Bonifacio Global City, Taguig—Point Blue, Inc., an up and coming builder of integrated microstudio ‘living spaces’ in the Philippines, recently launched Ricarte BGC, a six-story building that offers 100 units for rent within walking distance of Bonifacio Global City, and a 10-minute ride to the Makati Central Business District.
JR Yujuico, CEO of Point Blue, Inc., said his development, located along General Ricarte Street in the South Cembo district of Makati City, meets the growing demand of young professionals looking for affordable living spaces near their workplace, without sacrificing privacy, style, and convenience.
“Developments like these target mostly young professionals making, say, P50k per month…people who tend to spend 20 of their income in rental costs,” Yujuico told the Manila Standard. He acknowledged that the spectrum of his clients tend to get a wider with students, professionals and even some transient tourists thrown in, who grab short-term leases (usually six months to a year) on his microstudio units.
“We screen our prospective tenants strictly to ensure we get the right mix, or balance of clients,” he pointed out.
“We were overwhelmed and encouraged by the positive response of the market to our first building, Bonifacio Point, that is why we are ramping up construction of our other projects within the vicinity of the Makati and Taguig CBD’s,” he said. “The same design, accessibility, high-speed internet connection and excellent service await residents of Ricarte BGC.”
For P10,500 to P12,800 all-in rental per month residents get a microstudio unit that is fully-furnished with a 6-inch mattress, blinds, underbed and hanging storage, cabinet, airconditioner, microwave oven, kitchenette with sink, chair and table, toilet, bidet shower with heater, and access to high-speed internet connection, similar to those used by BPO companies to minimize downtime.
All microstudios are adequately ventilated and include soundproofing to give residents peace and privacy. Rental prices are dependent on the floor location and the size of the unit which is around 11 sqm.
“For our projects, we usually roll out a P40 to P50 million capex,” Yujuico said. “But we’re able to break even pretty quickly just with 30 percent occupancy.”
The young entrepreneur said he was inspired to embark on microstudio living spaces when he was a student in New York, and lived in small brownstone apartments in the city which were affordable to transients like him. “I believed my business model would work here in the Philippines what with more people entering the workforce, the rapid urbanization and booming population growth in the country. Meanwhile, everybody is downsizing in terms of living accommodations—no more than 300 square meters,” he explained.
How does he keep costs down, and manageable? “Property management is done in-house to ensure service excellence,” he said. “Residents will also feel very safe living in Ricarte BGC with the biometric door access and 32 high-definition surveillance cameras keeping a watchful eye on all common areas,” he added.
Looking forward, Yujuico plans to build three more developments in the city, while monitoring the local real estate scene closely. “Our biggest concern is land prices. For now, P30K per square meters is ideal for us to plan construction. But I look forward to the challenge of negotiating unexpected movements in the business, and planning accordingly,” he told the Manila Standard.
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