JOSE Soberano III, chairman and CEO of recently listed Cebu Landmasters Inc. (CLI), was named Entrepreneur of the Year for 2017 by the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI), the largest business organization in the dynamic Central Visayas growth hub.
A former Ayala Land executive, Soberano was lauded by the Cebu business community for transforming a family business into the real-estate industry leader in Metro Cebu in just 14 years. With projects spanning residential, office, hotel and mixed-use developments, CLI is the first developer in Cebu to be listed in the Philippine Stock Exchange.
Following its highly successful PSE debut in June, Soberano’s firm has implemented a P12-billion expansion to the cities of Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Bacolod, Iloilo and Dumaguete. Its vision is to be the leading developer in the Visayas and Mindanao.
Soberano established CLI in 2003 to meet the housing needs of workers in Cebu province’s booming industrial sites. Seven years later in 2010, CLI ventured into residential condominiums by constructing the first residential project in the rapidly growing Cebu IT Park. In 2013 Soberano spotted still another opportunity in the office-condominium segment with a second Cebu IT Park project.
By 2015, he had set up Baseline Center, the first CLI mixed-use residential project in the heart of Metro Cebu anchored by Citadines Cebu City managed by Ascott, the world’s largest operator of serviced residences.
Industry observers have noted Soberano’s uncanny ability to spot and speedily fill demand for real- estate products catering to a wide spectrum of markets—from mid-income workers needing economic housing to luxury travelers needing serviced residences in a prime Cebu City location.
CLI is known for projects that sell out quickly because they zero in on the demands of the market and, at the same time, “try to give clients more by way of location and amenities,” Soberano said. Among its completed projects, 96 percent of inventory has been sold out. The company’s most popular brands include its Garden Residences residential-condominium series for mid-income employees and professionals seeking central-city locations and its Casa Mira brand, its economic-housing brand.
Among its buyers, CLI is also known for its keen understanding of the local markets it serves. Its project locations provide easy access to main transportation routes and hubs and servicing the customer’s needs for good-value products delivered on time is a high company priority.
“Despite the many professionals that have joined CLI in the past few years, our organization remains a family business—one where inclusiveness, team work and focus on the customer are highly prized,” Soberano said. “Thus, this entrepreneurship award belongs to all of us.”
CCCI President Melanie Ng said the Entrepreneur of the Year award is the most prestigious given by the organization led by key business leaders of the metropolis.
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