By Bjorn Biel M. Beltran
Special Features Writer
THE RENTAL HOUSING brand of Philippines Urban Living Solutions, Inc. (PULS) further expanded its network of dormitories in Metro Manila with the opening of its 14th building to date — MyTown Auckland.
PULS Chief Executive Officer Mark Arellano Kooijman said since launching the MyTown Dormitories brand in 2012, the company has struck gold with its unique market strategy of providing affordable quality housing to young professionals working in Metro Manila’s crowded central business districts.
“After six years down the line, I would say we are definitely the first and largest branded rental housing providers in the Philippines,” he said in a recent press conference.
Mr. Kooijman pointed out that many of the country’s top property developers are focused on projects they intend to sell, skewing their prices towards the higher end of the market. Unable to afford the lofty prices in CBDs like Makati, Ortigas, and Bonifacio Global City, yet compelled to work there, young professionals are forced to spend time and money commuting day-to-day.
Surveying over 1200 respondents before launching MyTown, the company found that young professionals spend as much as P10,500 in monthly transportation alone. On top of the costs, they also spend an aggregate of three to nine full days per month on their daily commute, simply to get to work and earn an income. Given the rising prices of oil and worsening traffic conditions, Mr. Kooijman noted the costs could get much higher.
“Before we even built the first MyTown building, we made it a point as a first mover to get into the mind of our target public by asking them what they wanted and needed in a housing solution. As a result, we can now offer young professionals a co-living solution that is healthy for their work-life balance as well as their wallet,” he said.
“Our value proposition to our individual tenants is this: for less than the cost of your commute, you can live in MyTown, walk to work, play and learn, and make new friends,” Jelmer David Ikink, PULS group director, said.
As a testament to the company’s success, MyTown Dormitories claimed an average occupancy rate of 94%. It also noted that 98% of its outgoing tenants gave the company a positive rating.
“MyTown continues to answer a demand for the growing number of urban professionals who cannot afford high-end housing, but still aspire for a fulfilling lifestyle. We don’t see this as a trend, but a way of life that will become the norm in the future. We are looking forward to providing the country’s emerging young and vibrant professionals with housing that encourages community and a healthy lifestyle through our continued growth in the city and beyond,” Mr. Ikink said.
Named after the city of sails, the newly-launched MyTown Auckland houses 325 beds, bringing MyTown’s portfolio to over 3,300 beds by year end. It has a gym, canteen, open air cinema, and yoga area overlooking Manila Golf Club. It will also soon open a laundromat and supermarket on its ground floor.
MyTown Auckland is strategically located along Harvard Street in Makati, adjacent to BGC and approximately 1.5 kilometers away from Makati CBD.