office buildings namely Astra Corporate Center in Cebu, Patria de Cebu, Masters Tower in Cebu Business Park, to cater to the strong demand for premium grade leasing spaces

The Paragon Davao

Astra Centre

Cementing leadership

It was but natural that Cebu Landmasters would make its foray into mixed-use developments. It started in 2015 with Base Line Center, which features upscale condominiums, offices, Citadines Cebu City by The Ascott Ltd. and, the most recent addition, a medical arts center to further adapt to the new normal. In Mandaue City, Astra Centre, which will similarly host a healthy mix of uses will no doubt ensure unparalleled convenience, safety and accessibility for residents, locators and guests.


A P33-billion project in Davao meanwhile will soon complete Cebu Landmasters’ offering. The Davao Global Township, being done in a joint venture with Davao’s prominent Villa-Abrille family, is poised to transform a 22-ha golf course into an iconic central business district, replete with offices, residences, retail strip and a cultural center.

There is no doubt that Cebu Landmasters has aptly fulfilled its vision this early, which is “to be the leading real estate company in the Visayas and Mindanao, and the most customer-centric and community-focused organization in the region.”

And as the studies by property consultancy firm Santos Knight Frank would prove, Cebu Landmasters has indeed cemented its No. 1 market leadership as it remains to be the leading, fastest-growing property developer in the VisMin market today based on a 2020 Santos Knight Frank Study. With a 12 percent market share, this sealed the company’s dominance in VisMin versus other large national developers.

38 Park Avenue

Latitude Corporate Center

Strong, warm market reception

Cebu Landmasters’ consistently stellar performance, its commitment to provide quality, value-for-money developments for VisMin, its flexibility and market leadership ensured a strong and warm reception from both buyers, investors, property developers and landowners.

It became most apparent when it listed at the Philippine Stock Exchange in 2017, during which it saw its initial offering being nearly two times oversubscribed due to brisk demand.

Another would be the strategic alliances and joint ventures that Cebu Landmasters was able to forge with landed owners and property developers in VisMin including Lacson-Lustre of Bacolod through Citadines Bacolod City; Alfonso Tan of Iloilo through Terranza Residences; Villa-Abrille clan of Davao led by Fred Yuson through MesaTierra Garden Residences, The Paragon Davao and Davao Global Township; and other established landowners in Cebu through 38 Park Avenue, Latitude Corporate Center and a new mixed use project in Cebu’s prominent uptown area.

All these, of course, did not go unnoticed as Cebu Landmasters was aptly recognized for its excellence across many fronts. Some of its numerous accolades and recognitions include Best Housing Development-Cebu (Philippines Property Awards 2018); one of the Top Ten Developers of the Philippines 2018 (BCI Asia); Best Developer in the Philippines (Asia Property Awards Grand Finals 2019); and Best Developer in Visayas and Mindanao (The Outlook Awards 2019). Soberano himself was awarded as Personality of Year during The Outlook Awards 2019.

Jose Soberano III was named Personality of the Year 2019 in Lamudi Philippines’ The Outlook Awards

Citadines Paragon Davao

Bullish prospects

Today, Cebu Landmasters’ exceptional growth story continues.

Despite the challenges brought about by the pandemic, Cebu Landmasters continues to manifest stability and industry leadership as it posted P5.7 billion in consolidated revenues for the first nine months, while its attributable net income reached P1.5 billion, closely matching its 2019 performance. Reservation sales rose by 14 percent year-on-year to a record high of P10.5 billion, on the back of a heightened buyer appetite in the VisMin market due to increased demand for quality and value for money housing during the pandemic, translating to P17.9 billion in unrecognized revenues.

Completed and turned over projects meanwhile are expected to generate P5.8 billion worth of take outs. Its strong, healthy balance sheet further showed its total assets hitting P49.2 billion as of end September.

And at the rate it’s going, the company is well on track to hit its yearend guidance in financial performance.

Citadines Cebu City

Citadines Cebu City lobby

Artist’s perspective of Radisson Red

2021 and onwards

Next year would prove to be a much bigger year for Cebu Landmasters as it plans to launch a total of 13 projects worth P14.6 billion, with close to 7,000 units–all to be supported by the company’s existing 104-ha landbank, spread across 11 key locations. It will be a mix of six economic housing projects, three mid-market residential communities, two upscale residences, one socialized housing, and a new product line that would cater to the low-income families.

Its gross leasable areas–which cover offices and retail spaces–are targeted for expansion next year to 27,000 sqm, with a projected revenue of P90 million. By 2025. it targets its GLA to hit more than 142,000 sqm that can generate as much as P648 million for the company.

To further boost its recurring income portfolio, seven hotels with more than 3,300 keys are on the pipeline, which include among others lyf Cebu City by Ascott, Citadines Paragon Davao, Citadines Bacolod City, Radisson Red and Abaca Resort Mactan. These will be operational between 2023 and 2025, when the hospitality industry is expected to fully bounce back from the pandemic and Cebu Landmasters aims to be at the forefront of this expected boom in hospitality.

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Indeed, Cebu Landmasters is already a name and a brand that the Soberanos can be proud of, which its investors are happy about, and which is being embraced by its employees and the market it serves. There is no doubt that this homegrown Cebu-based company is poised to further expand and grow as it sets its sights on bigger, more ambitious projects that would propel it to become one of the leading national property developers in the country–perhaps, even sooner than one might expect.

Park Centrale

TAGS: Cebu Landmasters, CEO Jose Soberano III

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