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Freeman Cebu Business

Syntech mulls building retirement villa in Cebu

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CEBU, Philippines - Singapore-based property developer Syntech Properties, Inc. might invest on a retirement village in Cebu after it completes the P1.3 billion City Lights Gardens condominium expansion project.

“We like Cebu. But we have to be very careful on how and what to invest in. Everybody is in condominium [developments] now,” said Syntech Properties Inc., director director Janice Ngiam-Chong.

Although, Cebu has the good potential for retirement village facility, Ngiam-Chong said there are also problems that have to be addressed first, like a proper urban planning.

“Cebu does not have [sound] an urban master plan. You can’t tell what will happen to an area [in the future],” she said referring to the effective zoning and geological study on every potential site.

She said developing a retirement village is far different from a condominium development, as it demands serious support from the government in terms of providing infrastructure, accessibility, global insurance network platform, and others.

Syntech already started similar development projects in other countries like Japan and Australia. She said Cebu has very good potential for a “retirement village” facility, but there is a need the government to address some problems that hamper the development of medical tourism sector in general.

She mentioned that it is good for the Philippine government to aggressively promote the Philippines’ potential to attract medical tourists, but similar support should also be given to the investors, like providing attractive infrastructure set-up and other requirements for medical-tourism related investments like retirement village.

Syntech Properties, in partnership with the Gallego family of Cebu, is one of the pioneers in developing condominium facilities in Cebu when it started to construct the two condominium Towers in Nivel Hills in 1997.

The company already invested a total of P2.6 billion for the four condominium City Lights Gardens Condominium Towers, of which the two remaining Towers (Towers 3 and 4) will be turned-over to owners this coming June 25, 2009.

Aside from a comprehensive study, and finding out a good partner for its planned retirement village project, Ngiam-Chong said the company will also see to it that it has the full support from the government.

She said a retirement village facility is a very integrated project. Cebu has the environment for it, but infrastructure and government policies should be in place properly in order to attract investors in developing this kind of project.

So far, Cebu has yet to provide a retirement village facility, despite its fit and attractive environment as retirees’ haven.

In study released by commercial and real estate services firm, CB Richard Ellis Group, Inc, it showed that Cebu is yet to provide a proper infrastructure to capture the growing medical tourists.

In Cebu, one of the problems is the availability of retirement village facility that is duly registered by the Philippine Retirement Authority (PRA).

A legitimate retirement village, must have an integrated facility offerings situated in a huge land property, providing facilities like the basic high-end housing/villa accommodation, to golf course, commercial complex component, boutique clinic or personalized hospital/or clinic, other leisure facilities, among others. Establishment of this kind of facility involves a huge sum of investment capital. — Ehda M. Dagooc

CEBU

CITY LIGHTS GARDENS

CITY LIGHTS GARDENS CONDOMINIUM TOWERS

CONDOMINIUM

EHDA M

FACILITY

IN CEBU

JANICE NGIAM-CHONG

RETIREMENT

SYNTECH PROPERTIES

VILLAGE

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