THERE was a time when the typical student dwelling was either a sardine-like residential building or a cramped fire-trap dormitory.
Then here come the condominium units, which, more or less, provided the minimum comfort and the usual service and amenities.
But with the changing lifestyles of the middle class, condo living, as we know it, has evolved with the changing taste of students and their families.
Cognizant of this new market, Torre Lorenzo Development Corp. (TLDC) forayed into premium student residences with the 1Torre Lorenzo and 2Torre Lorenzo, near the De La Salle University in Taft Avenue, Manila.
The warm reception to these projects encouraged the realty firm to put up an even more upgraded condo, the Torre Central Premium University Residences, to cater to the University Belt in Sampaloc, Manila.
Conveniently located literally a few steps away from the University of Santo Tomas (UST), the Far Eastern University and other nearby schools, the newly-turned over development is a P2.37-billion property with 86 percent of its 475 units sold.
The remaining 14 percent are retained by the company for lease to maintain its stake in the high-rise property and boost its recurring income.
“We are building upgraded residences for students, we want to make sure that it is very similar to their homes, that’s why we have university condos near schools,” Torre Lorenzo CEO Tomas Lorenzo said.
With units sized 16.55 to 37 sq m, Torre Central’s amenities include Wi-Fi-enabled cozy study lounge, meeting rooms, a function room, a roof deck basketball court, and a fitness gym and lap pool with a commanding view of the UST grounds.
Prices start at P2.7 million, the furnished rooms sport a trendy and contemporary design to complement the youthful vibe and active way of life of its occupants.
A 25-sq m unit, for instance, can comfortably host four people with its two sturdy double-decker beds, a dining area, kitchen with sink, and a separate toilet and bath.
“Walk into a Torre Lorenzo property and you will see the difference. As we listen to the communities we build for, we anticipate not just what they need today, but what they will need in the future, and we build for their future today. We turn over these upgraded units with great confidence in our product,” Lorenzo enthused.
He noted that Torre Central puts premium on 24/7 security features such as radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology, which sends SMS to parents when a student leaves and returns to his units.
The young real-estate magnate added that the firm is also eyeing the upscale, young professionals and Filipinos abroad who have placed their confidence on the hotel quality of Torre Lorenzo products.
He said that residents can expect the support of a property management team which is hands-on and responsive to their needs and concerns.
For residents’ comfort, the condos can house cafés, convenience stores and shops that provide vital services.
“Torre Central units are not only upgraded spaces for living and learning, but are also good investments. Our experience is that the demand to rent our premium university residences is regular, making them good vehicles for recurring income. What’s best is that our property management team takes the headache of maintenance and managing renters away from unit owners,”CFO Noel Rapadas said.
He noted that TLDC aims to generate a P2.4-billion sale this 2018 to strengthen its P6.2-billion student residence inventory.
Other up-market projects in the pipeline include the Torre Lorenzo Malate and 3Torre Lorenzo, both in Manila, and one at Loyola Heights in Quezon City.
Down the road, the company is looking forward to making its presence felt in key cities in the country if there is a growing market.
In addition to its student residences, TLDC is also ramping up its portfolio in the hospitality sector with the construction of four luxury hotels under the prestigious Thai brand Dusit Thani in Davao City, Compostela Valley and Lipa City.