DAVAO CITY — The Ayala and Alcantara groups are betting big on Davao’s booming economy, with a 25-hectare waterside estate that is touted as the next business, residential and lifestyle district.
“(Davao) is one of the fastest- growing economies in the country. In 2017, it registered a growth rate of 9%, with the country average of close to 7%,” Paolo O. Viray, Ayala Land Premier (ALP) head of sales and marketing, said during a press briefing here on June 23.
Aviana Development Corp., a joint venture of Ayala Land, Inc. (ALI) and the Alcantara Group, is investing P20 billion in Azuela Cove under a 10-year development plan which started last year.
Located at the intersection of J.P. Laurel Avenue and R. Castillo Street, the property used to be the site of the Alcantara Group’s plywood factory.
“After 60 years, the land can be put to better use. It is a gem of a property, we choose the market leaders in vertical development which is of course Ayala Land Premier,” Editha I. Alcantara, Alsons Consolidated Resources, Inc. treasurer and director, said during a media briefing here on June 23.
ALP introduced the first tower of The Residences at Azuela Cove last May, and all 70 units were sold out during launch day. Prices ranged from P33.1 million for a 181-square meter (sq.m.) unit to P80.8 million for a 377-sq.m. penthouse unit.
“We believe there was pent-up demand. We think the market was just waiting for the right product to be launched at the right time. We believe we are launching a product like this at a good time. Davao has been very progressive in the last few years,” Mr. Viray said.
Seventy percent of the buyers for the North Tower are from Davao, while 15% came from Manila and 15% from neighboring provinces and overseas.
“If you ask me, how can these things sell overnight? It’s the location. The location is prime. As Donald Trump says, ‘it’s location, location, location,’” Ms. Alcantara said.
Mr. Viray noted buyers were attracted to the fact that all units have balconies with a view of the Davao Gulf.
The 181-sq.m. Seaview Corner Suite has a 13 sq.m. balcony area facing the Davao Gulf.
The 196-sq.m. Seaview Horizon Suite has a 25 sq.m. balcony area spanning the living room, while the three bedrooms all face the sea.
Mr. Viray noted the low-density, 21-storey tower only has four units on each floor, except for the top floor.
MOST EXPENSIVE CONDO
At P80.8 million each, The Residences at Azuela Cove’s two penthouse units are perhaps the most expensive condos in Davao City.
The penthouse units called Seascape Villas offer 339-sq.m. of indoor space and 38 sq.m. of balcony space. The master suite has its own balcony, as well as a walk-in closet. It also comes with three parking slots, which will be in a separate parking building.
“Within The Residences at Azuela Cove, the part of sustainability that we take for granted is something as simple as the natural light and ventilation that we let into the space. We’re quite proud that we have a special location that allows us to put basically floor-to-ceiling glass windows in the living and dining areas that in good weather, you open it up and you don’t have to use air-conditioning or turn on lights,” Mike Z. Jugo, ALP managing director, said during the same briefing.
ALP expects turnover of the North Tower to start by the first quarter of 2023.
The high-end property developer is already preparing to launch the 22-storey South Tower, which will have 77 units, within the year.
“The first tower is just part of the first residential development. We also expect to launch additional towers in the coming years. Nothing final yet but in the master plan, we’re looking at five… The plan is for all of it to be Ayala Land Premier, hopefully,” Mr. Viray said.
“I think it’s quite easy to focus on the beauty of the building and the specialness of the project. But I think what people recognize is the 25-hectare integrated master plan, sustainable estate called Azuela Cove,” ALP’s Mr. Jugo said.
Under the Azuela Cove master plan, 5.2 hectares have been allocated for residential; 1.9 hectares for the “central spine” or open space areas; 2.5 hectares for retail space; and 6.2 hectares for mixed-use development.
The Shops at Azuela Cove is already open, with Cafe Laguna as its first tenant. More tenants such as Yellow Cab, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, Okiniiri and Union Market set to open in July.
A 2,000 sq.m.-event space is operated by Enderun Colleges, which is owned by Davao-based businessman Dennis Uy.
The Sports Hub, featuring a FIFA-standard size soccer field, basketball court, and volleyball court, also recently opened.
Groundbreaking for St. Luke’s Medical Center is set for the fourth quarter. The 12-storey medical center will have 250 beds, and is expected to open by 2022. This will be the first St. Luke’s Medical Center to operate outside of Metro Manila.
To draw visitors to the area, Azuela Cove will have a waterside esplanade with an “iconic” landmark.
“In terms of how the estate is laid out, it encourages people to walk. This is a community where we want to create a more pedestrian-type of lifestyle. Like many growing cities, one of the things you deal with is traffic, parking, so here it provides a different lifestyle, you have greens, waterways, jogging paths,” Mr. Jugo said. — Cathy Rose A. Garcia