By Fung Yu, Contributor INQUIRER.net Author's note: This article uses Apple’s QuickTime technology in providing an immersive experience by means of virtual reality panoramas. QuickTime is required to view the 360-degree VRs. Average VR size is 2.0Mb each. THE PHILIPPINE School of Interior Design (PSID) in cooperation with The Chamber of Furniture Industries of the Philippines (CFIP) celebrates 40 years of excellence in interior design education through its graduation exhibit "Forty, Filipino, & Fabulous," also dubbed as F3. The exhibit showcases masterfully designed and executed interior spaces that center on Philippine furniture as its focus. The exhibit aims to promote the ingenuity and creativity of Filipino designed furniture pieces in fabulous interior settings. F3 guarantees the fusion of furniture and interior design as a formidable tandem in creating livable, functional, and aesthetic spaces. The exhibit center on 19 fabulous interior design settings executed by the graduates of PSID’s advance class of 2007. Each group was paired off with a manufacturer from the CFIP, working together to bring to life these wonderful interior settings. It took each group around three months for design conceptualization and 3 weeks of simultaneous construction at the exhibit venue to finally realized this milestone. Below are the 360-degree VRs of each booth in order of their original arrangement. The exhibit is still ongoing until October 31st at the basement of the Paseo Center along Paseo de Roxas in Makati City. Dalisay (Click here for VR) Korona (Click here for VR) Dekada ’40 (Click here for VR) Ang Unggoy? (Click here for VR) Entrada (Click here for VR) Bunso (Click here for VR) Suwabe (Click here for VR) Rikado (Click here for VR) Serbesa (Click here for VR) Silong (Click here for VR) Taw Hay (Click here for VR) Silid ni Malakas (Click here for VR) Sanktuaryo (Click here for VR) Tengopono (Click here for VR) Pelikula (Click here for VR) Diwata (Click here for VR) Lilok (Click here for VR) Salapid (Click here for VR) Sampaguita (Click here for VR) Text and graphical sketches taken from the press kit of F3. For full descriptions and other details, please visit their website. All VRs produced in October 2007. This writer can be reached at email@example.com and www.firefly.ph.
October 2007 Archives
By Tessa Salazar Inquirer MANILA, Philippines--Developers seem to show no signs of slowing down insofar as setting up new upscale developments south of Metro Manila and beyond is concerned. Adding to the reputable mix of middle and high-end residential developments such as Ayala’s 1,600 hectare Nuvali in Canlubang (with Ayala Premier in it) and Fil-Estate’s P2.5-billion project in Batangas is SM Development Corp’s high-end residences at Susana Heights. SM Development Corp. recently cited to Inquirer Property the two high-end market possibilities: • One addresses the market that chooses to simply live in urban centers and stay in a small condominium where convenience and accessibility is a primary concern. • The other addresses those who choose a bigger living space in single-detached homes where going home during the weekends could be a form of “natural recharging” -- away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Carlos V. Chikiamco, vice president and project director of Lindenwood Residences at Susana Heights, also said a niche market exists for those who want that suburban lifestyle in spite of the accessibility and the travel time. “Offhand, these are people who have been raised in the south and who just continue to set up their own homes in the same environment. This is the market that Lindenwood seeks to address itself to.” Why Susana Heights? Susana Heights was chosen for Lindenwood Residences “primarily because of its location and the familiarity of the public to easily locate it as very near well-developed areas such as Ayala Alabang and Filinvest Corporate City.” “We have envisioned Lindenwood to be a quaint, charming, neighborly, residential development of sufficient greens and trees to contrast it to city living. The natural beauty of Lindenwood has lent itself to this kind of development,” Chikiamco said. Concerns for traffic congestion brought by the flood of growth in the southern suburbs has been eased via the promise of improved mass transportation, Chikiamco said. “We only hope that the national government along with the private sector can answer this need sooner rather than later,” he added. ‘City-fying’ Asked about his view on some sectors’ concerns that the south is being “city-fied” -- natural habitats and settings that are supposed to be “untouched” but are being encroached upon by man-made developments, Chikiamco quipped: “To continue to ‘city-fy’ natural habitats and the suburbs is not sustainable in the long term. Developers should always input in their development initiatives to consider long-term issues for sustainable growth. Purely ‘city-fying’ areas will not do.” Mango orchard The Lindenwood concept would benefit from a rolling terrain, mature trees, a high elevation and quiet surroundings. The site is part of the huge mango orchards of the Madrigals similar to the Ayala-Alabang setting. Three hundred ninety lots have been opened for sale in its first phase and an opening price of an average of P10,000 per sq m. The average lot size is about 350 sq m. The lot sizes in Lindenwood were primarily dictated upon by the need to preserve the natural terrain. Making smaller lot cuts would require flattening the terrain instead of preserving its original contour, making the development lose its inherent charm and appeal. A Lindenwood lot would typically cost about P3 million to P3.5 million. Assuming a house would cost another P3.5 million, the total cost of a house and lot would be P7 million.
By Alex Vergara Inquirer MANILA, Philippines--When Butch Nayona and Sylvia Bautista hired the services of architect Dante Aguirre to design their respective condo units sometime ago, the two accomplished singles had a number of requirements that were quite similar. Nayona and Bautista have yet to meet each other, but like thousands of nameless, faceless executives based in Metro Manila, they work long hours in the office. Since both live alone most of the time, they have precious little time to spare fussing over minute details. In short, they each wanted a practical and functional place to come home to at the end of a long, hard working day. Yet their tastes and personalities couldn’t have been more different. “Both units can be classified as modern fusion,” says Aguirre. “I opted for modern bedrooms and resorted to a mixture of themes in other spaces based on what they like.” Nayona asked Aguirre to design a bedroom that could lull him to sleep even during the day. “As a call center manager, I used to work odd hours,” Nayona explains. “I wanted a room that’s dark and minimalist enough to help me quickly fall asleep.” Nayona has since left the call-center industry to strike out on his own as a human resources training consultant. But he retained the look of his Pasig unit, including the master bedroom with its “walk-in bathroom” and ash-gray walls. He converted a second, much smaller room into a library. “Since the bathroom came with a shower stall, I asked Dante to do away with the door,” he says. Low bed When there are visitors, Nayona merely locks the door leading to his bedroom-cum-office to get some privacy while doing his morning rituals. Apart from a series of built-in shelves, he opted for a low bed covered in dark sheets to set it off from the bleached narra floor. “A low bed is quite practical,” he says. “I can sit on it, work on it and even tie my shoes [while sitting on it] without me completely bending my back or lifting my legs.” To keep the wooden shelves from “moving” with the temperature, Aguirre had them sealed “to the last grain” with light gray automotive paint, which also imparts them with a matte sheen that contrasts nicely with the dark bedroom walls. If the mood in Nayona’s bedroom is a bit wintry, the opposite is evident in the unit’s public areas. In lieu of gray, Aguirre opted for homey summer shades such as brick red, beige and mocha. He also did away with hardwood floors in favor of shiny granite. The living room’s entertainment center is set off by a portion of the wall rendered in chiseled terra cotta, making the flat-screen TV and other high-tech gadgets focal points in themselves. A series of built-in compartments and wall-mounted shelves mirrors a similar set-up in the dining area. In lieu of compartments, Nayona opted for a long, L-shaped wooden seat that rests permanently on the wall. “The dining table also doubles as my work table because I now work half of the time at home,” he says. “I have no intention of moving any of my chairs.” A series of built-in wooden shelves in the dining area features various accent pieces Nayona acquired from his travels to Japan, Korea and Vietnam. The Oriental theme is repeated in an indoor Japanese rock garden complete with faux bamboo shoots that sits by the unit’s window. Mood “I find Japanese and Korean pieces very subtle,” he says. “I prefer them over ornate pieces usually associated with the Chinese.” It’s a good thing Nayona had the foresight to buy two adjacent units. He asked Aguirre to knock down the wall separating the two units before he had him redesign the entire space. Apart from a mood corridor complete with ecclesiastical symbols and a small indoor fountain set on a pedestal and illuminated by cove lighting, the additional space afforded Nayona, who loves to cook, a bigger-than-usual kitchen. Cabinets and sliding drawers made of kiln-dried wood and opaque glass betray their owner’s penchant for organization. For a more modern touch, he settled for an ochre backsplash made of tempered glass paired with shiny granite countertops. Bautista, on the other hand, wanted a bedroom that’s bright and easy to maintain. She also requested Aguirre to design a number of built-in cabinets for storage as well as aesthetic purposes. “Short of asking Dante to remove all those unsightly indoor plumbing,” says the customer services manager of an American multinational company, “I asked him to cover them with functional as well as faux cabinets.” Aguirre did that and more. Since not all pipes can be concealed under cabinets, he resorted to such devices as beams and cove lighting, evident in Bautista’s grayish green master bedroom with a padded leather headboard. Geomancy Bautista consulted a feng shui master in Manila before she moved into her two-story, two-bedroom Mandaluyong unit a couple of years ago. Fortunately, Aguirre didn’t have to do major rework to conform to the geomancer’s recommendations. “I had my headboard padded so that my head won’t be directly under a beam when I sleep,” she explains. “I also had Dante wrap sharp edges in my room with leather pads.” Since it’s not often one encounters a high-ceilinged stairwell in a condo unit (if there’s one at all!), Aguirre didn’t let the space go to waste. He had a blown-up picture of a sunflower framed and nailed to the ceiling as a focal point. A round light diffuser (or, in this case, enhancer) made of countless strings of shiny fiberglass dangles from the ceiling-mounted photo and casts its irregular shadow on the wall. Aguirre also did a wall installation made of dried plants, including fragrant eucalyptus leaves, by the stairs. The sunflower’s color, actually, ties in with the first floor’s color scheme, which ranges from dusty orange to rich ochre. The color scheme gradually changes from orange to lime green, warm to cool, fall to spring, as one climbs the naturally varnished stairs and into the two bedrooms on the second floor. To add an illusion of space in the dining room, which also doubles as a sitting area, Bautista had a huge mirror installed beside the four-seat dining table. “The mirror also doubles the amount of blessings that have come my way,” she says. Unlike Nayona, however, Bautista has very little time to cook so she settled for a smaller kitchen. Even then, Aguirre designed a small, but charming space for her to prepare breakfast and cook the occasional pasta. The pink kitchen, as Aguirre describes it, is infused with shots of silver and gray in the form of accent tiles to give the area a modern feel. Instead of brooms and other cleaning implements, Bautista keeps her dozens upon dozens of shoes (it seems no woman can have enough of ’em) in a “secret” compartment in the kitchen, right underneath the stairs. Rather than do it alone, Aguirre believes in collaborating with his clients. There’s no other way to do it, he says, if you both want to produce a finished product that’s mutually acceptable. For instance, he asked Bautista to source for curtains and various accent pieces, including Oriental-inspired tableware. “A designer can’t do it alone,” says Aguirre, who is scheduled to leave for Canada to work on several design projects. “I always encourage my clients to improve on their respective units so their personalities would eventually come out through their homes.” Photo courtesy of the Philippine Daily Inquirer
By Suzzane Salva-Alueta Cebu Daily News CEBU CITY, Philippines--Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia said it was time the Capitol updated its schedule of fair market values of land in the province -- the basis for computing real property taxes. She said taxes collected by the provincial government were based on the 2002 schedule of fair market values. With three Cebu towns recently upgraded to cities, exempting them from sharing their real property taxes with the provincial government, Garcia said the Capitol has to make up for the lost revenue. “As much as possible, we do not want to burden the people. But now, our peso is strong, our economy is good. We have not amended the market schedule for a long, long time. So I hope they (constituents) will understand,” she said. According to the LGC, local government units are allowed to do a general revision of property assessment every three years. The tax issue was among the topics discussed by the provincial board during its out-of-town session in Balamban town on Monday. “It’s really a concern. Unless that amendment passes in Congress in regards to the share of component cities under the Local Government Code (LGC), we will have to brace ourselves for a significant reduction in the revenues of the province,” Garcia told the Cebu Provincial Board on Monday. Provincial Assessor Anthony Sususco said it was he who recommended that the schedule of market values be updated. He said he submitted a proposal to the Provincial Board last week to increase the schedule of market values by 50 to 75 percent. “I hope they would approve it this year so that we can conduct a mass appraisal and revision of taxes of properties by next year. Then we can implement the increase by 2009,” Sususco said. The total assessed value of the province’s real properties is P14 billion. The provincial government has a target tax collection of P280-million annually. Sususco said that if the proposal to increase the schedule of market values is approved, then the province’s total assessed value of its properties could reach P21 billion, with a target collection of P440 million. Starting 2008, Cebu Province would no longer receive a share of real property taxes collected in Bogo, Carcar and Naga, all of which became component cities of Cebu province this year. With the potential decrease in revenues for the province caused by the status change of these cities, Representative Pablo John Garcia (Cebu, 3rd district), filed a bill in Congress seeking to require component cities of provinces to continue sharing their real property taxes with the province. In an interview with the governor after the session, Governor Garcia explained that for several years, Capitol chose not to raise the schedule of market values, concentrating instead on intensifying tax collection. She said the province was especially affected by the conversion of Naga into a component city, since it was the town that contributed the most in the entire province in terms of real property taxes. Naga is the site of several large industrial facilities, mostly relating to power generation and cement production.
By Nestor P. Burgos Jr. Inquirer Visayas Bureau ILOILO CITY--Megaworld Corp. will pour an initial investment of P1.5 billion into its newly acquired 54-hectare property, where the old Iloilo airport used to stand. Megaworld, which acquired the property in Mandurriao District for P1.2 billion, plans to build a business park here. "This is our first major investment outside of Manila," said Kingson Sian of Megaworld Corp. during Friday's turnover ceremony at the Sarabia Manor Hotel and Convention Center. "This shows how much we are bullish and committed to Iloilo." Sian said the Iloilo site comprised half the land area of Megaworld's other properties. Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas said Megaworld's project is the single biggest investment in Iloilo City. "This is a historic turnover," said Treñas. "We will build a new city within a city." Megaworld is known for developing high-end properties including residential and commercial projects. Among its biggest projects are the Empire East Land Holdings Inc. and Empire East Properties Inc. It was the only firm among prospective buyers that submitted a bid that met the P1.2-billion minimum price set by the government for the property. Robinson's Lands had submitted a bid of P1.09 billion; Empire East, P701 million and SM Prime, P435.79 million. Megaworld plans to put up residential units; a hotel and convention center; commercial and retail stores; recreation centers and skills development facilities. Sian said they are optimistic that Iloilo would become among the world's top business process outsourcing centers. Employment in call centers are expected to increase from the 200,000 workers in 2006 to a million by 2010, said Sian. Key to the investment is the manpower supply that is expected to be fulfilled by the many colleges and universities in the city. Finance Secretary Margarito Teves, who attended the turnover rites, said the Megaworld investment "shows that there is a lot of potential in Iloilo."
By Marcos de Guzman Jr. Inquirer MANILA, Philippines--Space is a prime commodity and not many of us have the luxury of it. We continually have to rethink and reinvent our area to suit our ever-changing requirements. On top of this, we likewise want our space to look neat and presentable. It’s a need and a wish we are faced with as soon as we get to our front yard. Parking One common problem most homeowners experience is lack of parking space. In many subdivisions, homeowners are forced to park on the street. This practice is a form of injustice to the neighbors. The streets are meant to be used by everyone and are not privately owned, even the one directly in front of your home. Some people even go to the extent of converting their garage to another purpose and parking all their cars on the road. This, of course, is not just an inconsiderate act; it is also against the law. Just because your neighbors are not complaining does not make things all right. In our country, where lawmakers believe that in order to avoid traffic the solution is to stop using certain cars on certain days, we are obliged to keep more than one car. It is great for our automotive industry, but it certainly doubles the parking problem. Here is a solution that might work. There is no harm in sacrificing a part of your front yard for additional parking slots. Within secured subdivisions, you can even remove the entire front fence, making your area more spacious and giving you more maneuverability. To maintain some greenery, you can use grass pavers instead of paving over the whole lawn. Grass pavers are concrete products that you can put over the ground and use as driveways, allowing you to keep some of the grass and the soil underneath healthy. Garbage A small space or corner of your yard can be allocated for your garbage bins. This spot must be easily accessible to the garbage collector so they can collect your trash anytime without disturbing the household. The waste bins themselves can be enclosed and gated to keep scavenging animals away. The enclosure will also conceal the unsightly containers from view, especially if it is designed to blend with the side fence or the house. Main entrance There are a number of options you can try to accentuate your main entrance and enhance its charm, even from afar. You can choose to define your walkway by erecting a trellis over it and growing plants on it. You may want to add a little bridge way over a pond, which provides a soothing backdrop of running water. Or you could artfully place a bird cage or aquarium to welcome you, if pets are your thing. These design touches could help you relax right before entering your home after a hectic day at work. Little accent pieces such as a mail or newspaper box may be placed in front of your home. An interesting post or marker can also be positioned at the entrance, with your house number or a patio light. Any of these can be made to highlight your home and add character to it. These ideas, while being practical and simple, are only a few suggestions on how you can increase your home’s curb appeal.
By Charles E. Buban Inquirer MANILA, Philippines--Any residential property must be taken care of both from the physical (maintenance and upgrade of the place) and tenant-relations standpoint. In addition to acting as liaison between the owner of the property and the current tenants, a property manager sometimes takes on the job of attracting tenants. “Indeed, the knowledge and skills of a property manager are in demand since a growing number of property owners understand that the beauty and grandeur of their developments may not be enough to attract or keep tenants,” said Joey Bernardino VP for sales and marketing of Quantum Hotels and Resorts, which manages a variety of properties in the Metro Manila area and very soon, in Boracay. He added that the test of a property’s appeal may lie on how it is managed. Since its inception in 2000, Quantum Hotels and Resorts has been managing three serviced apartments in the Makati central business district area (BSA Tower, BSA Suites, and Perla Mansion) and one high-end serviced residence located in the Ortigas CBD (The Malayan Plaza). “We are proud to announce that all these properties are experiencing an average occupancy rate of 80 percent to 90 percent,” Bernardino reported. He also added that Quantum Hotels and Resorts recently inked three more management contracts for one property in Quezon City and two in Boracay in Aklan. Owned and developed by 24K Development and Construction Corp., Torre Venezia is located at the corner of Timog Avenue and Scout Santiago Street in Quezon City. Expected to open in the latter part of the year, the 23-story serviced residence will offer one- and two-bedroom units and will be provided with a swimming pool, park and playground, sauna and gym, daycare center, function room, clubhouse and restaurant. The two Boracay properties on the other hand, The Agrias Hotel and the Boracay Beach Condominium, are expected to be operational by 2008 and 2009, respectively. “As one may notice, Quantum Hotels and Resorts’ main focus at the moment is the continuous improvement of its services as well as expansion of its portfolio so the company would be able to provide excellent accommodations for both leisure and business travelers alike,” Bernardino said.
By Amado de Jesus Inquirer MANILA, Philippines--Termites are everyone’s nightmare. They are the most destructive wood insect in the world. Subterranean termite species live in large colonies underground and affect houses, buildings and cellulose-based products. Most of these species thrive in the tropics and warm temperate coastal and inland regions. Subterranean termites enter structures by tunneling in through the soil. There are several ways they can gain access to wooden parts of a structure. They can tunnel through timber in contact with the soil; they can make shelter tubes along foundation walls; and they can make shelter tubes through a crack or void space. The key therefore to termite control is finding a way to block off these entry points by installing barriers. Some of the most common termite control barriers are soil poisoning using pesticides, physical barriers around the house, a combination of the two or the bait and monitoring systems. Soil poisoning The new generation of soil treatment is water-based. This is in contrast to earlier chemicals like Chlordane, which have been banned in the market because they were toxic and stayed in the soil for many years. This new type of treatment chemicals must be applied by licensed pest control professionals. Bait, monitoring systems The bait and monitoring system consists mainly of placing wood baits around the house at regular intervals of about ten feet. The baits are monitored every two weeks and once termites are detected, they are replaced with termiticide baits. The termites carry these baits back and feed them to the rest of the colony, eventually killing the termites. Physical barriers An effective environment-friendly and nontoxic method of termite control is the installation of physical barriers around the house. One type of physical barrier is a termite shield which is simply a sheet of noncorroding metal with a projecting 1" lip bent down at a 45-degree angle capping the foundation wall or support. The other types are stainless steel mesh barrier and waterproof membrane barriers. These types of barriers, like the termite shield, are also installed in a similar manner. The fourth type is the sand barrier which is easy to install and most effective when placed during construction. In some countries a six-inch layer of barrier sand is laid out instead of crushed gravel beneath the slab. The barrier sand could be used as backfill next to the foundation walls with provisions for a good drainage system. Why sand barriers? The idea behind the use of sand as an effective termite control is that sand particles help block termites. Termites use their mouth parts rather than their legs to dig their way through the soil. They are unable to move particles larger than 1 mm. As the sand particles increase in size so does the void space between the particles. Termites can crawl through gaps or spaces between particles sized 3mm and above. Therefore, to block termites the effective particle size is about 1 to 3 mm. Coarse sand with particles within this size range can be used as a barrier around the foundation of a house to protect against subterranean termites. It can also be used in perimeter trenches, crawl spaces, inside hollow block voids, around the bases of fence posts, poles, piers, porches, decks and retaining walls. Installation of sand barriers If the sand barrier is installed before construction it is placed below the concrete slab as a base material. For footings, however, sand barriers cannot be placed underneath since footings must rest on solid undisturbed ground. If installed after construction, the sand barrier is placed as a trench alongside the foundation wall. An adequate surface drainage must be provided to ensure minimal drainage of surface water into full depth trenches. Barriers can be 4" or 6" thick extending all the way to the footing. It must be compacted at intervals of every two feet to prevent settlement. The top of the sand barrier can be left exposed or, where pedestrian access is required, covered with concrete slab, bricks or stone blocks to form a walkway. Advantages of sand barriers The prevalent method of subterranean termite control relies on the use of chemicals to poison the soil, thus creating a protective seal or barrier around the structure. A sand barrier is more effective than a chemical barrier since it does not require a repetitious application. The sand barrier also has an environmental advantage in that it does not pose a health hazard to humans either through direct contact of the chemicals or through soil and water contamination. Sand barriers save the homeowner the costs of chemical reapplication and maintenance contracts for the chemical pesticide treatment.
By Elizabeth Sanchez-Lacson Inquirer SM Investments Corp., the publicly listed holding firm of the mall magnate Henry Sy, said it would merge all its property interests under Shoemart Inc., a privately held investment company of the Sy family. Inquirer sources said the SM group could be preparing for an initial public offering (IPO) of Shoemart stock, but they stressed that a decision on this had yet to be made. In a disclosure to the stock exchange, SM Investment said the consolidation would be done through a share swap. It said that under an agreement approved by their boards, SM Investments will transfer to Shoemart its entire holding in residential arm SM Development Corp. in exchange for Shoemart shares. As of Sept. 30, SM Investments owned 48.64 percent of SM Development while Shoemart held 15.6 percent, data from the Philippine Stock Exchange showed. The percentage ownership has yet to be determined, pending valuations to be approved by regulators. SM Investments said it had engaged Macquarie Securities (Asia) Pte. Ltd. as the financial adviser for the transaction. After the consolidation, Shoemart will take over the property development companies of the SM group and their projects, which include residential, commercial, tourism and hotel projects. SM Investments started simplifying its corporate structure two months ago by designating Shoemart as the “main company for the property development efforts” of the SM group. With INQUIRER.net
By Elizabeth Sanchez-Lacson Inquirer MANILA, Philippines--Rockwell Land Corp., the real-estate arm of the Lopez Group, is eyeing an initial public offering in the first quarter of 2008. The move is expected to accelerate Benpres Holdings Corp.'s proposed asset divestment plan and the retirement of $400 million worth of debts. Benpres is the listed flagship firm of the Lopez family with interests in power distribution and generation, broadcasting and cable operations, infrastructure, telecommunications, health care delivery and real-estate development. Benpres president Angel Ong said the group was tapping CLSA, a brokerage house covering the Asia Pacific markets, as the underwriter for the planned IPO. Benpres owns 24.5-percent stake of Rockwell Land and Ong said the holding firm might sell the entire stake. The total book value of Rockwell Land was placed at P4.5 billion. The size of the offer has yet to be set. Rockwell Land is the developer of Rockwell Center in Makati, a prime 15-hectare, self-contained community. This was the site of a former power plant named after James Chapman Rockwell, the first president of Manila Electric Co. (Meralco). The Rockwell Center is composed of several high-rise residential condominium projects, a sports and leisure club, and a lifestyle shopping center (PowerPlant mall). It also houses the corporate headquarters of Nestle and Phinma Corp., and the Ateneo Graduate School. Rockwell Land was established in 1995 by three Lopez firms: Meralco, owning 51 percent, and First Philippine Holdings Corp. and Benpres with 24.5 percent each. Another Rockwell Land project is "One Rockwell," the only high-rise residential condominium with z-shaped units. One Rockwell was launched in 2005 and was 55 percent sold last year.
By Charles E. Buban Inquirer MANILA, Philippines--One look at McKinley Hill’s vicinity map and you could readily tell how huge -- as well as ambitious -- this latest development from Megaworld Corp. is. This 50-hectare community that will soon rise south of the Bonifacio Global City integrates four components: residential, commercial, office and institutional. “Once completed, McKinley Hill will not only enhance the market value of the property around it but also transform Taguig City landscape, as it will feature high-end neighborhood, top-earning business establishments, highly rated entertainment, shopping and dining destinations,” said Jericho Go, first vice president of Megaworld. Go added that McKinley Hill, which will be completed in five to seven years will be a city within a city, self-sustaining community and virtually independent. Fast taking shape “The P33-billion McKinley Hill is fast taking shape, particularly its residential components. In fact, the McKinley Hill Village, the biggest residential component of the development is almost sold out,” Go reported. Launched in 2004, the McKinley Hill Village offers 482 prime lots and amenities that promise to rival its adjacent neighborhood -- Forbes Park and Dasmariñas. “McKinley Hill Village has premium residential lots that give a sense of space that one has always wanted for a dream home. In fact, we have given our homebuyers option to design their dream home based on eight architectural themes created by some of the country’s renowned architects,” Go shared. Other residential dev’ts Aside from the McKinley Hill Village, there are also other residential developments like the McKinley Hill Garden Villas, two 5-story mid-rise residential clusters featuring Spanish-Mediterranean architecture; Stamford Executive Residences, three high-rise (18-stories) luxury towers adjacent to McKinley Hill CyberPark; and the McKinley Hill Tuscany Private Estate, a gated community of medium-rise garden villas geared toward the upper market. While Megaworld will spend P18 billion to develop these residential components, it will also spend P3 billion to develop the commercial components, particularly The Venetian, a new mall which recreates the historic architecture and canals of Venice in Italy. Go explained that since McKinley is a self-sustaining community, its residents don’t really have to go out of the community to enjoy the finest things in life saying that everything they need is a few minutes’ walk or ride away. Attract professionals These new developments also hope to attract the professionals who will soon work for the emerging business and commercial districts within McKinley Hill. This is because the 14-hectare McKinley Hill Cyberpark will host several third-generation business process outsourcing (BPO) office buildings. In fact, Megaworld has just finished construction of the first BPO building inside McKinley Hill, the One World Square, which boasts 30,000 square meters of office space. The company allotted P2 billion to speed up the construction of the second two-tower, 15-story building (called Two World Square), which is expected to be completed by September 2008. All in all, Megaworld is set to invest P12 billion over the next few years even committing to construct two BPO buildings a year up to 2014.
By Inquirer MANILA, Philippines--South Korean property developer KT Global Subic Inc. said it planned to build a 17-story, five-building condominium-hotel complex in the Subic Bay Freeport Zone, northwest of Manila, and had increased its committed investment to $103 million from $3 million. KT Global said in a statement that it had decided to advance the schedule for completion of the first building by two years to 2010 and that the other buildings would follow in six to 10 years. Company president Hong Shik Kim also said KT Global, a unit of KT Construction Co. Ltd., wanted to help in the Subic Bay Freeport’s bid to become a retirement haven. Dubbed Subic Ampelos Tower, the KT Global project will be the first high-rise building in Subic Bay Freeport. Ronnel W. Domingo, with INQUIRER.net
By Riza T. Olchondra Inquirer MANILA, Philippines--Property firm Ortigas & Co. will build a P12-billion residential complex in Quezon City and a P2-billion knowledge process outsourcing (KPO) campus in the Ortigas Center business district in the neighboring cities of Mandaluyong and Pasig, company chief executive Rex Drilon II said. The KPO campus will be built across from the Tiendesitas retailing complex in Ortigas Center and the P12-billion residential complex will rise just off the Libis area of Quezon City, Drilon said. These projects are expected to attract enough tenants to include a retailing component, he said, noting the booms in information and communications technology and property markets. He said the company would use internally generated cash but was open to a joint venture arrangement with another group. Drilon announced last year that the company would redevelop the Ortigas Center to raise property values and enhance its status as a premiere business district of Metro Manila. He said it had hired the architectural group Palafox and Associates to prepare a master plan to transform the Ortigas Center into a “transport-oriented, pedestrian-friendly, mixed-use” business center. With INQUIRER.net
By Associated Press SINGAPORE--Singapore's private home prices surged to a 10-year high in the third quarter, the government said Monday. The price index of private residential property rose 8 percent to 159.6 points in the July-September quarter, its highest level since the third quarter of 1997, according to preliminary estimates released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority. No average price figures were released. Singapore's property market has been growing at a blistering pace in recent months, with the second quarter rise being the fastest in eight years. "Investors are being driven by four factors--increased liquidity, confidence in local economic growth, a healthy job market and a broad-based recovery in the property market," said Nicholas Mak, head of research at property consultancy firm Knight Frank. The Singapore government recently raised its full-year economic growth forecast to 7-8 percent from a previous target of 5-7 percent. The city-state also added a record 64,400 new jobs in the second quarter when seasonally-adjusted unemployment was a mere 2.3 percent. The government's preliminary estimates are based on data for the first 10 weeks of the quarter. More detailed figures will be released at the end of the month.