NEWS AND UPDATES

The outlook for Philippine real estate is becoming brighter as more people return to onsite work and are looking for well-developed and accessible residential areas to live closer to their work, as Fiscal Incentives Review Board (FIRB) recently ordered a return-to-office or on-site work arrangement for registered business enterprises and outsourcing firms boosting consumer confidence in the residential property market.

Professional services and investment management company Colliers Philippines also noticed optimism across various property segments. Consumer confidence is seeing a boost as well. According to their recent Quarterly Residential Property Market report, residential vacancy rates are declining in Metro Manila as Q1 2022 reported a 17.8% vacancy rate with the succeeding Q2 projected to have a 17.2% vacancy rate after it skyrocketed to a record-high since 2020 due to pandemic.

The need for a residential estate with world-class amenities and generous home layout is something that MidPark Towers is preparing to fill for Filipinos.

Aseana Residential Holdings Corp. (ARHC)’s newest development, MidPark Towers, is a four-tower residential estate located at the heart of Aseana City – bay area’s emerging Central Business District. MidPark Towers is more than ready to fill the market need as the recent residential projection by Colliers estimates a total of 10,500 units being up and available in the market by end of 2022.

MidPark Towers follows the architectural vision of ARHC in redefining city living which dons the community with a pedestrian-friendly landscape with accessible connectivity to key transit points such as NAIA Expressway (NAIAx), LRT Line-1 Extension, and the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITx). Additionally, its prime location allows for accelerated mobility as it will be connected to key developments inside the community such as Parqal, Aseana City’s biggest linear mixed-use development, 8912 Asean Ave., a two-tower office building, Ayala Malls Manila Bay, the biggest mall in the Ayala Malls portfolio, and St. John Paul II Chapel.

Paranaque City, Philippines, June 6, 2022 – D.M. Wenceslao & Associates, Inc. (DMW) signed a Contract of Lease with St. Luke’s Medical Center, Inc. (SLMC) for a 13,896sqm parcel of land in AseanaCity. The lease period is 50 years commencing in June 2022.

The land lease will bring D.M. Wenceslao’s total leased out land to 164,895sqms and will augment its recurring income.

St. Luke’s Medical Center is recognized as the leading and most respected healthcare institution in the Philippines. Its two facilities in Quezon City and Global City, Taguig have a combined total of 1,146 rooms, with over 60,000 average in-patient admissions and 2.7 million outpatient consultations annually. In 2003, it was the first hospital in the country and the second in Asia to be accredited by the Joint Commission International (JCI)—the world’s leader in healthcare accreditation and quality improvement. In 2016, it was also the first in the country to be accredited by JCI as an Academic Medical Center Hospital.

“An integral part of holistic estate development is anticipating the needs of our locators. Immediate access to world-class healthcare institutions is a fundamental need that we have identified at the onset. To have St. Luke’s Medical Center, the country’s leading healthcare institution, fill this need is an important milestone for Aseana City,” said Mr. Delfin Angelo ‘Buds’ Wenceslao, Chief Executive Officer. “St. Luke’s Medical Center Aseana City solidifies Aseana’s status as a top mixed-used CBD destination of major brands and best-in-class institutions in the country,” Mr. Wenceslao highlighted.

“The rapidly growing Aseana City provides a compelling platform for St. Luke’s Medical Center to expand and scale operations to capture the robust healthcare growth in the country and in Southeast Asia,” said Dr. Arturo De La Peña, President and Chief Executive Officer of St. Luke’s Medical Center. “With proximate critical infrastructure connecting Aseana City to other Metro Manila CBDs, growing population centers south of Metro Manila, and to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, St. Luke’s Medical Center Aseana City will be at the forefront of delivering high-quality patient-centered care and improving health outcomes through advanced technology,” Dr. De La Peña highlighted.

Paranaque City, Philippines, January 4, 2022 – In December 2021, D.M. Wenceslao & Associates, Inc. (DMW) signed a Contract of Lease with Landers for a 15,064sqm parcel of land in Aseana City. The lease term is 25 years.

Landers is a major membership shopping chain in the country with several branches in Metro Manila as well as in Cebu. Landers Superstores offer a wide array of local and international finds along with delectable in-house dining options.

“We are excited to host Landers in Aseana City; not only will this land lease be recurring income-accretive to DMW but will also advance our efforts to further increasing the diversity of major brands and essential locators in Aseana City,” said Mr. Delfin Angelo ‘Buds’ Wenceslao, Chief Executive Officer. “Landers has amassed significant following over the years; we look forward to the additional draw and the critical mass that Landers will bring to Aseana,” Mr. Wenceslao highlighted.

For more than 50 years, DM Wenceslao & Associates Inc. (DMWAI) has been perfecting the art of transformation. From turning water into land in the late ‘80s, to transforming open space into a central business district, the company is constantly changing to suit the needs of the times.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in Aseana City, the company’s burgeoning business district along the shores of Manila Bay. Delfin “Buds” Wenceslao, CEO of DMWAI, takes us through the company’s colorful history and how circumstance led them to own one of the most coveted parcels of Metro Manila today.

After starting out as a contractor for government horizontal and infrastructure projects, DMWAI won the contract to reclaim land along Manila Bay in 1989.

 

Wenceslao refers to DMWAI as somewhat of an “accidental developer.” The company started in 1965 as a government contractor for horizontal and infrastructure projects, and in 1989 won the contract to reclaim plots of land on Manila Bay.

“Originally, the plan was to sell the newly reclaimed land and move on to the next project, but the reclamation works finished during the 2000 Asian Financial Crisis when there was little demand for large real estate projects,” said Wenceslao. “That’s when we thought, why don’t we start with a three-story building? This eventually became Aseana Power Station.”

From then, the company leased out parcels to retailer S&R, and service station operator Shell, and built two office buildings, which were quickly snapped up by tenants.

With a portfolio of small and mid-scale developments under its belt, DMWAI filed for an IPO in 2018 to fund the large-scale projects that would come together to form Aseana City, Metro Manila’s newest business district built on one million square meters of land that it reclaimed decades ago.

The company’s two-tower, 69,000-square meter office building, 8912 Aseana Avenue, is due for completion this year in addition to around 300,000 square meters of new developments, with three quarters dedicated to office and retail, and a quarter for residential.

The latest addition to Aseana City is office building 8912 Aseana Ave, due for completion by the end of the year

 

“If we had been able to sell all the properties in 2000, we would have just gone on to another reclamation project, but we got stuck with it and decided to pursue development initially, and then things took a life of their own and that’s how we got to where we are today,” said Wenceslao.

When asked about what projects in the area he is most excited about, Wenceslao is quick to mention Parqal, a mixed-use office and retail development consisting of nine four-story buildings connected by a linear park on ground floor and sky bridges on second and third floors. Wenceslao calls it the company’s “first truly mixed-use development” because it encompasses office, retail, and a public space in one project.

Parqal is DMWAI’s fully mixed-use development combining office, retail, and a linear public park running the length of the development.

 

Directly connected to Parqal will be MidPark Towers, a high-end condominium development due for completion in 2023 that is DMWAI’s second residential project in Aseana City. When fully completed, Aseana City will measure six million square meters of built-up area, and contain 300 buildings and structures.

MidPark Towers, DMWAI’s second residential development, is due for completion in 2023.

 

Despite being a relatively new player, DMWAI’s unique position of designing an entire district has given the company a crash course in wholistic development where “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” That means paying attention to little things like making sure that condos have access to parks and that sidewalks are wide enough, as well as bigger things like making sure that the city has good transport links and that the entire community is safe, explained Wenceslao.

Aseana City will be connected to the LRT-1 extension to Bacoor as well as a proposed Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system, while the entire community is under CCTV monitoring to ensure the safety of its residents and tenants.

 

When fully completed, Aseana City will consist of 300 buildings and structures with a total built-up area of six million square meters.

 

But it begs the question, in a city as dense as Metro Manila, and the trend of decentralization accelerating, why invest in another business district?

For Wenceslao, the draw of the big city is undeniable. “Sixty percent of the world’s population live in cities, and there’s a natural reason why,” said Wenceslao. “It’s where you find jobs, the best infrastructure, best services like hospitals, and a critical mass of knowledge.” It’s not so much about Metro Manila as it is investing in places with access to the best and brightest talent.

For Wenceslao and his team, in a location with enviable views of Manila Bay on one side and skyscrapers on the other, it’s hard to see why anyone would want to leave.

 

 

 

Source: PROP UP: From land reclaimer to city developer—DMWAI and Metro Manila’s newest business district – Manila Bulletin (mb.com.ph)

The Wenceslaos of listed company DM Wenceslao & Associates Inc. (DMWAI) may be best known in business circles for construction and real estate, but not many know that many members of the family are actually doctors. Delfin Angelo Wenceslao, who is best known by his nickname Buds, says this is the reason why he initially entertained the idea of becoming a doctor himself when he was younger.

“I liked the lifelong learning aspect of being in the medical profession,” he tells Esquire Philippines. “But as fate would have it, I got into a business course and hearing my dad talk about his ongoing projects made it more interesting to me as time went by.”

Today the 41-year-old is a director and the CEO of DMWAI, handling the reins of a company founded by his grandfather in 1965. The challenges of leading an organization are never easy, but one can only imagine the pressures of steering a half-a-century year-old company, ensuring its health and profitability not just for today but for the years ahead.

 

A short history of DM Wenceslao and Associates Inc.

 

The company was founded as an engineering and construction business by Delfin M. Wenceslao in 1960 before formally incorporating it five years later. It took on mostly horizontal projects for the government until the 1980s, when his son, Delfin J. Wenceslao, expanded the business into land banking and marine construction.

In 1989, a consortium led by DMWAI took on a massive project to “create assets out of water,” or a more elegant way to refer to land reclamation. That essentially put DMWAI on the map, so to speak, leading to the company becoming the country’s biggest reclamation contractor, having reclaimed a total of 2.4 million square meters over the years.

“After several decades, we learned construction was cyclical,” Wenceslao says. “Real estate—or leasing and selling of land—was initially our strategy to smoothen out the peaks and valleys of the construction cycle activity. As real estate land prices grew exponentially starting in 2004, we realized that selling land was not a best way to maximize its value.”

It was then that the company expanded into vertical commercial development, finishing its first building in 2006. From there DMWAI quickly expanded into residential projects, as well as public spaces.

“Real estate development is much higher in the value chain of the industry versus construction,” Wenceslao says. “We are currently involved on much more complex products and projects. We’ve also shifted from being a purely B2B company to having individual customers and consumers of our projects (residential).”

Today, the company owns one of the largest land holdings in Metro Manila, with Aseana City alone measuring 569,359 square meters. (It also owns about 209,000 square meters of land outside Aseana City). The company went public in 2018.

DMWAI derives about 67 percent of its revenues from leasing, while the rest comes from the sale of condominium units and construction contracts. From the total rental revenues, about half comes from land rentals and the other half from building leases, which have 98 percent occupancy rate. Its biggest tenant is Ayala Land, which opened Ayala Malls Manila Bay in September 2019.

As for its own developments, Wenceslao says DMWAI has finished six commercial buildings and one residential condominium. The company also currently has nine buildings in its construction pipeline. That includes 8912 Asean Ave, a 15-storey two-tower office development; Parqal, which is set to open in the last quarter of 2020 and is one of the largest mixed-use and public space projects inside Aseana City, composed of nine independent four-storey buildings that will occupy two blocks of Macapagal Boulevard; and MidPark Towers, which is the second offering of Aseana Residential Holdings Corp. (ARHC), the residential arm of DMW Group.

 

A young CEO

 

A peek at the company’s board members and senior management team reveals that Wenceslao’s three brothers are also involved in the family business: Paolo Vincent is director and chief operating officer, Carlo Delfin is director and VP for logistics, and Edwin Michael is director and VP for treasury and administration. (Their mother Sylvia is also VP for corporate social responsibility, while their father is director, president and chairman on the board). What’s interesting though is that, at 41, Buds Wenceslao is the youngest of the brothers and is leading the charge as CEO.

“As early as I can remember, my dad would always involve us in his work as a general contractor,” he says. “From taking us to construction sites, to meetings and even to discuss about our personal and professional plans for the future, he’s always been involved in my and my brothers’ lives.”

After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Management Economics from Ateneo de Manila University and a Master of Science degree in Real Estate Development from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Wenceslao worked for about two years for an international real estate services and advisory company before officially joining DMWAI in 2002.

“I was basically the first employee of the real estate department,” he says. “Initially, the main task was just to lease and sell our land in Aseana City. After about two years, we decided to do our first commercial development which I handled from feasibility analysis to planning to construction to leasing.”

After having gone through nearly every aspect of the company’s business, Wenceslao’s challenge now is ensuring the execution of the company’s strategic development plan.

“Currently we are on track to build approximately 300,000 sqm gross floor area of commercial and 100,000 sqm gross floor area of residential developments,” he says.

While the pandemic has had a major impact in nearly every industry, the CEO is happy to report that, thanks to the company’s high recurring revenue streams and the prime location of its assets and projects, COVID’s effect on their business has been minimal and manageable.

“Being diversified across several industries for our tenant base has been a good portfolio management strategy,” he says. “The main challenges for all industries right now are business confidence and perception as companies are instinctively trying to preserve their capital as they wait out the pandemic. Even prior to COVID, our development strategy has been large-scale, wholistic and at a city level. We firmly believe that large, master-planned communities have an advantage in providing safe, resilient and essential urban living solutions to people.”

Indeed, the company reported a net profit of P2.130 billion in 2020, a decrease of only P243 million or 10.2 percent compared to P2.374 billion in 2019. Considering the crushing impact of COVID on many businesses, it could have been a lot worse.

 

Looking ahead

 

In the extremely competitive world of property development, Wenceslao feels the company has hit its stride and is well-equipped to go up against local giants in the industry.

“The alpha is in development,” he says. “Strategically, our growth potential is on a long-term basis as we have decades of prime landbank left to develop. In terms of execution, our 55-year track record in construction has provided us a level of competence and excellence in planning, building, operating and maintaining our projects. This is reflective in our ability to project manage and undertake key scopes—such as electrical, mechanical, interiors—of the development process.”

Ensuring the sustainability and long-term viability of a company isn’t just dependent on its strategy. A lot also hinges on the dedication and commitment of the people who run it. In DMWAI, there has been a so-called family constitution in place since 2014 that outlines the goals, concerns, rules and even dispute resolution mechanics of the family with regards to the business.

“After attending a couple of family business seminars, we saw the need for having (one) not specifically for our generation but for future generation of family members that want to enter the business,” he says. “I would advise it for all family businesses regardless of size and better to do it when there are only a few family members in the business.

“I think we’re realistic enough (to know) that not all future Wenceslaos will want to be involved in the operations and that’s fine,” he adds. “We see our generation as stewards of the business. We aim to leave the company in a better position, financially, structurally, and operationally than when it was turned over to us. To do this, we will need to find people managers with mindsets similar to owners and we must create a meritocratic system to ensure that the company continues to improve and evolve. Regardless of their last name, the main thing is to make sure that the people who work in the company are capable, motivated, and rewarded for their efforts.”

Original article appeared here. (LINK TO: https://www.esquiremag.ph/money/movers/delfin-wenceslao-profile-a00289-20210420-lfrm)

 

 

 

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