Mary Ann Ll. Reyes (The Philippine Star)
Exciting developments for the island of Boracay.
It will be recalled in 2011, the Alliance Global Group, Inc. (AGI) of business tycoon Andrew Tan acquired for P5 billion a majority stake in Sobrepeña-led Fil-Estate Land Inc. That same year, AGI relaunched Fil-Estate Land as Global-Estate Resorts Inc. (GERI) to engage in the development of integrated tourism estates. In 2014, GERI was consolidated under Megaworld Corp. when the latter acquired AGI’s stake in GERI.
According to information from the PSE website, GERI has a diversified portfolio of integrated projects.
Its key developments include Boracay Newcoast in Malay, Aklan; Twin Lakes in Laurel, Batangas; Sta. Barbara heights in Iloilo, Southwoods City in Laguna and Cavite; and Alabang West in Las Piñas, Metro Manila.
The acquisition by the group of Andrew Tan included a controlling stake in Fairways and Blue Waters in Boracay, a neglected golf resort project and a property which accounts for around 15 percent of the total land area of the island.
At that time, Fil Estate said that with the infusion of new capital by Alliance Global, the golf resort would be in a strong position to pursue various tourism-oriented projects immediately, starting with the master planning of the Newcoast Station, a new tourism-oriented community project in Boracay. Fil Estate added that the development of Newcoast, along with the new Caticlan airport, aims to double the number of tourists to the island in the next three to four years.
This is now starting to take shape with Boracay Newcoast, a beachside community which takes lifestyle inspiration from the world’s best beach destinations like Miami Beach and Santorini. The integrated tourism development, covering 150 hectares, includes Fairways and Bluewaters, an existing 18-hole championship Graham Marsh golf course community.
According to company officials, since the project will have its own jetty port serving guests and tourists, local residents are assured the development would have minimal effect on the traffic of the narrow roads of Boracay.
Boracay Newcoast consists of 150 hectares, including the 75 hectares of Fairways and Bluewater.
It has an exclusive, kilometer-long coast line separated into three beach coves.
It will have its own underground cable system, sewage treatment plant, materials recovery facility and boasts of other “green” features like the use of e-shuttle jeeps for transportation, LED street lights, detention or siltation tanks, a solid waste disposal system, a project to preserve endangered species of trees, environmental friendly construction products as well as bio-engineering and building techniques, and huge open spaces which will account for 60 percent of the development.
The township will feature the 8.4-hectare Newcoast Village, the first and only exclusive residential village in the island; Oceanway Residences, which is the first residential condominium clusters in Boracay with the first phase consists of four building/clusters, the Town Center North, which will have the Shophouse District – a six-hectare commercial and residential development inspired by the communities like Key West Florida and Did Town in Ibiza where owners can put up shops at the lower floor and have their home at the top floors; the Boutique Hotel District which is a 10-hectare commercial development that allows buyers to build their own hotel brands or tie up with foreign institutional hotels; Newcoast Station, which would be a retail strip with themed restaurants, cafés, lounges, beach clubs, a baywalk and grand plaza.
Boracay Newcoast will also be the home of Savoy Hotel, the first of the series of hotel to projects to open there. It will be operated and managed by the Global One Hotel Group Inc. Condominium hotel unit owners will have a worry-free investment because the hotel operator will manage the lease of the hotel rooms, their maintenance, refurbishment and improvement, as well as other expenses. The unit owner will be entitled to a share in net room revenues, regardless of whether his unit is actually rented or not.
According to GERI senior assistant vice president Joey Geronimo, the township development has been awarded as Outstanding Developer for Sustainable Development during FIABCI Prix d’Excellence Awards organized by the International Real Estate Federation Philippine chapter, setting trends and gaining recognition as model developer for Boracay Island.
He also revealed that GERI has made preliminary studies on the implementation of innovative green technology in the development of Boracay Newcoast, aiming to build a cleaner, safer and sustainable environment for the island.
Geronimo emphasized that Boracay Newcoast could serve as a role model development in Boracay because they are the only real estate developer with its own sewerage treatment plant.
He added that GERI would have its own sustainable and comprehensive solid waste management program, and would not rely on the local government’s waste management system.
Boracay Island has one of the world’s best beaches, but we have to admit that it is a far cry from the island of our youth. It has become much used and abused, a result of tourist influx, LGU-private sector neglect, and lack of masterplanning.
With the Megaworld group now in the island, let us hope that the results of decades of neglect and abuse can still be reversed and that other hotel owners, business operators, and residents in the island will realize that their businesses and lives depend on maintaining Boracay’s pristine condition.
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