Rockwell Land Corporation was looking for areas outside Manila where it could introduce the Rockwell lifestyle, it looked no further than one of the Visayas’ premier cities, the acknowledged “Queen City of the South.”When
“Cebu has always been known as one of the most prosperous islands in the country with its storied heritage, breathtaking beauty, rich culture and especially hospitable people,” explains Rockwell Land vice president Davy Tan. “Cebu City has been proving its competitiveness on the global scene not only through its unique culture, but also through its outstanding economic growth.”
In late 2012, Rockwell was able to acquire a prime piece of property in Lahug district from Cebu’s Aboitiz family. The compound, sized around 3.2 hectares, included the family’s ancestral home and a factory/showroom.
By 2014, transformed into 32 Sanson by Rockwell, the new residential development charmed Cebu as it launched its first phase. A second phase was rolled out some 17 months later.
Earlier this year, Cebuanos got another taste of the Rockwell lifestyle by way of the modern fusion restaurant Kayu Kitchen+Bar. Here, patrons are transported to an elegant 1950s dwelling, the structure being the ancestral home of the Aboitizes as well as the headquarters of their furniture store Mehitabel.
Loathe to tear down the classic dwelling, Rockwell instead repurposed it by expanding the floor area and adding touches of the restaurant theme through the finishes.
Across Kayu Kitchen+Bar, meanwhile, the pool house got a new lease on life as “shabby chic” bakery Marisse Patisserie. The company also plans to transform the old Mehitabel showroom into the main clubhouse.
“32 Sanson was inspired by the relaxed Cebuano lifestyle. Elaborate garden parties, open space and tranquility were requirements in a Cebuano home that we took into consideration in conceptualizing the design for 32 Sanson. We felt that the best way to follow through with this inspiration was by retaining these structures as they add much more charm and character to 32 Sanson,” shares Tan.
Only a little over 350 units of the “charming garden development that provides an exclusive haven for those seeking the good life” are available, assuring clients of the safety and exclusivity of the community.
32 Sanson is different from the other Manila Rockwell developments in the sense that this is Rockwell’s first low- to mid-rise garden development, with 70% of the space dedicated to lush greenery and amenities, and 30% allotted for residences,” notes Tan, the concurrent head of the company’s Business Development and Cebu Projects division.“
“We really wanted to bring the Rockwell lifestyle of exclusivity, community and security to the Cebuanos, and a great consideration for design was the Cebuano culture of a relaxed and spacious home, thus coming up with 32 Sanson’s concept of low to mid-rise residences amidst lush greeneries. It is also notable how the units at 32 Sanson feel much bigger because of the three-meter high ceiling.”
However, 32 Sanson is still distinctively Rockwell, bearing Rockwell Land’s craftsmanship and attention to detail to each unit, says brand marketing associate Carmina Espeleta.
Like its Manila counterparts, 32 Sanson offers the same Rockwell promise of quality living. It has its own dedicated Property Management team to ensure safety, community and exclusivity, as well as a Leasing team to cater to the needs of investor unit owners, adds Espeleta.
Rockwell is betting big on Cebu—the country’s “second city” with its population of just under a million—such that Tan has made the city his base in 2015.
“When we were preparing in 2013, our team from Manila handled all marketing activities and efforts for 32 Sanson,” shares Tan, who joined Rockwell in 2007.
The group was boosted with the addition of Cebu-based members, who provided that local touch and who can establish relationships and communication with the market, adds Tan.
At present, the 32 Sanson by Rockwell team is composed of a mix of Manila and Cebu natives working to bring life to the Rockwell brand in Cebu.
Meanwhile, the first two buildings of 32 Sanson by Rockwell will be turned over by December this year, assuring Cebuanos of an up-close-andpersonal taste of the quality and value of living with Rockwell in time for the Christmas season.
“Reception from both locals and foreigners has been good. Most of our unit owners are locals who purchased units for end use,” notes Tan.
For now, Tan and his team are focused on the challenge of capturing a bigger chunk of the discerning Cebu market.
“If you ask a Cebuano if they’ve heard about Rockwell, you will most likely get a response saying they are familiar with Power Plant Mall. We want to break this common perception about Rockwell as a sole retail destination and introduce the Rockwell lifestyle of luxurious living to Cebuanos through the premier residence, 32 Sanson,” Tan says.