By Francis Anthony T. Valentin
Special Features Assistant Editor

BOUTIQUE property developer Arthaland Corp. recently broke ground for Sevina Park, a mixed-use development spanning 8.1 hectares in Biñan, Laguna.

Situated near the Laguna Boulevard interchange of the under-construction Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAX), Sevina Park is Arthaland’s first township project. It is also touted as the first in the Philippines to be registered for a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for neighborhood development, which is awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council.

“It’s consistent with the commitment of Arthaland that all of its developments will be green and sustainable,” said Jaime C. Gonzalez, vice-chairman, president and chief executive officer of Arthaland. “For me, it’s one of the more exciting projects that we have.”

Around 60% of Sevina Park will be green and open space. The development will also have its own sewage treatment plant, as wells as storm drains and catch basins for water conservation purposes.

As part of Arthaland’s partnership with World Wide Fund for Nature, endemic and endangered trees were planted around the property.

“Just like what we did with Arya Residences, we were leading the way for sustainability in residential development, we’re leading the way again, this time for a township development,” said Leo T. Po, executive vice-president and treasurer of Arthaland. Arya Residences is a LEED-certified two-tower condominium project of Arthaland in Taguig City.

“By integrating all the principles of LEED into a community, we’ll be able to further push the envelope in terms of sustainability. Because not only are we focusing on making one building LEED. We’re making an entire community LEED. That means that the units will have optimized energy consumption, optimized use of water. We will minimize waste and maximize the resources that we have available to us,” he said.

Construction on Sevina Park’s 108 villas, which have between two to four bedrooms, is underway. All these villas will be energy efficient.

The four-bedroom “villa 170 unit type” will have additional features: a provision for solar power systems, a mechanical exhaust and a Forest Stewardship Council-certified wood. These features are said to qualify the villa to be the first LEED-certified home in the country.

Arthaland aims to finish putting up all the villas in 2021 and start turning them over to buyers in the same year.

It has pegged the introductory price of a villa at around P110,000 per square meter. “Because the major infrastructure that’s upcoming, the CALAX highway, will soon open… all of you know what happens the moment a major highway infrastructure happens in correlation to real estate prices. So our introductory price is really good,” said Christopher G. Narciso, executive vice-president for business development of Arthaland.

The developer is targeting families in Laguna, Cavite and southern Metro Manila, and executives at industrial parks nearby.

There’s already a 348-bed student dormitory operating in Sevina Park. Arthaland will also build low-rise condominiums and offices.

Arthaland currently has nearly 50 hectares of landbank, including in the cities of Calamba and Tagaytay and in Batangas, that it may “activate when the time is right,” Mr. Po said.

“We continue to be out there looking for properties to acquire,” Mr. Gonzalez said.

“We’re looking for more properties obviously here in the CALABARZON area because we’re already here,” Mr. Po said. “But we’re also looking at other growth areas and key cities around the country.”