Foreigners invest $25M in Boracay hotel

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Le Cruz & Max V De Leon

Business Mirror

25 January 2013

http://businessmirror.com.ph/index.php/news/top-news/8245-foreigners-invest-25m-in-boracay-hotel

A group of Russian and Italian businessmen are investing $25 million for the construction of the first branded five-star resort residence in Boracay.

The project, called the Aqua Boracay by yoo, is due for completion in December 2015, although some rental operations can begin as early as June 2014, according to Aqua Boracay Chairman Marco Biggiogero.

In just a month after its pre-selling phase opened, the project already sold about 50 percent of the 134 luxury apartments that are set to be constructed at a 16,000-square-meter lush tropical rain forest at Boracay’s Bulabog Beach.

“We have a mixed profile of buyers, and only 20 percent of them are Filipinos, which is a good sign of international interest for the project. The price range is P11 million to P15 million for one-bedroom units, and P11 million to P15 million for the two-bedroom apartments,” Biggiogero told the  BusinessMirror at the sidelines of the CBRE Philippines briefing on the country’s real-estate market at the Shangri-La Makati Hotel.

Biggiogero said this is already the fourth project of the group in Boracay after the Paradise Garden Hotel, 7Stones Boracay Suites and a private villa built for a Russian client.

He said Boracay is a logical place to invest in because it does not have an off-season yearlong, which in other countries, beach resorts only enjoy peak seasons of three months.

“This is the first world-class residential project in Boracay that is also backed up by a five-star operator,” he said.

Aqua Boracay by yoo is also the first resort-residence designed by the London-based yoo Design Studio, co-founded by designer Philippe Starck and international property developer John Hitchcox, in the Philippines.

Biggiogero said owners of the units can opt to have their residences rented when they are not using them. The team of Biggiogero, who now lives in Boracay, will manage the rental operation in behalf of the owners.

Liz Silvestre, CBRE Philippines associate director for investments and capital markets, said Boracay is the Philippines best bet for the “resorts luxury barefoot” trend that is now becoming the niche that is being exploited by several tourist destinations.

This, she said, is because aside from its natural beauty, Boracay is also easily accessed as it has its own airports for regional and domestic flights, which is a top consideration for tourists that are looking for destinations to visit.

Biggiogero said the $25-million investment covers both the cost of the land and development.

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