“Stonewell Acacia Homes is our very first residential development that sits on a 5.8-hectare property located in Sto. Tomas, Batangas,” says Sales head Casey San Luis. “Our entry into the affordable housing segment, particularly in Southern Luzon, expands our market reach in provincial areas and establishes our brand presence.
Launched in 2015, Stonewell Acacia Homes is also Rockwell’s way of helping whittle the housing backlog, which is projected to top 12 million by 2030. As much as 60% of the Philippines’ housing needs is in the economic and socialized housing segments.
Batas Pambansa 220 defines economic and socialized housing as “housing units which are within the affordability level of the average and low-income earners which are thirty percent (30%) of the gross family income as determined by the National Economic and Development Authority from time to time."
“With recent industry reports indicating housing backlog in this segment and expected to continuously persist in the coming years, we envision ourselves to become an eventual major player that defies the norm in this type of residential development,” states engineer Elmer de Leon of the new community.
The Stonewell Acacia Homes construction head observes that the target market and location are literally new territory to them, necessitating the formation of a team that would handle the business operations such as sales, construction and documentation.
“We started building networks within the locality and forged partnerships with brokerage firms at the onset of project development,” De Leon says.
Stonewell Acacia Homes’ 752 units are a mix of socialized housing (75%) and economic housing (25%).
According to De Leon, socialized housing units have a regulated selling price of P450,000, excluding miscellaneous expenses, while economic housing units are in the P451,000 to P1.7 million price range.
Stonewell Acacia Homes offers 22-square meter rowhouses, which come in two types. Inside units sit on 40-square meter lots, while end units have lot areas ranging from 55 square meters to 90 square meters. Some end units have been expanded to 28 square meters, giving the owners more living and open spaces.
The duplex, with its lot area that ranges from 60 square meters to 100 square meters, is the biggest and most expensive among the three types of Stonewell Acacia Homes units.
With their high ceilings, duplexes may be converted into loft-style pads; their location along the main entrance road and in front of the park further boosts the duplexes’ premium feel, Sales head San Luis adds.
The personal Rockwell touch
Stonewell Acacia Homes, like Rockwell, sells more than just dwellings—it offers an experience.
“Once our unit owners move into their new homes, they become part of a Rockwell community. From master-planning to actual project development, we make sure that we capture the key elements that our target market looks for—a decent, safe residence in a well-thought-out community within the prices that they can conveniently afford,” San Luis notes.
It may come with a more affordable price tag, but Stonewell Acacia Homes still bears the personal Rockwell touch. It can be seen in the wider road network, lush landscaped areas, amenities such as a clubhouse, basketball court and children’s playground, and thoughtfully planned community events.
The developers also made sure the houses face spacious arterial roads instead of alleys. “This provides a totally different feel within the Stonewell community compared to other socialized housing projects,” San Luis affirms.
“It involved careful planning and study to identify which areas we can explore for our affordable housing business and Calabarzon [Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon] seemed to be the most ideal location,” recalls De Leon of locating in south Luzon.
Calabarzon is said to account for a significant chunk of the country’s housing backlog, being the Philippines’ most populous region. It is also the second most densely populated area in the Philippines after Metro Manila.
“First Philippine Industrial Park is currently operating in Sto. Tomas, Batangas, with a working population of close to 50,000 [back then], and it might be best for us to tap this captured market,” De Leon notes. Stonewell Acacia Homes’ clientele also includes employees from industrial parks in adjoining cities. Cavite and Batangas alone host 21 industrial parks, according to the Oxford Business Group in its The Report: Philippines 2016.
Gateway to Batangas
Meanwhile, Sto. Tomas serves as Batangas’ link to Laguna. For visitors from Metro Manila, the municipality serves as the gateway to the province.
According to De Leon, a third of the total number of units in Acacia Homes has been completed thus far. Almost 100 families have already settled into their new homes and, without a doubt, looking forward to more of the Rockwell and Stonewell personal touch.
“We are now in the stage of jump-starting the community as we welcome more unit owners to move into their new homes and celebrate their first Christmas or New Year in Stonewell Acacia Homes,” San Luis shares.
Full completion of Stonewell Acacia Homes is slated for the last quarter of 2019 yet, but the team is already looking to redefine the horizontal residential landscape under the affordable housing segment in Batangas.
Expanding its footprint
“We won’t stop with one residential development. We are looking into expanding our footprint in Batangas and making an even bigger Rockwell community,” San Luis states.
In fact, the team is set to launch a follow-up project very soon, this time in neighboring Lipa City.
“This is going to be a mixeduse community that sits on a 38-hectare property with initial product offerings of premium open lots and house and lots. You will definitely hear more of this in the coming weeks,” San Luis promises.
“We’re very excited to plan for it,” De Leon says of the new project. “With Stonewell Acacia Homes starting to take shape as our first Stonewell community, it has only inspired us to make it even bigger within Batangas.”