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Cebu Landmasters JV to develop new business district in Matina, Davao City

March 30, 2019

CEBU Landmasters, Inc. (CLI) is partnering with the Villa-Abrille clan to develop a site currently occupied by 22-hectare golf course into a new business district, the company told the stock exchange on Friday.

The Davao Global Township (DGT) project, which the company valued at P33 billion, will be executed via YHEST Realty and Development Corp., a joint venture between the Visayas-Mindanao property developer and the Yuson, Huang and Tan families belonging to the Villa-Abrille clan of Davao.

The township will rise in the Matina district of Davao City, one of the city’s residential areas. Groundwork on the first phase of the project has started.

“The size of the (DGT) property, our first township development, will allow us to have a diversity of uses to make a complete and truly sustainable community,” said Jose R. Soberano III, president and chief executive officer of CLI, in a statement.

“We envision DGT to be the central business district with a dynamic lifestyle that will provide economic and social value to Davao, one of the fastest growing economic regions in the country,” according to Mr. Soberano, who chairs both CLI and YHEST.

The first phase of the township, which is estimated to cost P10 billion, will involve 93,000 square meters of gross floor area as envisioned by YHEST with masterplanner RTKL, a global planning and design firm responsible for the revival of some downtown centers in various countries. It is set for completion in 2022.

“Edifices planned for this phase include a corporate center, two premier residential towers, a retail strip with a cineplex, and outdoor retail spaces called the DGT Town Strip, as well as a civic center to be named DGT Gallery,” CLI said.

The listed company quoted YHEST President Frederick H. Yuson as saying: “These are exciting times for Davao and the Philippines as this tie-up (with CLI) ushers a new generation of local homegrown developers ready to be at par with the best of the world.”

CLI said Mr. Yuson is a fifth-generation descendant of one of Davao’s forefathers, the businessman Francisco “Juna” Villa-Abrille. It said the Villa-Abrille family is one of the oldest clans in Davao that is into leasing of commercial offices and buildings such as Matina IT Park and Sutherland Global Services. They launched Davao’s first residential subdivision in 1952 and put up the Davao City Golf Club, the first and oldest golf course in the city which was closed in 2018 to make way for DGT.

“As the descendants of Juna Villa-Abrille, we commit ourselves to his legacy of hard work, humility and generosity. We are happy that in our generation, we are able to kick-start all these simultaneous developments and there’s no better way but to partner with VisMin’s leading developer Cebu Landmasters,” Mr. Yuson said.

He said his family decided to partner with CLI because of the latter’s vision to be the top regional property company in the Philippines and its ability to quickly turn around its projects.

DGT is the clan’s third and biggest project with CLI. MesaTierra, a garden residential condominium, is 98% sold. The Paragon Davao, a mixed-use property that will host Citadines Paragon Davao, was launched in November. The residential component One Paragon Place is 75% sold after three weeks of sales.

“Things are happening fast in our generation and we trust CLI’s expertise particularly in the VisMin market,” Mr. Yuson said.

Published in Business World