Why is Valero Grand Suites, Makati a good risk for the condo investor

#MakatiCondo February 21, 2011

The Valero Grand Suites is a 31 storey, Makati hotel and private residences condominium project of only 220 units. Valero Grand Suites is found on Valero Street, at the heart of hip Salcedo Village. Private invites to presentations were met with zeal last April 2010. Why so?

Upon review of both the presentation and investment study, Valero Grand Suites offers the Global Pinoy and expatriate investors three key advantages : excellent location, great price-to-size value, and international hotel management to ensure a sound return on investment.

For the past two years, a number of international hotel chains introduced the branded luxury hotel lifestyle concept for residential condominiums in Manila: Raffles/ Fairmont, Hyatt Hotels, Shangri-la, Hilton, to name a few. The mystique and promise of five-star lux caught the fancy of foreign investors, international corporates, and Manila’s affluent set. But when faced with the computation sheet, they seriously thought twice about the hefty price tags, the high association dues that went with the purchase. We pose the question to developers and investors: do the majority of the residential buyers and tourist markets really need five-star luxury grade units, or simply excellently valued, hotel quality accommodations in a five-star site?

While hotel residences projects will continue to enjoy rising success, I anticipate that majority of Philippine property investors would want a piece of the luxury condo market on a more practical level. The Valero Grand Suites ambitiously fills this niche.

About the Developer: Valero Grand Land Investors Incorporated

The Valero Grand Land Investors Inc. is the owner and lead developer of Valero Grand Suites. Highly respected Chinese businessmen in the Philippines make up the powerhouse Board. Valero Grand Land Investors Inc. aims to expand its portfolio of high profile residential projects. The direction is to develop innovative property concepts that deliver superior value for money. As an accomplished residential real estate developer for the Philippines, the company has been at the forefront of the successful completion of private residential projects such as the Embassy Point Tower in Roxas Boulevard in Manila; the West Gate Plaza in Makati City; and The Luxe Residences in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.

Amenities of Note

Valero Grand Suites, Makati City Sky Lounge

Valero Grand Suites, Makati City, Deck Pool
Apart from the grand lobby, urbane coffee shops, function rooms, gym and spa, and ample parking, the amenities of Valero Grand Suites which caught my interest were the Roofdeck Pool, Sky Lounge and the Deck Garden.

Einar Macapagal, Chairman of Property 101, Inc. the exclusive marketing group of Valero Grand Suites, said that amenities on the penthouse level were considered to be a premium feature of high-end residential towers, similar to those found in key Asian cities such as Hong Kong, Beijing and Singapore. Stunning sky views seen from the chic modern interiors of the penthouse lounge and pool area will set the Valero Grand Suites even further apart from its competitors in its project class.

International Hotel Management for Better Investor ROI

Golden Palm Tree Sea Villas & Spa
The hotel suites will be professionally run by Swiss-Belhotel International, a hotel management group with a select but impressive property portfolio of hotels and resorts worldwide, including the CNBC 2008 Asia Pacific Property Awards Winner, The Golden Palm in Sepang, Malaysia ; and World Travel Awards 2010 Nominee, The Swiss-Belhotel Golden Sand Resort & Spa, Hoi An, Vietnam .

Swiss-Belhotel Golden Sand Resort & Spa, Vietnam

The Linden Suites, Ortigas Center, Manila Philippines
Though its Philippine presence to date is solely thru the Linden Suites in Ortigas Center, its consistent success with its overseas properties can answer the investor’s queries to deliver star-rated service. We can expect Valero Grand Suites, then, to have the backing of Swiss-Belhotel’s laurels to deliver on its by-line: that owners and guests alike can “enjoy hotel living at its finest, everyday”.

But what’s great is that with Swiss-Belhotel’s proven management system and international marketing of the suites, the Valero Grand Suites hotel suite buyer can expect a sound return of a minimum of 11.2% on their investment. It would be good to ask for the basis of this projection, once you talk to a Valero Grand Suites marketing consultant. But based on what I’ve read and what Mr. Macapagal explained, the figures are achievable, given the historical occupancy rate of Makati suites.

Market-driven Room Sizes, Strict Zoning, Strategic Floor Assignments

For 220 units, there are a wide range of studios ( five layouts, approximately 29 sqm-39 sqm in size); one bedroom cuts (approximately 42 sqm- 77 sqm in size); two bedroom units (approximately 98 sqm-123 sqm in size); but one size only for three bedrooms (122.34 sqm), which are found on the residential floors. Hotel units will be leased out from daily, weekly to monthly rates and solely under the management of Swiss-Belhotel. Unit owners will then get a proportionate share of the income; they also need not pay association dues either, as these are already incorporated in the revenue sharing scheme.

Residential unit buyers may rent out their units on their own, and accept a minimum of one (1) year’s lease contract.

Update: with the new scheme all units will be delivered as fully furnished, consistent with the international design standards of the hotel. Zone-wise, the developers decided to assign the top floors only for private residences (from 21st-33rd floors) to ensure the residents’ security. To me, it speaks of greater exclusivity for the homeowners. Residences Manila noted too that the 4, loft-style one-bedroom units are all corner units found only on the 28th floor! How’s that for chic appeal?

A Payment Option Worth Considering

I think, though, that the take-up for the units will be driven by the affordability: the best payment scheme is the 20% downpayment option which is split into 36 months, balance payable on turnover of the units. There are other payment options, with discounts depending on the amount you’re willing to pay upfront. It comes out to less than USD 500 per month for the 36 months deferred downpayment for a 36 sqm hotel studio unit.. Many spend more than this per month on entertainment and leisure activities. Why not on a real estate investment that will earn you some return?

If ever there’s a weak spot in the marketing, it’s that the Valero Grand Land Investors Inc. isn’t hyped up as big a name as Ayala Land. However, quiet promotions do not mean weak financial capacity. Resting on the strength of the local financial and business reputations of its individual board members, there is strong indication that we’ll see Valero Grand Suites up and running by 2014. We’ve done the math, and it looks like it’s worth the risk.