Int’l-branded residences: Are they worth their price?

TANYA T. LARA
/in /by

You see them around the world, from Hong Kong and Singapore to North America, Europe and, in recent years, Manila: international luxury hotel brands that have diversified into residences.

Shangri-La is one such brand.

Shang Properties — an affiliate of Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts and Kerry Properties Limited, one of Hong Kong’s largest property investment and development companies — has a growing portfolio of luxury residences in Manila including Shang Salcedo Place, The Shang Grand Tower and St. Francis-Shangri-La Place among others.

Tucked inside the lush, upscale neighborhood of Wack Wack in Mandaluyong City is Shang Residences at Wack Wack whose views include two 18-hole golf courses and the skylines of Makati and Ortigas.

Now, Shang Properties is building the most expensive residential tower in Mandaluyong and surrounding areas. Called Shang Residences at Wack Wack, the 50-story tower is located in front of the Wack Wack Golf and Country Club.

We asked Shang Properties execs if they are more expensive because of their brand name. The answer is yes — and more. Here’s why.

“When you buy a unit in Shang Residences at Wack Wack, you’re not just buying space, you’re buying into a brand that has heritage and expertise in building luxury residences all over the world,” says Shang Properties marketing director Milen G. Treichler. “Our teams of architects and designers are recognized in their fields and have designed hotels, residences, institutional and office projects all over the globe.”

Shang Residences Wack Wack is designed by Wong Tung architectural firm, which has done a lot of residential towers in Hong Kong and Shangri-La Hotels in China, and interior design is by BTR, both firms based in Hong Kong.

The tower is designed with a contemporary tropical resort feel to continue its neighboring golf course’s ambience. The lobby, for instance, features a lot of wood and natural stone — not cold, not minimalist.

“The design philosophy of Shang Properties emphasizes a balanced lifestyle, building in ample space to unwind and rejuvenate.”

Shang Residences’ prime leisure facilities include steam and sauna rooms, a fully equipped gym, resort-style swimming pools, play areas for children, a mini theater for movie viewing, a homey pavilion, and spacious multifunction rooms. In terms of security and services, each unit has an intercom with direct link to lobby receptionist, CCTVs, centralized fire detection and protection systems and — just like a hotel — 24-hour concierge, management services and security.

“We carry a brand name and we’ve established our identity as a luxury developer,” Milen continues. “Beyond that is a great location.”

Shang Residences at Wack Wack gives residents expansive views of the iconic Wack Wack Golf and Country Club, which has two 18-hole championship golf courses, gardens, villas and a colorful history (it was founded by William James Shaw in 1930).

“Residents have priceless views of lush, manicured greens of the beautiful country club complex from their home every day and if you’re a golfer, the course is awaiting nearby.”

Shangri-La Properties head of sales Susan Lee Yu says, “In the Wack Wack area we are the most expensive, selling at P240,000 per sqm. (without VAT). Compared to neighboring condos, the newer ones are selling at P120,000 per sqm.”

Units with golf course views are, of course, more expensive — by P50,000 per sqm., so that’s an additional P5 million for every hundred sqm.

“But that’s yours for life, it’s your permanent view,” says Milen.

“The two-bedroom units fronting the golf course were the fastest to go even when they are more expensive,” adds Susan.

The back view isn’t bad at all — you have the Makati skyline; Edsa/Ortigas area to the east and Manila Bay to the west.

Shang Residences Wack Wack might also be the residential tower with lowest density at only 400 units in 50 floors. The lower floors have 10 units each and as you go higher it becomes eight, six and four. One-bedroom units range from 81 to 85 sqm.; two bedroom units from 142 to 145 sqm.; three-bedroom units at 231 sqm.; and there are four penthouse units at P160 million each at 550 sqm. All units, no matter the size, have balconies and a maid’s room.

“The top level has a duplex, with the second floor having an open garden, barbecue area and kitchenette, so it can be a party place,” says Susan.

Parking slots, located in five basement levels, are priced at P2.3 to P2.6 million.

“We wanted it to be secluded so we didn’t put a commercial or retail area because there are some people who do not want to live on top of a mall. They want to be away from the crowds,” says Millen.

Shang Properties marketing director Milen G. Treichler and head of sales Susan Yu at the Shang Residences at Wack Wack show suite in Shangri-La Plaza Mall

“Most of our buyers are local Filipino-Chinese who prefer to stay in San Juan, Mandaluyong or Quezon City because the schools are here — Xavier, ICA, La Salle. In terms of location, Ortigas is really the midpoint between Makati and Quezon City. The parents usually live in subdivisions like Greenhills and Wack Wack, so they’re buying condo units for their children. Another market is golfers because the golf course is really just Shang Residences.”

* * *

Visit the Shang Residences Wack Wack show suite at Shangri-La Plaza Mall; log in to www.shangresidencesatwackwack.com for more information.

Visit the author’s travel blog at www.findingmyway.net. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @iamtanyalara.