Cebu developer AppleOne goes for the next big thing

AppleOne Properties Inc. (API) recently broke ground at the Mactan Export Processing Zone to herald the construction of an IT center with lifestyle features designed for the export zone’s workers and visitors to work, live, play, and shop.

“We are going to integrate industrial, residential and commercial components in Mahi. This will be a township in itself — the first of its kind in the region,” said Ray Go Manigsaca, API president and chief executive officer.

Mahi will have a five-story structure with IT capabilities; two floors for office spaces, and the remaining three floors for commercial and retail spaces, function rooms, and a rooftop bar and restaurant. It will also house a world-class hotel with 12 floors and 180 rooms. API has signed up Marriott International for the use of the franchise Fairfield Inn & Suites, Marriott’s second largest brand and a preferred business hotel worldwide.

AppleOne’s Banawa Heights is inspired by the San Francisco Bay Area’s Pacific Heights.

For easy access, the mixed development will include a conveniently located walkway and transportation hub.

“Mahi” is a Visayan word that means lovely, which reflects the roots of API. It is strategically located — just two kilometers from the Mactan Cebu International Airport and five from Cebu’s beaches.

“We are very proud because we are a local brand. And because we’re homegrown, we are really seeing the potential of Cebu,” said Manigsaca, adding, “After Manila, it’s Cebu. We’re very comfortable here.”

The Manigsaca family of AppleOne: Ray Go Manigsaca, president and CEO; Venus Hermosilla Manigsaca, chairman; Ray Patrick Manigsaca, AVP business development; and Samantha Manigsaca, who’s currently learning hotel management
Philippine Economic Zone Authority’s Charito Plaza leads the time capsule-laying during the ground breaking.

Scheduled to be completed in three years, API envisions Mahi as a premier lifestyle destination in Mactan, and a significant contributor to the growing progress and dynamism of the city.

API is behind a number of cutting-edge property development ventures such as the 19-story AppleOne Equicom Tower, the first mixed-use development in the Cebu Business Park, and the AppleOne Banawa Heights, the first gated condominium in Cebu that introduced the private cluster concept, keyless access, and multiple swimming pools in its condominiums.

Banawa Heights was launched in 2013 to cater to the growing middle and upper class market in Cebu and the rest of the Visayan region, and is expected to contribute US$89.5 million in sales when fully sold. The 2.8-hectare residential development, inspired by the San Francisco Bay Area’s Pacific Heights, features three residential concepts: the Towers, Villas and Mansionettes.

According to Barbara Cabo, API senior vice-president of sales and marketing, the three 12-story towers of AppleOne Banawa Heights sold out fast. Meanwhile, turnover of units at Villas 1 and 2 and Masionettes 1 and 2 are ongoing, while Villas 3 and 4 and Mansionettes 3 and 4 are still being constructed.

API’s premier development arm AppleOne Mactan Inc. is the developer of the forthcoming five-star Sheraton Cebu Mactan Resort (scheduled to be completed this year) and the first Sheraton-branded full-serviced residence in Southeast Asia, The Residences at Sheraton Cebu Mactan Resort. According to Dottie Wurgler-Cronin, general manager of Sheraton Cebu Mactan Resort, The Residences has only 51 (out of 190) units left in its inventory, with local buyers comprising around 70 percent of the demand so far.

“It offers a different lifestyle or environment for Filipinos who are after some relaxation,” Wurgler-Cronin said.

Another subsidiary, the SunSky Development Corporation, is the developer of Diamond Suites & Residences, a popular business hotel strategically located just across from the Cebu Business Park. Diamond Suites is planning to expand with another branch in the next five years.

“We have very good occupancy all-year round. We have already maximized the occupancy of this hotel,” said Kathy S. Angala, general manager of Diamond Suites & Residences. She added that Cebu has really become a vacation and conference venue, and there is a serious need for more rooms.

Scale model of Sheraton Hotel and The Residences