Philippine Daily Inquirer – 15 October 2005.

New Model Units at the Shang Grand Tower in Makati

New model units designed and furnished by Imperial Furnishings and Butaka are now available at The Shang Grand Tower on Dela Rosa corner Perea Street, Legazpi Village in Makati City.

The 250-unit, 46-story The Shang Grand Tower, the first self-funded residential condominium of Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts’ Kuok Group in the country will be completed, per schedule, during the latter part of this year.

The project site is currently bustling with activities including extensive operations training facilitated by Makati Shangri-La Hotel for the building management team and fitting out plans of the individual unit owners.

Following its public launch in September 2003 up to now, only an estimated 16-percent of the 250-units of this high-end residential condominium are left for sale.

For more information, please call 811-1819 • 811-0556 or visit

Imperial - Imperial House of Furniture designed the interiors of this typical two-bedroom unit.

Butaka – Living and dining areas of a typical two-bedroom unit designed by Butaka.

July 29, 2005: Philippine Star.

The Shang Grand Tower draws crowd at the CREBA Expo – One of the main attractions at the ongoing CREBA Expo at the World Trade Center is the Shang Grand Tower (TSGT) booth. The contemporary design of the booth is a collaboration between TSGT and Imperial House of Furniture and Pietro Collection, both with stores at the Shangri-La Plaza. The Kuok Group’s 250-unit The Shang Grand Tower in Legaspi Village, Makati is scheduled for completion in the latter part of 2005..

July 22, 2005: Philippine Star.

A new Shangri-La rises

With its completion at the latter part of 2005, the 250-unit self funded The Shang Grand Tower of Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts’ Kuok Group is set to become another prestigious landmark in Makati.

This upscale residential condominium project, the Kuok Group’s first in the country, will redefine luxury, elegance and comfort for its residents and will certainly re-shape the Makati skyline.
Backed up by such extensive industry experience and expertise, The Shang Grand Tower is expected to create major real estate waves. In the true tradition of Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, The Shang Grand Tower will be a Manhattan-type skyscraper standing tall in Makati’s central business district, reflecting a soothing mauve hue, verdant tints glinting bright sunny rays like a diamond in the polish.

This 46-storey gem located at the compact corner of a triangle bound by Dela Rosa, Perea, and Nieva Streets in the heart of Legaspi Village is just a few minutes walk from Glorietta and Greenbelt malls, the Enterprise Center, and other major business establishments and Makati Shangri-La Hotel.

The Shang Grand Tower will have two separate elegant lobbies, serving each of the two zones in the building. Each lobby will be serviced by three high-speed elevators for the comfort and privacy of the residents.

The low zone, composed of one and two-bedroom units, is located from the sixth to the twenty-sixth floors/ The high zone has the following residences: one and two bedroom units from the 27th to the 30th floors; three-bedroom units from the 31st to the 42nd floors; special two and three bedroom units on the 43rd and 44th floors; and two Grand Penthouses occupy the 45th and 46th floors.

Just below the 6th floor is the Amenities Floor, which effectively shields the rest of the higher floors. Likewise, it is a haven for residents, a comfort zone where they can relax and unwind in the state-of-the-art gym and fitness centers, multi-purpose rooms, tropical garden and pool (one for adults and another one for children), a kiddie play area, and other luxurious features.

Parking space is aplenty in four levels at the basement and three levels at the podium. Each one-bedroom unit comes with one car parking space, while two slots are allotted for the two and three bedroom units. More car parking spaces can be purchased as necessary, and visitors are also allowed their own parking areas.

In preparation for its forthcoming completion and turnover to the unit owners, The Shang Grand Tower’s building management team is now in the midst of an extensive training program in the various operations departments (front office, housekeeping, engineering etc.) of Makati Shangri-La Hotel.

For a chance to own a unit at the Shang Grand Tower, a paradise in the heart of Makati, please visit the model units at 4th Street corner Rizal Avenue in Bonifacio Global City, or call 811-1819, 811-0556 or 811-0557. Or email shanggrandtower& or visit

July 3, 2005: Philippine Star.

The Shang Grand Tower’s condo living, condo cooking… a la Shangri-La

Soon to be Makati’s premier residential address, The Shang Grand Tower recently hosted a luncheon to give media friends a sampling of condo living, condo cooking… a la Shangri-La. Featured were the culinary delights of Chef Reggie Aspiras who collaborated with Makati Shangri-La’s Gene Del Prado, Executive Sous Chef. The Shang Grand Tower located on Dela Rosa corner Perea Street in Legaspi Village will be completed in the latter part of 2005.

March 17, 2005: Manila Bulletin.

Shang Grand Tower tops off

A ceremonial champagne toast led by Tom Zita Jr., president & chairman of the board of The Shang Grand Tower Corporation, Dave Balangue and Mila Garcia of SGV and Centrum Condominium Corporation, respectively and executives of EDSA Properties Holdings, Inc (EPHI) marked the official topping off of the 250-unit The Shang Grand Tower in Legaspi Village.

Due for completion in late 2005, the 46-storey residential luxury condominium will have two zones, the low and high zones and two lobbies. There will be one, two and three-bedroom units and a whole floor of amenities which will include a children’s play area, separate adult and kiddie swimming pools, a Jacuzzi, sundeck, landscaped garden with water feature, locker rooms, steam bath, function room and a multi-purpose hall.

Residents can also enjoy linked services such as seven-day laundry and dry cleaning, limousine service, outside catering from Makati Shangri-La Hotel.

The Shang Grand Tower is a self-funded residential property development project of Kuok Group, one of Asia’s most diversified and dynamic multinational conglomerates.

In real estate, the company is known for owning and managing properties in the Asia-Pacific region composed of luxury hotels, beach resorts, and business hotel, most notable of which is the Shangri-La Hotels Resorts which consist of over 40 properties.

The group’s extensive property assets are found in Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, the Philippines and China.

Construction of the group’s second self-funded residential condominium project, the 60-storey The St. Francis luxury residences at the Shangri-La Plaza Complex in Mandaluyong City was officially marked with a groundbreaking recently.

For more information, visit the showroom at the 4th Ave. cor. Rizal Drive, Fort Bonifacio or visit

March 13, 2004: Philippine Star.

Shang Grand Tower continues to rise in the heart of Makati

The Shang Grand Tower, the Kuok Group’s latest property development in the Philippines, continues to rise at the strategic corners of Dela Rosa, Perea and Nieva Streets in Legaspi Village, Makati City.

Work is currently at the 17th Floor, with construction paced at one floor per week.

The building is well on its way to meet its completion schedule in January 2005, and will be ready for full occupancy by end of that year.

The 46-story posh residential condominium is truly another landmark addition to Makati’s cutting-edge skyline. The design of The Shang Grand Tower is a collaboration between Hong Kong-based Palmer and Turner and renowned Filipinos Recio & Casas Architects.

Award-winning international landscape consultants Belt Collins was responsible for its outdoor panoramic designs, while “designers to the hotel and resort industry,” Hospitality and Leisure Asia set the tone for its general interiors. Its 250 units are spacious and airy and particularly suited to the most discriminating and luxurious tastes.

For a tour of the model units, visit The Shang Grand Tower sales office at 4th Avenue corner Rizal Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, or call 811-1819 and 811-0556, or e-mail

March 13, 2004: Philippine Star.

The Shang Grand Tower: Luxury’s new address

Everything’s abuzz in the heart of Legaspi Village in Makati City. Currently under construction and rising over the business district’s landscape is The Shang Grand Tower, the latest property development project of the world renowned Kuok Group.

One of Asia’s most diversified and dynamic multinational conglomerates, The Kuok Group’s enterprises began in 1949 as Kuok Brothers Limited in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. From trading rice, sugar, and wheat flour, the groups has since expanded its operations to include interests in shipping and transportation, food industries, manufacturing, leisure and recreation, real estate, and media. The group also owns and manages properties throughout the Asia-Pacific region, composed of luxury hotels, beach resorts and business hotels, most notable of which is the award-winning Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts. Their extensive property assets are found in Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, the Philippines, China and Canada.

Incorporated in Bermuda in January 1996 and listed on the stock exchange of Hong Kong Limited in August of the same year, Kerry Properties Limited (KPL) was formed to hold the Hong Kong and Mainland China property investments and developments and infrastructure interests of the Kuok Group. Kerry Properties Limited is renowned for its impressive luxury residential properties in Hong Kong’s Mid-Levels area, and is the largest warehouse owner and operator in Hong Kong. It has a large and well-balanced portfolio comprising a solid mix of residential, commercial, warehouse and mixed-use properties, as well as strategic interests in a number of infrastructure projects.

February 14, 2004: Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Home, five-star home

Imagine not having to get into your car and endure the horrendous Metro Manila traffic every single day.

IMAGINE home in a 46-storey Manhattan-type building in the heart of Makati.

Imagine it standing out in a sea of staidly “corporate” buildings around it. Imagine home’s green-tinted glass sometimes catching your gaze as the sun’s rays sweep their expanse. Imagine mauve-or purple-in the exterior of your home, as elegant and perhaps as royal as only the Shangri-La properties of the world and their builders can pull it off. Imagine your home feng shui-ed as feng shui should be carried out.

Imagine your favorite mall, banks, hotels, office buildings within walking distance. Imagine not having to get into your car and endure the horrendous Metro manila traffic every single day.

If these imaginings bring a smile to your face, then you should be one of the 250 or so happy owners of a unit at The Shang Grand Tower, the Kuok Group Philippines’ first venture into high-end residential condominium development in the country.

Tomas C. Zita Jr., a Filipino-American who is country head of Kuok Group Philippines, is confident that the time has come for a project such as The Shang Grand Tower in the Philippine landscape.

Much brighter-side

Where pessimists see only political uncertainties in the run-up to the national elections, where they see only the pummeling of the pesos, where they see only the government’s huge budget deficit, Zita fortunately for the country, sees the much brighter side.

The May elections should clear the air of political uncertainties, he believes. The weakening of the peso is actually good for those who have the dollars with which to buy units in The Shang Grand Tower, for one. “There are a lot of opportunities in the Philippines,” he says.

He notes that the real estate market has fluctuated quite a lot from the mid-90s and that, along with it, prices have dropped so that high-end condo units today go for about P80,000 per sq.m. where they used to cost P100,000 per sq.m. or more.

Also, in deference to cost-effective maintenance needs, unit sizes range from 80 sq.m. to 275 sq.m. for the one bedroom to three bedroom units. There are more manageable than those of other high-end residential condos, where large lobbies and overly large unit sizes command unreasonably high association dues.

Easier to secure

Need for security in one’s home is definitely a plus factor for The Shang Grand Tower. Zita points out that it is easier to secure a building than a house and lot. Moreover, because of The Shang Grand Tower’s tie-up with its sister, the Makati Shangri-La Hotel, unit owners will enjoy post hotel services such as “a concierge who makes sure no one goes up to your apartment unannounced. We are even looking at the possibility of maid service.”

About half the 250 total units have been sold, with Zita revealing that the two bedroom type unit is the best seller. Target market is the upper middle class to upper class, he says, alone with “young couples establishing their careers… to empty nesters” who need a compact, secure place to call home.

Foreign businessmen are also a potential market, Zita says, with many of them “recently moving to the Philippines because they see value in this country compared to the rest of Asia.” Local business folk, especially those from the provinces who’d like to have a place in Manila, should see only wise investment in The Shang Grand Tower.

When you live at The Shang Grand Tower, you can walk to the business center, you can walk to the mall. “It has a great location,” Zita puts it simply. And you can enjoy service that rivals a five-star hotel. Should be hard to resist.

A tower like no other

Similar development projects are bound to pale in comparison

For people out there who are tired of hearing about yet another residential condo building rising in Makati, the promised elegance and majesty of the place that this high-end project offers might yet rekindle enthusiasm.

The Shang Grand Tower in Legaspi Village, Makati will not be ready for occupancy until early 2006, but the sales staff claims half or nearly half the building has been sold to its target market – “accomplished individuals in their mid-50’s, foreign or Filipino. The luxurious four bedroom grand penthouse units, each priced at 54 million, have been among the first to go. Vince Formoso, Vice President and Treasurer of developer of Edsa Properties Holdings, Inc., a member of the Kuok Group, merely smiles when asked about the identity of the buyers.

After only a year and a half, work on The Shang has reached the fifth level, which will house the amenities separate swimming pools for adults and children, a steam bath, a Jacuzzi, a fully equipped gym, a steam bath, landscaped garden with water features, locker and shower rooms, and a multi-purpose hall.

In its entirety, the building will house 250 residential units and 470 parking spaces. The good news is, no one’s going to feel cramped: at 80.26 sq.m., The Shang’s single-bedroom unit is the biggest in the market today.

Realities, possibilities

Model units at The Fort paints realities as well as possibilities.

The possibilities include plush fabric on big sofas, chandeliers that drop to nearly waist level just because that is the Shangri-La way, windows draped in thick silk. Some of the realities: gleaming granite on kitchen countertops and underfoot in the bathrooms, Italian La Germania ranges with hoods, bathrooms outfitted with high end HCG fixtures with toilet covers mechanized to drop, ever so gently, onto the seats.

Wood burl paneling alone on the wall of the three bedroom model unit costs P18,000 per sq.m. as much as a square meter of Ayala Alabang land today, says Rey Cometa III, Senior Sales Specialist.

Development of the project will draw heavily from co-owner Edward Kuok’s extensive experience in building high-rises worldwide rise residential project. And because Kuok is to Hong Kong as Ayala is to the Philippines, expect what is loved in Hong Kong, what is beautiful in Hong Kong, to be fleshed out in the units. Even Hong Kong’s partiality to high-rises without balconies has found its way into the project: there will be no balconies, except in the penthouse.

Similar projects are bound to pale in comparison.

Quiet home

Entry and exit can be accessed from two streets, Nieva and Perea, which hem in the property, along with Dela Rosa. There will also be two lobbies for convenience, with three elevators serving each lobby. The driveways will be accented by two water features, for good feng shui.

The units are squarish for more space. They are no huge load-bearing beams jutting out of floors to obstruct movement or the view outside. “We didn’t try to cut down on construction costs.” Formoso says, “unlike others.” Yes, even the bathrooms are a joy to behold some have a view. The granite countertops and flooring gleam. In the very least, these bathrooms will be very low-maintenance.

Despite rising 46 levels high, The Shang will shun anything commercial. The description “completely residential” may be incredible for all that space in a highly commercial spot, but that is exactly what it promises: not a square meter allotted for commerce or trade. No ugly office spaces, no bridgeways or walkways to connect it to any commercial establishment, not even to its sister structure, The Enterprise Center, just two buildings away.

The idea is to have the tranquility, luxury and security of home despite being right behind Formoso’s “Wall Street,” or Ayala Avenue to most. The Shang Grand Tower will not sit in an outlying area, yet the building will have the quiet of one. Possible? Believe it.

One might agree that the project’s advantage is being so near the action yet so far from noise. The building will stand on nearly 2,900 sq.m. of land, and roughly 71,000 sq.m. of floor space will take the shape of letter “z’” with a straight line in the middle.

Unit owners at the extreme ends of “Z” will get the best deal: three views of the outside instead of the usual two. “That’s another advantage we have over the rest,” says Formoso.

Cooler interiors

Residential units will start from the sixth floor because car parks will occupy the four basement and three podium levels. In the units, floor to ceiling height will be three meters, more than the usual 2.8 meters. This means a cooler interior for the residents. Also, this makes each floor of The Shang Grand Tower taller than its counterpart in the surrounding buildings.

Mainly, every level will have eight units. The “low zone” covering the sixth to the 26th floors will have two one-bedroom and six two bedroom units. The “special high zone” from the 27th to the 30th will have the same number of untis as the low zones. But this density is cut in half in the ”high zone” from the 31st to the 42nd floors, with each unit having three bedrooms.

Unit sizes and prices (subject to a three percent increase this month (“because we’ve sold 50 percent already,” notes Cometa) are: one bedroom at 80.26 sq.m. from 6.4 to 7.5 million; regular two bedroom at 130-161 sq.m., P8.8 million to 11.9 million; de luxe three bedroom 237-274 sq.m., P11.6 million to P13.5 million; a three-bedroom suite with two parking spaces, P17.4 million to P19.7 million; and a three-bedroom grand suite, P19.7 million to P22.3 million.

The grand penthouses on the 45th floor-- two four-bedroom units that come with four parking slots each were presumably sold for P58 million apiece.

Formoso says a nine percent discount is allowed cash buyers. One year, two year and three-year financing terms with low interests are also offered.“In some cases, we can tailor the financing scheme to suit your cash flow,” he promises.

Price per square meter at The Shang is about P80,000, says Eden C. Lin, EDSA Properties’ Vice President for Projects. Association dues are projected at P80 per square meter, although Formoso says EDSA Properties, through The Shang Grand Tower Condominium Corp., will “probably run” and maintain the building for “the first five years,” sharing maintenance and management needs with Enterprise Center.

Cometa notes that The Shang buyers “love the (Makati Shangri-La) hotel, they know they will have the services of Makati Shangri-La, they can use its chauffeur services, maintenance of the condo will be of hotel standard, not just the typical janitorial service standard. There will be catering and laundry services, too, as the need arises.”

Another factor that helps sell the project is the promise of avoiding the horrendous vehicular traffic to and from surrounding villages such as Bel-Air and Forbes Park. Still another is freedom from the burden of keeping a large staff to maintain a household in these villages.

Full blast

Lin confirms Formoso’s statement that the firm, “anticipating good times,” is going about the project’s construction full blast. “Normally, people buy after the elections, when they think the market is at its lowest. This should be good for us.”

The next project on the drawing board is a “medium high-end” residential high-rise project in Ortigas. To understand “medium high-end,” Lin says, compare the amenities and services to of, say, the Shangri-La hotels to those of the Hilton.

Formoso says “all the signs are there” for a market recovery that should help boost sales. “The Ayalas and Megaworld are not only continuing, but increasing, the pace of their projects,” he says. Both developers are looking at the middle-income market but, owing to the superior location” of The Shang Grand Tower, EDSA Properties is looking at the high-end market.

“ We offer luxury right in the heart of Makati. That is our competitive advantage,” he points. “Ayala’s One Roxas Triangle, for example, is in a more outlying area.”

How about a guarantee that the units will be delivered on time? The Ayalas have always used their excellent tract record in terms of delivery as a strong selling point.

“Construction of The Shang Grand Tower is fully funded,” Formoso says. “We are not relying on pre-need sales to finish this project.”

Meanwhile, one imagines home at The Shang Grand Tower: floors in “engineered wood” that may be more familiar to many as bleached Pergo flooring; tiles from Hong Kong; imported granite kitchen countertop; main doors in solid wood and veneered on the surface; picture windows in blue-green tempered glass in powder-coated aluminum frames; underground and overhead water tanks, a standby generator to supply 75 percent of the building’s power needs – “almost that of the whole building,” Lin points out.

Probably unique to this project is a singular feature on its main doors. To one side is a narrow extra door which opens to allow entry or exit of big items for the homes. Cometa beams: “Very Hong Kong, very Shangri-La.”

World’s 84th richest a ‘gentleman’ trader

Robert Kuok has also been described as simple and self effacing

Robert Kuok placed 84th in the 2003 Forbes’ list of World’s Richest People posting a net worth of $3.4 billion. His business empire includes the luxury Shangri-La hotel chain and real estate developer Kerry Properties.

Kuok was born on Oct. 6, 1923 in Johor Bahru, Malaysia, the son of a well-to-do commodities trader. His ancestors are from Fujian, China. After studying in Raffles College, Singapore, he joined his father’s business and later founded Kuok Brothers Limited in 1949 in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. The firm traded in rice, sugar and white flour and invested in sugar refinery.

Upon Malaya’s independence from England, Kuok established his business network throughout the new Malaysia, based on the business model of raw materials, processing and distribution. He also became savvy in commodities trading in London. By the 1970s he had become known as the “Sugar King,” as he controlled up to 10 percent of the global sugar market. With his success in the sugar refinery business, Kuok established the largest flour mill in Malaysia.

He spotted opportunities at home and overseas and used his connections with political and business leaders to expand his empire. He forged many strategic alliances with other parties. He collaborated with the government to form a shipping company, hotels, (the most notable of which is the award-winning Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts), office buildings and convention centers.

Apart from enterprises in Malaysia, his sugar refinery, milling and hotels, Kuok’s businesses also include animal feed, oil and mining, finance, trading, freight and media such as the South China Morning Post.

Kuok’s Kerry Properties Limited was formed to hold the Hong Kong and Mainland China property investments and developments. KPL is noted for its posh residential properties in Hong Kong’s Mid-Levels and is the largest warehouse owner and operator in Hong Kong. KPL’s listed associate in the Philippines is EDSA Property Holdings, Inc. whose business concerns are the high-end Shangri-La Plaza Mall, The Enterprise Center and The Shang Grand Tower.

The Kuok family has been guided by the values of discipline, integrity and loyalty, the very foundation of its success. Since his 40s, Kuok has used his “gentlemanly, manner of conducting business to become a force to reckon with in the industry. He has also been described as “simple, humble and prudent--- someone who does not seek the limelight.”

As Asiaweek once wrote: “Mr. Kuok is a true gentleman. He has the power to make his opponents yield willingly, and is a genuinely amicable man. He makes a personal effort to ensure that all his employees embrace this ‘gentlemanly’ way of conducting business.”

January 29, 2004: Manila Bulletin.

Shang Grand Tower: Room for family life

The Shang Grand Tower celebrates the phases of family living with its elegant selection of posh residential units. Strategically located at the corners of Dela Rosa, Perea and Nieva Streets in Legaspi Village, Makati City, the latest property development project of the internationally renowned Kuok Group is scheduled for completion in early 2006. Its one, two and three bedroom units fulfill the condominium resident’s need for convenience, privacy, security, and elegant living.

Joy Aldaba, Senior Quantity Surveyor/Interior Design Coordinator for The Shang Grand Tower, suggests what can be an appropriate choice for residents at certain stages of family life.

“The one bedroom unit is perfect for a newly married couple,” Albada explains. “they can start their marital bliss in this 80 sq.m. home, which has cozy dining and living areas, and a compact kitchen with adjacent maid’s quarters.”

As the family starts to grow, so do their space requirements. The two-bedroom unit fits their needs. One bedroom is of course for Mommy and Daddy, while the other can be for the children. Aldaba continues: “The second bedroom can accommodate one child, or if privacy is not yet an issue, two children under the age of 10.” With 152-161 sq.m. area, the two bedroom units also have a separate guests’ powder room in the dining area.

The three bedroom unit is best for more mature occupants, with parents firmly situated in the master bedroom and two older children in the other two bedrooms. At 274 sq.m. this unit has spacious living and dining areas, as well as a den, which can be used as a library, small home office, or converted into a mini gym.

All bedrooms in all units have their own toilet and bath and all master bedrooms are with walk-in closets.

For more information and a tour of the model units, visit The Shang Grand Tower sales office at 4th Avenue cor. Rizal Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, or call 811-1819 or e-mail

October 28: The Shang Grand Tower Cebu Grand Launch.

In one of the country's most highly acclaimed setting, The Shang Grand Tower meets the Southern part of the Philippines at Shangri-la's Mactan Island Resort.

Attended only by the famous and the affluent was the very first and grandest property launch ever held in Cebu. Truly, The Shang Grand Tower is the newest gem added to the ultimate elegance of the Shangri-la Tradition.

October: Booths featuring the many facets of The Shang Grand Tower plus its miniature model are currently exhibited at the Shangri-la Edsa Plaza Mall and three Shangri-la Hotels, Makat, Edsa and Cebu.

Open Daily: The Shang Grand Tower Sales Office/Model Units.

Located at The Fort Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, are the model units of The Shang Grand Tower. Showcased are the 2 bedroom with 161 sq.m. and the 3- bedroom with 274 sq.m. both carrying the plush interiors The Shang Grand Tower is famous for.

Showflats are open Mondays to Sundays from 9:00am to 6:00 pm.