All roads led to the 7th PropertyGuru Philippines Property Awards 2019 last Friday night at Fairmont Makati. After all, the most-anticipated Property Awards gala night is the Oscars red carpet of the country’s real estate property sector. Excited chatter filled the air as guests poured in and wine flowed freely. It was easy to guess what everybody was talking about: what’s up (and soon to rise) in the country’s bustling skylines.
With global brand Kohler and Hitachi Elevators & Escalators as major sponsors, it was time for the people behind our booming real estate industry to take center stage. The Philippines’ finest developers from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao came to receive their most-deserved awards. And the Best Developer is … Cebu Landmasters! The homegrown Cebu company, founded by Cebuano entrepreneur Jose Soberano III, was born with a mission/vision to provide better homes for the average Filipino worker. Focusing on quality mid- to high-end properties (residential, commercial, hotel, mixed use), Cebu Landmasters is now the leading property developer in the Visayas and Mindanao with reported increased earnings of 23 percent earlier this year.
Cebu Landmasters, Inc., an emerging world-class local developer, took home the Best High-End Condo Development (Cebu) award for its New York-inspired 38 Park Avenue plus a Special Recognition in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
Our Southern developers surely made a towering showing during that night of nights, with two new Dusit-branded properties in Davao by Torre Lorenzo Development Corporation winning the Best Boutique Developer and Best High-End Condo Development (Davao) and Best Condo Development (Philippines) awards for Dusit Thani Residence Davao, the most luxurious residential development in Davao City’s buzzing business district with the grandest hotel services.
Out of the 39 awards and special honors, three-time Best Developer titleholder Megaworld Corporation (with its subsidiaries Empire East Land Holdings, Inc. and Global-Estate Resorts, Inc.) amassed a stash of 12 golden trophies, including the Best Housing Development (Philippines) award for Newcoast Village, a Mediterranean-inspired resort community overlooking the beaches of Boracay; Best Township Development for Uptown Bonifacio; Best Luxury Condo Interior Design for Uptown Arts Residence; Best BPO Office Development for World Commerce Place; and Best Township Masterplan Design for McKinley West.
HENRY SY SR., HAIL THE REAL ESTATE KING!
But of course, much like the Oscars, where there’s a Best Actor award, the Property Awards has its prestigious Philippines Real Estate Personality of the Year award to honor the brightest star in the real estate firmament. And this year’s award goes to … the late Henry Sy Sr. (and the entire Sy family of SM Investments Corporation). Accepting the award, on behalf of his grandfather and the Sy family, was Hans Sy Jr., president of the SM Engineering Design and Development Corp. The grandson also rises, and Hans Jr. is certainly very proud of his late grandfather, who was the 53rd richest person in the world and the man behind over 70 SM malls in the Philippines and China, over 60 department stores, over 50 supermarkets, and over 200 grocery stores.
Other top winners included green developer ArthaLand Corporation with five awards, Ayala-owned Alveo Land with four, and Grand Land bagging two awards. Standing tall and proud with the winners were the “highly commended” awardees whose soaring achievements did not go unnoticed.
For the design awards, among the winners were: The Magnolia Residences by Robinsons Land Corporation for Best Mid-End Condo Interior Design, Air Residences by SM Development Corporation for Best High-End Condo Interior Design, ARC Towers by ABC Prime, Inc. for Best Condo Architectural Design (Cebu), Shore Residences by SM Development Corporation for Best Condo Landscape Architectural Design, Uptown Arts Residence by Megaworld Corporation for Best Luxury Condo Interior Design, Damosa Diamond Tower by Damosa Land, Inc. for Best Office Architectural Design, Spaces World Plaza by Spaces for Best Co-Working Space.
AND THE SPECIAL AWARDEES ARE …
This year’s special awards included recognition for corporate social responsibility (SM Development Corporation, Alveo Land, ArthaLand Corporation, Cebu Landmasters, Inc., Century Properties Group, Inc., Grand Land, Inc.), sustainable development (Alveo Land, ArthaLand Corporation), design and construction (ArthaLand Corporation), public facility (Paranaque Integrated Terminal Exchange by MWM Terminals, Inc.), as well as a new special accolade for digital innovation won by FireCheck by the University of the Philippines Cebu and the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development.
The main category winners are eligible to compete at the PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards grand finals to be held in Bangkok in November. (For the complete list of winners, visit www.AsiaPropertyAwards.com.)
This year’s panel of judges included respected names in the real estate industry: Christophe Vicic, country head, Jones Lang LaSalle Philippines, Inc. as chairperson with members Carlo Cordaro, president & CEO, Atelier A; Carmelo Casas, president & CEO, Casas+Architects, Inc.; Cyndy Tan Jarabata, president, TAJARA Leisure & Hospitality Group, Inc.; Jaime Acura, vice chairman, The RGV Group of Companies; Jean Jacquelyn Nathania de Castro, CEO, ESCA Incorporated; and Ramon Fernando Rufino, co-president, The Net Group.
“They’re all real estate experts, but if their property is nominated, they have to declare it and they can’t judge it,” points out Christophe Vicic. “We make sure everybody abides by the rules and visits the sites. I went to seven sites, starting at 8 a.m. Some of my people and the other judges made more visits.”
He elaborates, “We’re looking at quality construction, quality design, sustainability as well as amenities around the property. It’s very important to ensure the well-being of the tenants or owners. Green space, as you know in Metro Manila, is very difficult to find. But at least there’s a sense of community, there’s an area or a pool where the kids and the family can go swimming and spend time together. There’s been a lot of permutation in our criteria. At the end, we want to see a betterment in the construction and design, the use of floor space, sustainability, how green it is.”
Christophe enthuses, “We’re very optimistic! There are a lot of opportunities in the real estate market. The country needs more developments outside Metro Manila. But we’re getting there.”
So, shall we raise our glasses to this year’s PropertyGuru Philippines awardees and look forward to even more sky-high excitement at next year’s awards?