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In Baguio, garden condos set to rise

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines—Whenever old-timers here get wind of a new property project in the city, they raise an alarm to prevent trees from being sacrificed in the name of development.

But a homegrown real estate company is sensitive enough to incorporate the “old Baguio” charm in its condominium project here.

The Courtyards is the first garden condominium to rise in the summer capital, said Alexander Bangsoy, president and chief executive officer of Goshen Land Capital Inc.

“We believe that it is possible to develop a property … without cutting any trees,” Bangsoy said. “What we did was to enhance the environment. We were the ones who adjusted to [the given environment] when we did the master plan [for the project].”

He said 40 percent of the project site would be used for the actual structure to preserve the area’s natural environment. He said his firm was eyeing more space where it could plant additional 1,000 pine trees.

“What we are doing is to instill Baguio pride in terms of master plan developing. The project is being undertaken by local developers who can rival big developers in Metro Manila. One of our missions is to be globally competitive,” he said.

According to Bangsoy, Goshen Land offers affordable but

quality real estate, which will cater to the middle class. A basic studio unit (20 square meters) costs P1.3 million; a one-bedroom unit (28 sq.m.), P1.8 million; and a two-bedroom unit (36 sq.m.), P2.3 million.

Units categorized under standard and premium may cost P1.4 million to P2.6 million, depending on the size of the area and the number of bedrooms.

The Courtyards, Bangsoy said, offers the old Baguio charm with country club amenities. It has an American country home inspired design and will rise on a 1.85-hectare property in Ambiong, Barangay Aurora Hill here.

He said 11,110 square meters, or 60 percent of the gross land area

, would be allotted to open spaces, while the firm would only sell about 7,407 square meters.

The Courtyards’ development, he said, would be divided into three phases: The Cabins, The Manors and The Lodges, which would be completed in 2012.

The Courtyards’ attraction is its natural surroundings, Bangsoy said.

Among its amenities are: a beaver dam that will be built on a brook that crosses the property; a boardwalk and a bridge for residents and visitors will be built over the brook that could serve as a fishing nook; a picnic grove, a barbecue and bonfire area; a strawberry garden and an organic garden for Baguio vegetables; and a waterfall carved out of a hilly portion of the property.

The Courtyards will also offer a garden wedding area,a village bakery and coffee shop, spa, beauty center and a gym.

By Desiree Caluza

Philippine Daily Inquirer

First Posted 04:07:00 01/18/2009


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