Gaisano family may convert properties to leisure estates | SunStar

Gaisano family may convert properties to leisure estates

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Gaisano family may convert properties to leisure estates

Monday, November 13, 2017

A MEMBER of the Gaisano family said they are keen on converting some raw lands, particularly in Mactan Island, to build some leisure and tourism-related estates.

In an interview, Edward Gaisano, chairman and president of VICSAL Development Corp., expressed an interest in diversifying the family business’ portfolio to include tourism-related projects on top of its retail holdings. The group operates the publicly-listed Metro Retail Stores Group Inc. (MRSGI) that runs Metro Gaisano, and housing and condominium developer Taft Properties, which includes Horizons 101, the tallest building in Cebu to date, among its projects.

MRSGI will celebrate the company’s 35th anniversary this year. Metro Gaisano, which now operates 52 stores, has been named by research firm Euromonitor in its 2014 report as the country’s fourth largest multi-format retail operator in terms of retail sales value, and the largest operator in Visayas.

Last week, Taft Properties announced a partnership with Ayala Land Inc. and Cebu Holdings Inc. for the development of Seagrove, a 14-hectare mixed-use leisure estate in Punta Engaño in Lapu-Lapu City. These companies formed the Taft Punta Engaño Properties, Inc. (TPEPI) that will invest approximately P35 billion for the entire project within the next 10 to 15 years.

Without specifying the size of these properties in Mactan, Gaisano said there are plans to develop leisure projects, although in smaller formats than Seagrove.

The Gaisano family remains bullish about Cebu’s real estate landscape despite concerns of an emerging glut. “Right now, I think the market is very strong,” the businessman said, citing the housing backlog in the country estimated at five million and the rising property prices.

“There is no glut as long as the demand matches the supply. New buyers still outnumber repeat buyers. The time when we have more repeat buyers than new buyers, then there’s a glut,” he observed.

Professor Enrique Soriano, executive director and corporate turnaround advisor at the Asean-based Wong+Bernstein Group (W+B), recently cautioned property players, especially new entrants, to reconsider their condominium development plans. Having too many players, without much expertise in the property business, may cause a glut in the local real estate scene, he said.

Gaisano pointed out that for Taft Properties projects, especially Mandani Bay, impressive sales have been the norm.

Mandani Bay, a joint venture of Taft Properties and HongKong Land, is a premium waterfront township in Mandaue City. Its project manager Gilbert Ang said in a press conference in October that the project is selling 80 units on average, roughly triple its expectations of 30 units sold in a month.

Gaisano assured that Taft Properties will continue to build more residential projects.

Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper on November 14, 2017.

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