Developers remain bullish on city’s property market

February 20, 2013 § Leave a comment

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

DAVAO CITY’s real estate industry continues to flourish with its growing population and a bullish property market, attracting big players to expand their projects in the city.

“Davao has continued to progress. It is one of the fastest growing cities in the country today. The presence of big companies putting up shops in the city is a manifestation that Davao has really become an exciting city in terms of investments,” Hilario Yadao, business unit head of MGS Construction, Inc., said on the sidelines of the topping off ceremony for Nottingham, Camella Northpoint‘s third condo building, recently.

MGS Construction, a Triple-A land development construction company in the country, is the builder of Camella Northpoint, a landmark British colonial themed condo development in Davao City of Camella Davao, a subsidiary of Vista Land and Lifescapes, Inc.

Yadao said real estate business is apparently doing well in the city with property development projects going on in almost every corner.

“All big developers from Luzon have noticed the progress going on here (in Davao) and they want to take advantage of that,” Yadao said.

Camella Davao general manager Marlon Escalicas said migration of people from Visayas and Luzon areas in Davao City, most of whom were relocated due to expansion of their companies in the city, triggered a rising demand for housing in the city. This does not include those coming from neighboring areas who are seeking for jobs in the city.

“Even demand for condo housing has risen,” he said. “This is spurred by the city’s growing population.”

For instance, he said, selling of their condominium units at Camella Northpoint in Bajada, Davao City has been going on smoothly.

“It didn’t take long that all units in our third building, the Nottingham, were sold out. We will speed up the completion of the condo project so we can have the turnover by the third quarter of this year. In fact the topping off is a sign that the project will soon be completed,” Escalicas said.

By second quarter, Escalicas said they will have the groundbreaking of the fourth building. The first and the second buildings at Northpoint are already occupied by some unit owners.

Within the year, Camella is also set to launch two more vertical projects in the city to address the growing market demand for condominiums.

“One is located in Bajada and the other is on Torres street. Both projects are in partnership with prominent families in the city,” he said. He did not elaborate.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on February 06, 2013.


Turnover of Nottingham’s 329 units to owners set in August

February 20, 2013 § Leave a comment

Sunday, January 27, 2013

TURNOVER of the 329 units at Nottingham, Camella Northpoint‘s third condo building, to its owners is set to start by August, this year.

Hilario Yadao, business unit head of MGS Construction, said Nottingham is set to be completed in August, way ahead of its target completion in December.

“With our new methodology in building condominiums, the construction of the 10-storey Nottingham has been faster,” Yadao said, as he graced the building’s topping off on Saturday.

MGS Construction Inc., a Triple-A land development construction company in the country, is the builder of Camella Northpoint, a landmark British colonial themed condo development in Davao City.

“We are doing well here. We met what we have committed, in fact, earlier than what we have promised,” Yadao told Camella Davao’s partners, brokers and agents in his speech during the topping off ceremony, symbolizing the near completion of the condo building. Nottingham‘s construction started in April, last year.

“In just nine months, we have completed the overall structure of the third building,” said Yadao, a former executive of MDC Construction Inc., builder of Ayala projects and one of the country’s top construction company.

With the near completion of Nottingham, Yadao said they will start soon the construction of Northpoint‘s fourth building called the Liverpool.

“By second quarter of this year, we will start building the Liverpool. It’s a 15-storey condo building. Again, we will do something new in our methodology to hasten its completion,” Yadao said, adding they are targeting to complete Liverpool by end of 2014.

Yadao said they have continued to improve its manpower skills and upgrading its equipment to build top quality construction projects and lead in the construction industry in the country.

Marlon Escalicas, Camella Davao general manager, said they are expecting unit owners to move at Nottingham by August after the turnover, adding that the third building is already sold out.

“This is a very good way to start the year, as Nottingham‘s construction has been way ahead of schedule. Our contractor has once again shown their reliability and expertise in building condominiums,” he said.

“With Nottingham already fully sold out, our buyers want to see Liverpool soon,” Escalicas said.

He said Nottingham homeowners are also eager to move in to their new condo home.

MGS head Ferdinand Salcedo, for his part, said that with proper planning and preparation, plus the provision of two sets of formworks system, they were able to finish Nottingham in record time.

He said the company’s goal of achieving total quality in construction projects is achieved through their modern and pioneering building techniques, bolstered by their highly trained people, high-powered modern light and heavy equipment, and readily available resources.

MGS Construction has been in the construction business nationwide for almost 16 years now, building landmark projects for Crown Asia, Brittany Corporation, Camella, and Palmera Homes.

It has developed over 400 hectares of subdivision developments, catered by its entire fleet of over 80 light and heavy equipment, allowing it to simultaneously engage in several projects.

It has completed almost 260 projects, 158 of which was land development, 39 commercial and convenience stores, 56 mass housing projects and seven mid-rise buildings.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on January 28, 2013.

Indoor air quality means healthful living

January 26, 2013 § Leave a comment

DO YOU know that indoor air can be more polluted than outdoor air? Research shows that indoor air quality can be as much as nine times more polluted than outdoor air. Imagine that when you’re living in a condo building that’s been designed without careful consideration for the quality of its indoor air.

If the condo building you live in lacks an efficient air ventilation system, its indoor air quality could be compromised. This can lead to a warm environment that is conducive to the growth of mold and other contaminants.

Those living in condo buildings without clear breeze pathways become prone to the sick building syndrome and will suffer from a range of symptoms, from shortness of breath, irritated or runny nose, headache, nausea, skin irritation, among others.

The sick building syndrome is mostly associated with buildings where its occupants become prone to one or a combination of these symptoms, which disappear when they leave their building.

This can happen to people who live in poorly designed condo structures that do not have good breeze pathways which allow the entry of fresh air. Worse, it can aggravate existing conditions such as asthma, allergic rhinitis, and other respiratory problems.

Unit owners of Camella Northpoint will never fall victim to the sick building syndrome. With the green architecture of this British colonial themed condo community, its occupants benefit from excellent indoor air quality.

As green buildings, Northpoint’s condo towers are designed to allow fresh air to enter and warm air to exit. The cool breeze the building design allows to enter it flows into the atrium, indoor gardens, and hallways, cooling the interior and providing fresh air to the individual condo units.

Northpoint’s condo homes also have wide windows that can be opened to let the breeze in, as well as the verdant green landscape that Northpoint is known for. Enhancing its air quality even further are the live plants found in the indoor gardens, providing fresh oxygen and a cool ambiance.

Camella Northpoint’s fourth and tallest tower, Liverpool, will have Sky Gardens that are not only filled with real, live plants, but will be wide openings in the building façade that freely allow the entry of cool wind and breeze.

It will also allow the freshness of hundreds of imported Caribbean pine trees planted all over Northpoint to waft into the building and the individual condo units.

These pine trees and other plant lives that grow abundantly in Northpoint help to cleanse the air by absorbing harmful toxins and producing life-giving oxygen. It also emits a wonderful aroma that makes the air in Northpoint pleasantly scented.

As these pine trees can grow to about a hundred feet tall, they also provide shade that will protect the buildings and its units from the heat and harsh glare of the sun. With its excellent indoor air quality, Northpoint gives its homeowners a pleasant and cool ambiance as well as a safe environment for their families.

Camella Northpoint is a landmark condo development of Camella Davao which holds office at 2/F Delgar Building, JP Laurel Ave., Bajada, Davao City, telephone numbers (082) 222-0963 and (082) 222-5221.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on November 05, 2012.

Making your studio unit efficient

January 26, 2013 § Leave a comment

CLUELESS about designing and organizing your Camella Northpoint studio unit? No worries. Read on for tips on how to maximize the space of your single-room abode and turn it into an efficient, homey dwelling.

So where do you start? Simple. Get organized. From your wardrobe, appliances, to furniture, organization is key to achieving a harmonious look without the clutter. If your clothes, books, mementos, and other personal effects are everywhere, you won’t achieve a smooth, organized look.

Every item you bring into your Camella Northpoint studio unit has to have its own place, otherwise it will look chaotic and you’ll be snagging things as you move inside your studio home.

First off, go to your closet and look at the clothes that you regularly wear. Chances are you are only using about a quarter or half of them, which means at least 50% of your clothes are just sitting or hanging in there taking up valuable space. Select old clothing that you can live without and choose to either donate to charity, sell, or hand over to close friends or family.

Now that you’ve freed up some space in your closet, you can use it to store new clothes or your memento box and other personal effects. It’s a great space to store away those items you don’t want prying eyes to see.
Your next stop is the kitchen. Appliances like coffee maker, oven toaster, blender, juicer, mixer, griddle, bread maker, rice cooker and other similar appliances are great helpers. But do you really use all of them every day?

Free up counter space by leaving only appliances that are regularly used, such as coffee maker and rice cooker, and store away those that are only periodically used (you can take them out when you need them). If you still want to clear up some cabinet space, sell unused or rarely used appliances, or give to someone who can make good use of it.

Collectibles and mementos hold sentimental value for us. Still, go over each item that you have stashed away for a long time and dispose those that no longer have value for you. The few ones you opt to keep you can use to accessorize your studio, but don’t overdo it. Display only the few items that you love looking at and you’ll avoid giving your studio a cluttered look.

As far as furniture goes, it’s a no-brainer. If you’re bringing old furniture to your studio unit, you have to let go of those that do not fit the style and space of your new home. Probably the top qualifying factors would be, if the furniture is functional, if the look goes with the rest of the furniture, and of course, if there is space for it.

If you’ve been placing personal files such as important documents, bills, and anything paper on the bed, kitchen table, side table, or anywhere else they’re not supposed to be, time to create a file center with separate folders for each type of document.

Don’t let it pile up where you indiscriminately left it. There’s nothing like seeing paper all around that gives your home a chaotic look. A file center frees up space and makes your studio unit look clean and organized.

Finally, keep the discipline. Organizing your studio unit is not a one-off effort; you need to follow through what you have started to keep your single-room home clean, efficient, and in order. No matter how large or small the space, if everything is in place, your home feels right. Then you can go enjoy the convenience of a Camella Northpoint studio home.
Your studio home awaits you at Camella Northpoint, Camella’s British colonial themed condo development along Buhangin Road and JP Laurel Avenue. Camella accepts all inquiries at 2/F Delgar Building, JP Laurel Ave., Bajada, Davao City, telephone numbers (082) 222-0963 and (082) 222-5221.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on March 05, 2012.

Davao’s White House

January 26, 2013 § Leave a comment


LOCALS called it the White House, built by abaca plantation owner Robert Ker during the early 1900s, the Ker Mansion stood on a hill, which overlooks Bajada. It served as the landmark for many Dabawenyos particularly as it stood on the corner of Jose P. Laurel Avenue and the road going to Buhangin.

The house and the adjoining lot has been bought by real estate developer Camella, which built a pine forest-themed condominium residences in the area, luckily they preserved the old house which can be considered as one of the few remaining heritage structures in the City.

A few months back the old house was converted into a fusion restaurant run by chefs Cathy Binag and Nino Laus with the help of former House Rep. Tony Boy Floirendo.

Renamed into the White House, the fusion resto incorporates Japanese, French and Italian cuisine and is set amid an old-world environment. The house has been meticulously preserved, a new custom-built kitchen specifically added for the restaurant.

The prime mover of the project is Cathy Binag, image consultant and celebrity stylist who has practically relocated to Davao to run the White House, chef de Patron is Niño Laus, one of the celebrated young chefs in the country today. He has his own restaurant called Ninyo Fusion Cuisine in Manila and is known to experiment on various combination of different flavors, textures, cuisines and techniques in coming up with original concoctions.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on November 07, 2012.

Fascinating ideas at the ‘White House’

January 26, 2013 § Leave a comment


STILL waters do run deep. At The White House, creative eddies are at work to bring bashful chefs’ ideas to culinary life.

There are some restaurants that are big in concepts but appalling in taste, almost as if they are too lofty in their culinary ideas to care for satisfying the palate and the appetite. And then there are those big in taste but offer nothing memorable. Thankfully the quiet top of a hill inside a newly-developed posh village in Bajada that is the reticent White House is neither of the above. Long after the meal, we would still be able to vividly recall its remarkable concepts, fascinating ideas and above all — we foodies have appetites to fill after all — the lip smacking taste.

The new menu is a marked departure for the young chefs (Cathy BInag, Nino Laus, Justin Sison and July Taguran) who began their career emulating the high-horse ideals of fine dining restaurants. Dare we say this — their latest offerings signify a coming of age for the island’s culinary talents. And Davao City is ready for a fine dining restaurant that serves a fusion of French and Japanese cuisine, says Chef Cathy Binag, the White House manager.

A great meal fascinates at the first instant and in White House’ case there were plenty of such instances. Shall we begin with the starters/aperitif. The first is smoked Toro tempura Roll with braised gobo and corrots served with Ponzu Sauce.

The other is the Trio of Oysters with a sampler of balsamic mayonnaise. The Trilogy of Foie Gras is a pan seared Foie Gras set on a nasu miso; Poached Foie Gras set on onion steak in teriyaki balsamic sauce; and Torchon of Foie Gras with sake-poached fruits.

For soup, we were served French Onion Akadashi Miso Soup, while Duck Breast Pastrami Salad Roll laced with mixed greens, grille watermelon, orange caviar, fried vermicelli in orange amazu dressing wrapped Vietnamese rice paper came for the salad part. These set mood for the main course.

The Oven Poached Halibut in Umami Broth, had assorted mushrooms, mixed vegetables, Chinese chorizo, Manila clams and a hint of matsutake and truffle oil. There is a measured salinity that somehow makes you want to eat every spoonful very slowly in order to catch every nuance.

The second is Mequite Grilled Wagyu Rib Eye — a Mesquite grilled prime rib gratinated with raclette cheese served with haricot vert, roasted garlic bulb and wasabi tempura onion rings seasoned with pink Himalayan salt and garnished with dehydrated potato sheet. The beef was slow cooked so that it retains its juices to deliver a very succulent bite.

The Wagyu Top Blade, thinly sliced which we were made to cook in Ishiyaki Stone right on our table, was an interactive experience. The stone looks like a mini chocolate cake that measure three inches in diameter. We didn’t care to confront the dilemma for we are already into anticipating the next dish.

The Ebi Tempura Saba was infused in truffle topped with grated Foie ras and served with quail egg.

The dessert were Vanilla Cheesecake with Yamamomo and Mixed Berries, Compote and Mango caviar set on Green Tea Dacquoise.

Just when you think the meal is over, the waiter comes over with a plate laced with nana Bread served with Homemade Chocnut Ice Cream, Salted Dulce de Leche and Rhum Raisins Coulis.

The waiter appears every now and then with a pitcher of water infused with lemon and other greens, and refills our glasses.

This is a restaurant that you don’t just come and eat and luxuriate in its surroundings. More than that, The White House, which opened in August this year, is a place to be bewildered by a lot (plethora) of ideas. From the looks of it, there will be many more to come.

The White House is located inside the Camella Northpoint. It is open daily from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for lunch and 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. for dinner.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on September 16, 2012.

Northpoint to top off 3rd tower

January 26, 2013 § Leave a comment

CAMELLA-Davao opens the New Year with a big bang, with the topping off this month of Nottingham, the third tower of its landmark condo development, Camella Northpoint.

“2013 is another big year for Camella, as we have now reached the highest point of construction in building 3, and will start construction of building 4 in the second semester of the year,” said Marlon B. Escalicas, Camella Davao general manager.

Nottingham will be topped off this January, signifying the overall completion of the building’s structure. It is targeted for turnover toward the third quarter to unit owners who have been eagerly waiting to move in to their new condo home.

For Camella Northpoint’s first two completed buildings, Manchester and Birmingham, over 103 units and 93 units, respectively, have already been turned over to homeowners, turning this British colonial themed condo community into a living, thriving community.

Even as Camella is in the thick of catering to homebuyers who want to acquire Camella Northpoint’s premier address, it has already slated the start of construction of Liverpool, its greenest and tallest condo tower at 15-storeys, toward the second half of the year.

Camella is also excited about offering their asset management service to Camella Northpoint unit owners. Upon enrolment to this service, unit owners will have the convenience of having their condo units maintained by a professional management team.

This service includes ensuring utility bills payment so unit owners who will be away for long periods of time will no longer worry about disconnection due to non-payment of bills. This is ideal to those who are always out of town, as their units will be properly taken care of in their absence.

The asset management service is also a boon to those who acquire a Camella Northpoint condo unit as a wise investment. To rent out their condo units they only need to enroll in this service and the professional property management team takes care of the whole process, from looking for tenants, to screening applicants, and collection of rental fee for the unit owners.

With rental rates in north Davao going for P30,000 to P50,000, their condo investment in Camella Northpoint will yield them great returns. The best part is the professional property management team takes care of everything for them.

“We have only recently opened our asset management services, and of the total number of units already enrolled for the rental management service, over 50 percent are already rented out to strictly screened tenants,” Escalicas said.


Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on January 09, 2013.

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