Taal Volcano

From homes to offices to malls, Vista Land branches out

Katherine Visconti
The company eyes to build 5 strip malls this year that will "increase" the value of its residential properties

MANILA, Philippines – The property developer of the family of Senator Manuel Villar is expanding in the commercial sector in a bid to grow more its profits in the next few years.

Vista Land and Lifescapes Inc. expects to build 5 strip malls this year and to continue building small commercial ventures near its residential projects, disclosed its chief finance officer Ricardo Tan Jr.

“We’re looking at P1 billion recurring income in 3 to 5 years from commercial area,” he said.

Traditionally focused on the affordable housing segment, Vista Land has made a foray into office and commercial developments as part of its overall growth strategy since its residential projects have reached “critical mass.”

“In the last two to 3 years, we’ve reached a point where we’ve developed the residential side enough. [We want] to develop the commercial side now,” Tan said. “That’s always been the plan.”

Tan said Vista Land set up 5 small commercial projects in Alabang, Sucat, Antipolo, Pampanga and Cebu but none as big as a strip mall.

“We’re looking at single level strip malls, like the outlet malls in the U.S. in terms of the look. Community malls, smalls they call it, small malls,” said Tan. 

In the U.S., strip malls, or open shopping malls with one-story stores arranged in a row and big parking lots in front, can commonly be found by suburban residential areas or major traffic arteries. They generally provide service oriented-stores like dry cleaners, pharmacies and groceries. 

Tan said Vista is eyeing 50 potential locations nationwide and would develop 5 this year and move into the others in the coming years. 

Tan noted that they had already signed agreements with Puregold to set up hypermarkets in 3 of their 5 budding commercial locations and may work more with Puregold in the future. 

“Puregold is an obvious partner. I don’t want to say they will be in all of the locations but we already have a strong relationship with them.”

While Tan explained that Vista Land will continue to focus on the affordable income residential market, with the bulk of their revenues, 55-65% coming from OFWs, he said building strip malls “in the vicinity of people’s homes will increase the value” of the residential properties.

Last year, Vista Land also entered the office space segment with a P5 billion investment in a masterplanned city called Sta. Elena in Sta. Rosa, Laguna. – Rappler.com 

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