Last Christmas marked realtor Gab Perez’s first year in his bachelor’s pad. His unit at Angelica Manor in San Antonio Village, Ortigas, Pasig City, is a testament to his success as a young entrepreneur.
At 23, and just two years out of college, he already runs Green Asia Real Estate and Development.
Angelica Manor was Green Asia’s first foray into the real estate business, and the soon-to-be-launched Privato Tower is his first venture in the condotel concept.
Perez maintains the flat at Angelica Manor as a bachelor’s pad where he entertains friends, although he did use it extensively during his Masteral classes at Ateneo Rockwell. It was closer to school than the Quezon City family home. But with the Perez residence now an empty nest, he finds himself living there most of the time to keep his parents company.
“I come from a tight-knit family, and I enjoy spending time with them,” he says. His flat reflects his aesthetic philosophy: it’s clean, stark and crisp.
White makes his unit look bigger than its 69-sq-m floor area. The furniture is apt—a white modular sofa on one side and an entertainment console right in front of it. The throw pillows are covered in black, while the center tabletop is also made of black Emperador marble. The flatscreen TV and DVD player enhance the immaculate display case.
On the other side of the room, a dining table for six delineates the dining area. Everything is spic-and-span. The table has a contemporary base in white, while all the seats are upholstered in white leather. Behind it is a mirrored sliding door opening to a cozy kitchen.
The unit has three rooms. The master’s bedroom has a queen-size bed and vanity side tables. A black, upholstered panel stretches from ceiling to floor, serving as the headboard. It breaks the room’s monochromatic look. Lighting comes from the panels behind the bed and the recessed ceiling.
Two other rooms serve as Perez’s mini-gym and spare room.
The space is small and the fixtures are sleek yet basic, but then how much furniture does a gentleman really need nowadays? By keeping clutter to a minimum and utilizing mirrored panels throughout the unit, Perez is able to create a sense of space.
Angelica Manor served as his crash course in real estate development. He wore a number of hats in this endeavor: developer, contractor, purchasing officer, interior planner, and even sales and marketing head. It was a one-man affair. “My dad wanted to guide me throughout the project’s duration,” he says. “But after three construction meetings, he felt that I had gotten the hang of it and decided to give me full control to work it all out.”
He didn’t feel like his dad abandoned him in the middle of the project, though. He says they were raised that way. His dad is a civil engineer and industrialist, while his mom is a pediatrician. His siblings have their own professions.
“We grew up tending to our own affairs,” he says. “That’s why I quickly adapted to working independently.”
Perez found himself in the real estate business by accident. Learning that his parents had no immediate plan for the empty lot that the family owned, he developed his own plan for a mid-rise property. Although he did internship work for Discovery Suites and Sta. Lucia Realty, none of these stints completely prepared him for the actual nitty-gritty of the industry.
While he was not formally trained in construction, he would look at showrooms and display units to see what was in vogue in real estate design. This gave him an idea of the treatments and fixtures to use if and when he finally had his own building. The construction part of the business was what he learned on the job.
The eight-story building has 65 rooms. For a mid-rise property, it has complete amenities. It has a full-service elevator, standby generators, a function room, a management office, and round-the-clock security. If the tenants have any concerns, these issues can be immediately addressed.
Since he himself selected the fixtures, he was able to choose only the best. More important, he went green.
The exterior wall used silicon resin paint meant to be self-washing; it is also four times more expensive than the standard latex paint. “But after many months of extreme heat and monsoons, I noticed our building is really still well-preserved. The extra cost paid off,” he says.
He also had the stairwell designed in such a way that it isn’t claustrophobic or stuffy. “The stairs were designed to have air vents at the sides for proper cross-ventilation,” he adds.
All the materials were handpicked for quality and durability. All main doors of the units are made of hardwood for security and better noise insulation. Instead of the usual wood parquet flooring, all rooms use porcelain tiles that last much longer, compared to ceramic ones.
“I chose each and every item you see in this building,” he adds. All the lessons he learned at Angelica Manor, he’s putting to good use at Privato Tower, the latest development of Green Asia Real Estate. This 25-story, 200-room premium tower is following a new investment model that yields owners quarterly profit dividends. More than just unit owners, they also become shareholders of the hotel. Each unit comes with an actual Condominium Certificate Title to guarantee full ownership of the property.
Moreover, that also automatically gives you your corresponding hotel share. Whether your unit gets physically occupied or not, you will still get your share from the hotel’s total revenue. “It’s a risk-free alternative to putting your money in other investment instruments,” says Perez. “In Privato Tower, your money can earn much more while at the same time, you get to increase and maintain your assets without lifting a finger.”
While unit owners cannot use the property like typical residential condos—it is actually a hotel—they are entitled to “personal accommodations,” which give them free nights of stay.
The building is designed by the multi-awarded architect Carmelo T. Casas, while London-trained architect Juan Carlo Calma is designing the interiors. Perez believes this team raises the bar in hotel developments in the country.
The entire building is green or environment-friendly. It has solar-powered air-conditioning units, energy-saving LED lights, and its own water-treatment plant. All materials are eco-certified, lowering the development’s overall carbon footprint. It also has a rooftop garden and a pool that cools the building’s interior temperature.
Just like how he constructed Angelica Manor, Gab Perez says he will be equally hands-on in the rise of Privato Tower. Being his brainchild, the building and every step of its construction is close to his heart. “I won’t get tired of personally choosing material and overseeing each stage just to make sure that the project reflects my own high standard of quality,” he adds.
Not bad for a 23-year-old who is CEO and president of his own company. “That’s just a title that I don’t allow to get to my head,” Perez says. “In the end, what really matters is how hard you work and how passionate you are to turn your vision into a concrete reality.”
Read more about Gab Perez’s personal space in the latest issue of Cocoon Magazine, now available at selected magazine outlets nationwide.
For details on Green Asia Real Estate’s developments, call 4776888 and 0917-823-ASIA (2742). Visit Privato Tower’s website, www.privato.com.ph.