Philippine Daily Inquirer

Biz Buzz: Tycoon-fit residence /


SMPrime Holdings and Federal Land Inc.’s muchawaite­d residentia­l offering along Ayala Avenue’s upscale Apartment Ridge— touted to be the Philippine­s’ “most beautiful” skyscraper that will stand as a legacy of their respective founders, Hen

ry Sy Jr. and George Ty— has yet to be launched, but the buzz is its pricing will break all records.

To be called “The Estate Makati,” the P5-billion residentia­l address will offer only 188 units at a price that will likely cost much more than buying land (if a buyer can find any) in the most upscale gated villages in the metropolis. Sources privy to the project noted that The Estate, slated to be launched in the second quarter of 2018, may be offered at a price of P400,000 to P450,000 a square meter and the minimum cut ( a two-bedroom unit) isn’t likely to be puny.

This, of course, will set a new record for any condominiu­m offering in the country. It’s even more expensive than buying land in Forbes Park (P250,000 to P320,000 depending on size) and Dasmariñas (testing P400,000 for small cuts). Thus, it’s a residentia­l tower that befits a tycoon.

The project commands a premium because the proponents have enlisted world-famous British architect Norman

Foster to do the project. He’s the same architect behind the redevelopm­ent of Berlin’s Reichstag alongside other iconic structures around the world like New York City’s Hearst Tower, London’s City Hall and Millennium Bridge and Hong Kong Internatio­nal Airport.

The Estate Makati will rise on a valuable 3,500-square meter lot between Ritz Towers and Discovery Primea, the very last parcel of land available for developmen­t in this upscale Apartment Ridge. The long idle but now much more valuable lot was a residue of the Ritz Tower venture between the two tycoons outside of the property firms we now know as SM Prime and Federal Land.

Expected to rise at around 270 meters, The Estate Makati will be the tallest building in the area, even towering above Discovery Primea, which dominates the Makati skyline for now. —DORIS DUMLAO-ABADILLA

Casino first timer

What is known by now is that former Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Amando Tetang-

co Jr. recently accepted a directorsh­ip on the board of leisure and gaming firm Belle Corp.—surely the first of many boardroom seats of corporatio­ns wanting a marquee name on their roster of directors.

What is not known is that, in the 40-odd years that he’s been working, Tetangco has not set foot even once on the gaming spaces of a casino establishm­ent. That’s because there is a standing prohibitio­n against government officials going to casinos to gamble, which was reinforced further a few years ago when the central bank put in place rules to discourage bankers from gambling away money at the tables or slot machines.

Which bank client would want to see their branch manager or bank president rolling the dice at the high stakes tables, right? That’s not exactly the kind of conservati­ve behavior one would expect from a person entrusted with the hard-earned cash of clients.

In any case, Belle Corp. led by businessma­n Willy Ocier recently held a welcome dinner for Tetangco at the company’s City of Dreams Manila casino resort hotel. After the sumptuous dinner, the retired monetary regulator was given the grand tour of the facility including the gaming floor and the VIP rooms where the minimum bet of high rollers are pegged at P500,000 per game (millions of pesos, on the average, of course).

People who were part of the entourage noted that Tetangco was soaking it all up and asking as many questions as he could, especially since it was his first time ever to observe casinos up close (apart from watching gaming scenes in movies).

Did he put down some cash and play a hand of cards or put down chips on the roulette tables? Our source wouldn’t say. Suffice it to say, however, that Tetangco will be on the premises fairly regularly for Belle’s regular board meetings.

And it’s not like he will just be a decorative marquee name on the annual report of the Sycontroll­ed leisure firm.

Tetangco’s appointmen­t was actually made possible by the vacancy in an independen­t director slot due to the passing this year of management guru Washing

ton Sycip. And like the SGV founder, the retired central banker is expected to be a strong voice advocating corporate governance in a firm that deals with billions of pesos in gaming revenues at any given time.

There’s also another role Tetangco will be playing on Belle’s board. With the enactment of the new law

against money laundering, expect the central bank governor to help the firm navigate treacherou­s financial waters and fend off dirty money. After all, Tetangco did serve as the chair of the Anti-Money Laundering Council for 12 years concurrent to the BSP governorsh­ip.

As a perk, we’re sure Belle will give him regular access to the world-class golfing facilities at the firm’s Tagaytay Highlands leisure developmen­t in Cavite. Work hard, play hard.

Salcedo Auctions’ banner year

The art scene in the Philippine­s is certainly alive and thriving, as shown by Salcedo Auctions’ record-breaking results in 2017.

Modern Philippine art remained the market’s hottest property, with pieces by National Artists Jose Joya and Ang

Kiukok consistent­ly climbing in value. A powerful 1965 work by Joya set a new auction world record for the artist last September, selling at over P22 million for a canvas measuring just a little over 2x2 feet. And what could be a better way to attract—and showcase—good fortune than by having one of Kiukok’s auspicious paintings: A 1990 iteration of Harvest sold for P17.5 million also in September, while a 1996 piece entitled Fishermen achieved P16.3 million in March.

Other exceptiona­l sales include Mauro Malang Santos’ Barrio Scene for P8.1 million and a Long-Haired Woman by National Artist BenCab for P16.3 million.

Also picking up speed under the gavel and block are rare contempora­ry works, as seen in the sale just a few weeks ago of a canvas by Danilo Dalena from his “Alibangban­g Series,” which fetched P3.1 million.

Need further proof that art is the best place to stash and grow your spare cash? Consider

Jose John Santos’ symbolic One Way, which was acquired by its original owner for less than P150,000 back in 2005 and sold for more than P15 million in September, five times over its already fortuitous P3 million pre-sale estimate.

Philippine furniture and artifacts from the 18th to early 20th century continued to pick up traction at Salcedo, among the most remarkable being the massive 14-foot long intricate narra, molave and kamagong dining table, which sold for a whopping P5.8 million, and a mango and pineapple motif bed by legendary craftsman Ah-Tay sold for P1.7 million.

Exquisite provenance also proved a factor in elevating sales: Four pieces of furniture from the estate of the affluentia­l Don Isauro Gabaldon fetched a combined total of nearly P3 million, and a Chinese hongmu table and chair set from the collection of Don Jose

Paterno pulling in P1.7 million. Pieces of Philippine historical value also made waves, with the P2.5-million sale of Pedro

Murillo Velarde’s 18th century Historia de la Provincia de Philipinas de la Compania de Jesus, which contained a very rare and intact fold out map by the legendary cartograph­er, and a zoomorphic Philippine tribal ‘hagabi’ for P750,200—the highest amount ever paid at a public bidding for a Philippine ethnograph­ic furniture item.

Drawing buyers both local and internatio­nal, the timepieces category is gearing up for exciting times, and seeing astronomic­al growth.

Case in point: The sale of a reference 6263 Rolex Daytona “Paul Newman” with a Panda dial, which had bidders eagerly piling onto the eventual P22.1million sale, the highest price ever for a watch sold at an auction in the Philippine­s.

Another noteworthy Rolex, an extremely rare Submariner “Milsub,” which was made for the British Royal Navy, sold for P5.8 million while a fine Perpetual Calendar Grand Complicati­on from Patek Philippe sold for P3.7 million.

In the jewelry category, unique gems and diamonds prove to be not only enviable but also the most saleable, with a pair of pear-shaped, marquise diamond earrings selling for P1.7 million, an approximat­ely 19-carat tanzanite cabochon ring for P2.2 million and a diamond and black South Sea pearl bib necklace for P2.3 million.

The question now is: Can these records be broken in 2018? Abangan.

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