The world’s oldest Chinatown is located at the center of Manila –Binondo. Established in the 16th century by Spanish officials, it became home to a number of Chinese tradesmen and has since become Manila’s oldest bastion of mercantilism. Horse-drawn carriages or kalesas run side by side luxury vehicles in its narrow, winding streets; while hole-in-the-wall eateries and fruit stalls are set beside jewelry stores and financial institutions– demonstrating the bustling economy and affluent community residing in this cultural, historic city.
Its rich heritage, dynamic industry and high demand for space has made Binondo a prime real estate location, and fast-growing property developer Anchor Land Holdings has directly contributed to its stature by building high-end residences in the area. Recognizing the demand for these as early as 2004, Anchor Land established a foothold in Binondo, sparking the process of rebirth that established it as the premium enclave it deserves to be.
“The biggest real estate players at the time were focusing on the Makati Central Business District area, and residential developments in Chinatown were more on low-rise and mid-rise apartments owned by individual or small-scale companies,” said Anchor Land Holdings CEO Steve Li.
At the time, many Filipino-Chinese business owners were combining their residence with their place of business or warehouse. Similarly, there were a number of immigrants from Mainland China who were seeking business opportunities in the country, and preferred to stay in Chinatown to avoid the language barrier. “As the businesses of this market thrived, the demand for high quality housing and luxury condos also grew, and we saw the need to bring the Makati-style of luxury living to residents of Chinatown,”added Li.
Having seen the opportunity, the company introduced its first project – the 33-storey residential development Lee Tower. Aside from offering residents the advantage of living near their businesses, it also provided unique and luxurious amenities and facilities, which were previously considered rarities in the residential building landscape of Binondo. “Chinatown residents had to move from home to experience the comforts of a luxurious lifestyle, for instance, they had to travel to a recreational facility or to a gym. But with the Lee Tower, which was complete with amenities, it already provided them with convenience and exclusivity,” said Li. “This also helped transform the lifestyle of these Chinese businessmen as they began to separate work from home, allowing them to live with true comfort and luxury.”
Anchor Land improved the lifestyle of Binondo’s residents in a way that cannot be matched by any other institution in the area. Soon after, not only were buyers admiring the amenities and lifestyle that the projects offered, they were also drawn to Anchor Land’s stellar reputation. Customers recognized the value of the Anchor Land brand and what it represented, and did not hesitate to entrust the company to build their future home.
Since the Lee Tower, Anchor Land has continued to strengthen its mark in Chinatown with several developments that continuously contribute to the transformation of Binondo. Among these are Mandarin Square and Wharton Parksuites, which have well-designed facades that have become landmarks in the area as it changed the skyline of Chinatown. Also, these are modern, high-rise luxury condos in strategic locations offering clubhouse amenities and units tailor-fit for Filipino-Chinese families.
“The units we offer are adjusted based on the discriminating tastes of the Filipino-Chinese community. For instance, they are very conscious about the utilization of space and prefer units with rectangular partitions. More importantly, they are very family-oriented and prefer spacious units that would allow two generations to live together,” said Li.
Binondo promises more growth as the market continues to expand. “We still see a very strong demand in Binondo area. 60 percent of Anchor Land’s clientele are from the Filipino-Chinese community, and we expect the demand to grow stronger as more Chinese from the Mainland come to the Philippines to put up and manage their own businesses. As a company deeply rooted in Binondo, we will definitely continue to invest and strengthen Anchor Land’s presence in the area and take part in the ever-evolving real estate landscape of Chinatown,” said Li.
Anchor Land has several ongoing projects in the area, including its flagship project Anchor Skysuites. Standing at 56-storeys, it will be the highest residential structure in all Chinatowns around the world. Other projects that are under construction are Princeview Parksuites and Oxford Parksuites, a learning-focused development located along the Chinese school belt in Binondo.
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