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Large and respected Japanese companies have long known about the ever-present growth opportunities in the Philippines, which helps explains why, for example, the GT Capital group has been able to forge enviable partnerships with leading Japanese companies.
But for decades, these profitable joint ventures had been confined to the fields of manufacturing and financial services. It took a fortuitous visit seven years ago by Nomura Real Estate Development Co. Ltd., the real estate arm of the sprawling Nomura Group, to add property development to the mix.
They were not initially planning on doing so, as Nomura had then been leaning then toward investing heavily in other countries in Southeast Asia.
The Nomura officials, however, could not refuse an invitation from GT Capital Holdings’ late chairman emeritus George S.K.Ty. A bold visionary, George S.K.Ty was recognised in Japan for strengthening economic relations between the two countries.
After a sumptuous dinner with the key executives of GT Capital Holdings led by Vice Chairman Alfred V. Ty, Nomura officials noticed and felt firsthand the palpable energy emanating from BGC North.
“They looked around and saw that BGC was so progressive. They asked, what is this place? So we started explaining that this is the new development, this will be the new Manila. That was how it all started,” Ty shared.
From that fortuitous conversation was born Sunshine Fort, a joint venture forged in 2017 by Federal Land Inc, the property development arm of the Ty group of companies, Nomura Real Estate Development Co Ltd, Japan’s leader in residential developments, and Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings Ltd, the world’s foremost retail service group.
The formidable partnership aims to permanently redefine the Philippines’ skyline with the eagerly anticipated completion of the US$400-million Japanese-inspired The Seasons Residences and the country’s first MITSUKOSHI mall.
Ty, who also chairs Federal Land, said the joint venture was rushing to complete the MITSUKOSHI mall, the first in the Philippines that promises to bring the Japanese shopping culture to the Philippines, by the second half of next year.
As for The Seasons Residences, three of the four towers – all inspired by the four seasons of Japan – are already going up and will be turned over to the discerning home buyers starting 2023.
As a testament to the gravitas that the group enjoys in the hypercompetitive property development industry, the take-up of The Seasons Residences units, with cuts ranging from 49–175 square metres, has remained strong despite the overstaying pandemic that has sapped most Filipinos’ appetite for big-ticket purchases.
Aside from the enviable location within BGC’s Grand Central Park, buyers are being drawn to The Seasons Residences by its promise to bring to the country for the first time examples of the vaunted Japanese quality, efficiency design, artistry, and technology standards to the Philippines, which will be melded seamlessly with Filipino hospitality touches.
The resulting synergy will ensure the unparalleled living experience that only The Seasons Residences can provide.
Ty said the overwhelming support that the market has shown the joint venture’s maiden project in the Philippines has further strengthened the joint venture’s resolve to give back to the market their money’s worth and even more.
To do precisely that, the Nomura, Isetan Mitsukoshi, and Federal Land joint venture made sure that the design intent brings to Philippine soil a piece of Japanese condominium living with the conveniences of a Japanese themed mall, as well as the safety and comfort of urban lifestyle. That begins with ensuring that the principal architects from Japan will be with the group all the way from conception to execution, and followed through with the collaboration among Filipino consultants under the close supervision of Japanese quality inspectors.
Nomura and Federal Land are also bonded by common history of being born from a conglomerate with beginnings in the financial industry.
This means that close attention to detail, financial discipline, long-term perspective, and sense of responsibility to clients who put their trust in them are in their DNA, which extends to the group’s residential and commercial real estate developments.
It also helped that Federal Land, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary, descends from the Ty group with a long relationship with Japanese companies such as Toyota. This was born out of the late Founder George S.K.Ty’s philosophy of partnering with global giants to improve the local conglomerate’s standards and abilities.
“We pride ourselves in partnerships with foreign as well as local companies. I think the whole background of why my late father initiated these joint ventures was to enable us to think global,” Ty said, “The gains are intangible. The partnerships help the organisation operate on a higher plane.”
And the joint venture intends to move higher still, one landmark project at a time.