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Youngblood of real estate

December 10, 2019

By: Arianne Suarez, Kathleen de Villa, Marielle Medina@inquirerdotnet

The Philippine real estate industry is bound to get even more exciting in the coming years as the youngblood of prominent families in property development start to make their own legacies in the field.

In the recent years, we see more of the younger generation at the forefront of real estate as their elders begin to pass the baton to them, ushering in new leadership in the industry and giving more room for them to put into practice what they have learned while growing up in the business.

The most thrilling thing the industry can look forward to is not just how they will continue the good work already done, but how they will become the new gamechangers with bigger ideals, bolder moves, and ambitious plans in developing projects that will benefit Filipinos in the future. 


When the Soberano patriarch, Jose R. Soberano III, established Cebu Landmasters Inc. (CLI) in 2003, the aim of the company was to be a trusted brand in the housing development business.

Since then, Cebu Landmasters has grown so much more in the dynamic field of real estate.

Cebu Landmasters is a homegrown property developer engaged in the development of residential, commercial, hospitality, mixed-use and civic projects. The last couple of years saw the company embarking on a more aggressive expansion plan in Visayas and Mindanao.

Cebu Landmasters seeks to strengthen its foothold in Visayas and Mindanao by rolling out more projects in Sibulan (Negros Oriental), Bacolod (Negros Occidental), Iloilo, Davao and Cagayan de Oro.

The company also caters to different income segments to capture as big a slice as possible of the real estate market.

Jose Franco, the eldest son of Soberano, shares leadership with his father and this early, is proving to be an important asset to the family business.

Franco obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Management from the Ateneo de Manila University and completed his Master’s Degree in Real Estate Development in Columbia University in New York. He joined the company in 2010 after briefly working for Hewlett-Packard in Hong Kong. He is currently the chief operating officer and senior vice president of Cebu Landmasters.

Steady, strong growth

Since Franco joined the board, Cebu Landmasters had seen a robust growth. In 2011, Cebu Landmasters’ Base Line Residences was launched in one of Cebu’s landmark districts. That same year, Midori Plains was launched in the southern town of Minglanilla with over 370 house-and-lot units.

In 2012, following the success of Midori Plains, the twin-tower Midori Residences was launched in the prime area of AS Fortuna, bridging two cities of Cebu and Mandaue. A total of 396 condo units were developed.

In 2014, Villa Casita was launched in the western town of Balamban to cater to the low cost housing needs of the low-income market. In 2015, the Base Line Center was launched as a mixed-use development in the heart of Midtown Cebu. The project included an upscale residential condo (Base Line Premier), prime office spaces (Base Line HQ), and a 180-room serviced residences (Citadines) managed by The Ascott Limited group.

Cebu Landmasters is set to introduce two more hotels in its mixed-use projects in Cebu City in addition to its first hotel, Citadines by Ascott. It will also build a “hip and modern” 150-room hotel catering to the millennial market while its third hotel will rise in a mixed-use development called Astra Centre.

There’s also the 24-story Latitude Corporate Center Cebu which is located within Cebu Business Park. Its office-condominium venture Park Centrale and the mixed-use project 38 Park Avenue, on the other hand, are within the Cebu IT Park.

Franco said they were particular with their brand names and the company’s reputation. This is why in some of their residential developments, they sit as ex-officio members of the homeowners association.

The property firm further expanded its economic housing brand Casa Mira, offering more than 7,000 additional housing units as it puts up projects in four more locations. The Casa Mira Coast in Sibulan, Negros Oriental, will have 543 units; Casa Mira in Iloilo City, with 526 units; Casa Mira Granada in Bacolod, with 637 units; and the Casa Mira Towers Guadalupe in Cebu City, with 727 units.

A project called MesaVirre Garden Residences, which will be built in Bacolod City, was also launched. Similar ot its mid-end residential condominiums in Cebu, MesaVirre will highlight landscaped open areas and other generous garden-inspired amenities that residents can enjoy.

Among Cebu Landmasters’ latest ventures include two landmark projects in Davao City, worth some P12.6 billion. These proposed projects are the 22-hectare central business district called Davao Global Township located in the Matina district, while the second one is a vibrant mixed-use lifestyle destination called The Paragon Davao.

In 2017, Cebu Landmasters was officially listed in the local bourse with a bell ringing ceremony at the Philippine Stock Exchange. It saw a brisk demand for its P2.9-billion initial public offering, which was oversubscribed. It sold 505 million firm shares plus the overallotment of 75 million shares at P5 per share.

Click here for the full story published in Philippine Daily Inquirer