128 Nivel Hills

STA. LUCIA LAND, Inc. and its Cebu-based partners launched what they call a high-end, five-star development in Cebu City from which sales are expected to reach at least P8 billion.

Siguro pagbebentahan diyan not less than mga P7 [billion] pero, kasi may mga price increase, aabot ng more than P8 [billion],” said Sta. Lucia Land President Exequiel D. Robles in a media briefing on Saturday in Cebu City.

(Sales would possibly be no less than around P7 billion, but because of price increases, these could reach more than P8 billion).

The project — 128 Nivel Hills — is a two-tower master-planned development that is now in its early stage of construction in the city’s Lahug district, after being stalled during the height of the pandemic in 2020. A branded hotel is planned to be the third tower.

Mr. Robles said revenues from the project would be realized through the years when buyers pay their property purchase in installments. He added that taxes, marketing, advertising, and maintenance expenses could account for nearly 10% of what the project will bring.

Sta Lucia Land’s partner in the project that overlooks Cebu City’s skyline is Diamond Hiland, Inc., which is a partnership between Carlos Yeung’s MSY Holdings Corp. and former ambassador Philippe J. Lhuillier’s PJL Leisure, Inc.

Liezel Tuazon-Magpoc, president and chief executive officer of Sta Lucia Land’s marketing arm, said separately that the completion of the project is targeted in 2026.

“We start turnover by 2027. So, [for the] whole two towers, we expect about P8 [billion] to P9 billion proceeds,” she told reporters when the project’s showroom was opened on Saturday.

128 Nivel Hills will have two towers and a branded hotel for which the partners are in talks with possible managers. Its first tower will offer 576 units, of which 366 are residential units with the rest, or 210 units, for the condotel.

The second tower will have 613 residential units sized from 28 square meters (sq.m.) for a studio to 163.9 sq.m. for a four-bedroom unit. In between are two-bedroom, and three-bedroom cuts.

The partners expect the project to become one of Cebu City’s “coveted addresses” because of its location.

For the condotel — a condominium that offers facilities usually provides by hotels — investors can expect their units as a source of income aside from their upscale lifestyle offerings.

Ms. Tuazon-Magpoc said the project’s construction started at the height of the pandemic, although it was stopped in 2020 during the excavation phase.

“This is a three-basement building so the excavation really took a lot of time,” she said about the initial two-year phase of construction. “We started doing pre-selling internationally, but then the pandemic happened.”

Selling efforts went full-blast in 2022, Ms. Tuazon-Magpoc said, adding that in just four months, the first tower’s inventory of units was 30% sold.

“Right now, majority of the units sold are with the condotel. The second to 12th floors are condotel units,” she said. “And then, [from the]14th floor to the 36th floor are residential units.”

For the condotel, the buyers from the start were mostly overseas Filipino workers — from France, Italy, and the United Kingdom, she said.

“When we actively started selling here in Cebu, we were surprised that even the doctors, the professionals are also investing in the condotel,” she said.

Ms. Tuazon-Magpoc said the strong take-up of the project’s unit could be due to the company’s lead in starting the condotel concept in Cebu. She said those who have invested in condominium units might be looking at the potential of a condotel, which could also diversify their investment portfolio.

Martin Philip S. Yeung, president and chief executive officer of MSY Holdings, said the pricing of Sta. Lucia Land’s units are “extremely competitive” for Cebuano buyers.

“You have to really strategically situate your pricing where it is actually reasonable that professionals can also afford,” he said, adding that Sta. Lucia Land’s pricing is one of the reasons why the project was able to sell 30% of its units in a short time.

Ms. Tuazon-Magpoc said prices of the project’s units range from  P3.5 million for a studio unit and nearly P10 million for the large multi-bedroom units.

Asked about the next phase of the partnership with Sta. Lucia Land, Mr. Yeung said: “The hotel.” Discussions are going on with different hotel operators for the third tower.

“The third tower is already in planning. The design, everything, is already set,” he said.

The Sta. Lucia group said it has so far completed more than 300 projects spanning over 12,000 hectares of land across 70 cities and municipalities in 10 regions and 15 provinces. — Victor V. Saulon