200 hectares for investors
Consolacion town eyes more growth with more land to offer developers
What makes Consolacion, a northern Cebu town, attractive to investors? Its area and strategic location. “Consolacion, being a neighbor of Mandaue and close to Cebu (City), is a ‘natural expansion site’ for possible investors,” said Roy Soledad, head of the Cebu Investment Promotions Office (CIPO), in an interview with CEBU DAILY NEWS.
Consolacion is a first income-class municipality located some 19 kilometers north of Cebu City and is bordered on the north by Liloan and Mandaue City on the south.
Soledad also said he still sees a lot of room for growth in this northern town.
He cited two factors: the town has plenty of unused spaces left and the land prices are still not as expensive as those in the cities of Cebu or Mandaue.
Based on CIPO data, the town still has 200 hectares left of its 4,000hectare land area that can be used for industrial purposes.
One of these upcoming projects that is expected to spur more economic growth in the town is the new multibillion peso international container port project in Barangay Tayud.
The town’s population has also grown more than three times since 1990, from 41,270 during that time to 131,528 as of 2015, data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed.
Even with the presence of several medium-sized manufacturing firms, the town has been geared towards the development and operation of housing facilities to cater to the town’s growing population.
Subdivisions still dominate the property market in Consolacion, among which are Redwood, Grand Terrace, Vista de Bahia, Virtacci and condominium complex Aspen Heights.
“Consolacion is a really nice place for residential and industrial investments. The zoning is quite well done. There are residential areas, commercial areas and industrial areas,” said Maximo Ricohermoso, chairman and president of MCPI Corp., a 30-year-old seaweed-processing company based in the town.
Ricohermos said he expects Consolacion to remain a growth area especially for the residential market and for commercial activities.
CIPO chief Soledad pointed out that the town’s proximity to major cities will continue to drive industrial and commercial investments in the locality.
Residential activities, particularly subdivision expansions, will continue to be present as developers keep up with the town’s population growth.
“Many of those working in the city look for places that are peaceful or those that have the feel of a rural environment at the end of the day,” Soledad added.
He also pointed out that almost all support services are available in all of the town’s 21 barangays, including basic utilities such as water, electricity and communication.
Ricohermoso saw Consolacion’s growth firsthand, having built an office and a seaweed-processing plant in Consolacion’s Barangay Tugbongan in 1987.
He said the road was made of dirt then, but the site was good enough to build a manufacturing plant on.
“Even our road was made of dirt then, but it was quite isolated. The place was peaceful so we decided to set up shop here,” he told CEBU DAILY NEWS.
The company acquired a 10-hectare property in Barangay Tugbongan at a very cheap price, said Ricohermoso.
In the 1990s, the dirt road was finally paved during the term of former Cebu sixth district Rep. Nerissa-Soon Ruiz.
Today, MCPI is one of the country’s largest producers of carrageenan, a red seaweed extract widely used in the food industry for its gelling, thickening, and stabilizing properties.
Ricohermoso said the company has grown by up to five times in terms of production volume and employment since it began operations in Consolacion 30 years ago.
MCPI was only among the many manufacturing companies located in the town, a bulk of which was comprised of furniture makers and exporters.
The growth of commercial activity in the town has been evident in the last five years, with the opening of SM City Consolacion and CityMall.
Among those who took advantage of these developments was the Mendero family, owners of the Pagadian City Medical Center in Zamboanga del Sur.
The Mendero Medical Center (MMC), located in Barangay Pitogo, Consolacion, was opened to the public in 2014 in a bid to expand the family-run hospital business.
Dr. Samuel Mendero III, MMC medical director, said they thought the town was a good area because the town had been growing steadily and that they heard that SM was also building a mall in Consolacion.
“We also wanted for people from Consolacion or the north to no longer go to Cebu City for healthcare,” he said.
The facility started out as a 75-bed tertiary care hospital in February 2014 and has grown to 155 beds today. It also recently opened its dialysis center and now has a blood bank as well.
Mendero said they plan to continue improving the facility and its systems in order to make processes more efficient.
He said they are also planning to open another hospital somewhere on Mactan Island in the long term.
“Consolacion is really growing because development is going toward the north and south since the city is very saturated already. We’ve been hearing a lot of talks of investors who are trying to put their money in the town,” said Mendero.
SM set up a mall in Consolacion town in 2012, spurring more growth in this northern Cebu town.
Dr. Samuel Mendero III, (left), current medical director of Mendero Medical Center in Consolacion town, shares how the family decided to expand the family-run hospital business in the town.