Anthony Charlemagne Yu, known in the real estate industry as the president and chief executive officer of Empire East, speaks in a gentle manner, perhaps comparable to a soft-spoken priest.
But just like a priest that leads his community, Yu, also a lawyer and a law professor, has been successfully steering Empire East since 1997, despite the challenges, including no less than the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis.
Today, Empire East celebrates its 29th year with Yu at the helm and despite yet another crisis, which is the debilitating COVID-19 pandemic, the property company continues to soar to greater heights.
Empire East Highland City
“We’re lucky. We’re now into our biggest development ever,” Yu told Property Report in an interview.
He was referring to Empire East Highland City, the company’s latest mixed-use township development along Felix Avenue in Pasig-Cainta which spans 22 hectares.
Empire East will develop it in phases, with a goal to put up 37 towers in total, just for the residential component. The company has already sold seven towers and is soon to commence construction of its 8th tower.
The developer, which caters to the middle-income and luxury market, envisions a live-work-play lifestyle for future residents of Empire East Highland City, which will be a sustainable and elevated community that offers luxuriously affordable homes ranging from executive studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom suites — perfect for families of all sizes.
Future residents of the 37-tower high-rise community will also benefit from the township’s very own Highland Mall, a world-class 58,000-square meter lifestyle mall; the Highland Park which is an expansive 8,000-sqm open-space green park, and the exclusive members-only Chartered Club with top-rated sports facilities and recreational amenities.
Yu said sales didn’t stop even during the pandemic because of key factors including strategic transit-oriented location, a breakthrough development concept, and irresistible payment options.
“Sales have been very good during the pandemic,” Yu said.
He said this is largely because there is still a huge market of people who do not have their own homes.
No down payment
Empire East also pioneered a flexible scheme for homebuyers way before the pandemic, as early as the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis.
This is the “No Down Payment Scheme” which ultimately changed the game and has since been replicated by other developers.
In essence, the single catalyst introduced by Empire East to the market continues to benefit the industry as a whole and has contributed to the boom of the real estate industry.
A sought-after address
Highland City has become one of the sought-after addresses in the east of Metro Manila among aspiring homebuyers and property investors especially with the LRT-2 East Extension, with additional new stations in Marikina and Antipolo, now transporting young students to the top notch universities in the Katipunan area of Quezon City and the University Belt in the City of Manila, as well as young professionals going to various business hubs.
Also in the pipeline of the government’s aggressive infrastructure-building platform is the MRT Line 4 that will connect Quezon City, San Juan, Mandaluyong and Pasig to the municipalities of Cainta and Taytay in Rizal.
MRT-4 will also have a converging point for its passengers to easily transfer to the much anticipated Metro Manila Subway, the first underground rail transit in the country, which will pass through major Central Business Districts in Quezon City, Ortigas, Makati and Bonifacio Global City, and reach the terminals of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
Another project to look forward to in the east is the C-6 Expressway that will reduce travel time from Rizal to Quezon City leading to North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), and on the other end, going to Bicutan, Taguig area linking to NAIA, South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) and the Metro Manila Skyway.
Furthermore, the property developer also said buyers can choose their units at higher floors without price escalation and enjoy better views of the Metro Manila skyline or the Sierra Madre mountain range.
At present, Empire East’s portfolio of projects includes more than 100 condominium towers in the key cities of Metro Manila, two huge horizontal developments in Santa Rosa City, Laguna, and the Pasig-Cainta- the township.
“We are finishing other projects such as The Paddington Place in Shaw and The Kasara Urban Resort Residences which is in Pasig,” Yu also said.
Reimagining the future
In all, Empire East is now seeing the success and effectiveness of the innovations it improved early on. There are more than 29 reasons to pop the champagne as Empire East celebrates its 29th year.
With Yu at the helm, Empire East looks forward to an even brighter future in the next 30 years and beyond.