By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat
JOHANNES “Hans” R. HAURI, President of Bonifacio Landmark Realty and Development Corporation, a joint venture between Federal Land, Inc. and Orix Corporation of Japan, could be handling his most prestigious assignment ever.
With a career spanning over 50 years, for the most part in senior management position, Hans has once again proved in bringing the experience of luxury hotel-living and a distinguished lifestyle with the group’s latest development at the Grand Central Park, the Grand Hyatt Manila Residences South Tower in Bonifacio Global City.
Grand Hyatt Manila Residences
Prime real estate developer Federal Land Inc., the property development arm of GT Capital Holdings, forges ahead in realizing its master-planned, New York inspired community in North Bonifacio Global City (BGC), Taguig – Grand Central Park.
With 45 years of experience in reshaping the skyline and with its commitment to invest in the country, Federal Land, Inc. creates properties built on trust, reliability, and integrity through its masterbrands, Federal Land and Horizon Land.
Designed according to global standards, Federal Land’s Grand Central Park gives Filipinos a taste of New York living marked by style, mobility, convenience, and being at the forefront of what’s new and trending. Much like its Western counterpart, this integrated community pulsates with opportunities and activities with key financial, cultural, and lifestyle districts well within reach.
Enticing Filipinos to bite into the promise of the Big Apple way of life are the most iconic structures in the community: the shimmering glass towers of Grand Hyatt Manila and Grand Hyatt Manila Residences.
Grand Hyatt Manila Residences combines luxury services and design efficiency giving dwellers the chance to live out the signature level of grandeur delivered by the Grand Hyatt brand.
Continuing this tradition of grand dwellings is the new addition to the Grand Hyatt legacy in Manila – a second tower completing the Grand Hyatt Manila Residences in Grand Central Park. Towering at 50 stories, the second tower – Grand Hyatt Manila Residences South Tower. It has a separate podium next to Grand Hyatt Manila endowing utmost luxury and privacy. This new tower will also have larger minimum unit size, a balcony for each unit, added amenities, and more.
The South Tower or Tower 2 is the latest addition of iconic buildings at the Grand Central Park, a 10-hectare mixed-use development that heralds the transformation of North BGC as it features architectural marvels set to be the cradle of upscale lifestyle and business with fully integrated residential, commercial, retail, and special interest spaces.
Grand Hyatt Manila Residences, the only one in Southeast Asia, is a home that extends beyond your residences.
In addition to the polished amenities of the Grand Hyatt Manila Residences South Tower, you may also enjoy the world-class services of the adjacent Grand Hyatt Manila for a fee.
It rises at Grand Central Park in Bonifacio Global City, the country’s fastest growing financial and lifestyle district. Bonifacio Global City is home to temporary and modern residences, the country’s best schools, hospitals, corporate headquarters, dining areas and retail and shopping establishments.
Bonifacio Global City is home to premier lifestyle establishments and international brands, and Grand Hyatt Manila Residences South Tower.
Living at the center of one of Asia’s most influential cities, it’s as though the entire world is your residence.
And as a resident, one will enjoy all the privileges of a Globalist Member of the World of Hyatt without having to get 100,000 Base Points or go through the 60-Tier Qualifying Nights.
As the champion of Grand Hyatt Manila and Grand Hyatt Manila Residences, Hans promotes the luxury and distinction of the lifestyle embodied by the Grand Hyatt brand. With the establishment of Grand Hyatt Hotel and Tower 1, the South Tower Residences is now preoccupying Hans.
According to Hans, when they started to talk about how to make this place different they have an automatic connector towards the residences, which should be driven by lifestyle ambiance as opposed to the brick and mortar which is very abstract.
“So, we look at flowing into this lifestyle,” he adds.
South Tower is a 50-storey residential composed of 188 units with more luxurious spaces from a smaller cut with only six units per floor; four units per floor; and two units for the biggest cut.
South Tower or Tower 2 is a cut above Tower 1, which has larger footprint per floor. Tower 1 has 239 units all sold out. Tower 2 had just a sales launch last month.
“From the reservation sales we say we have prospective clients in that upscale market where buyers are pretty demanding,” says Hans noting that what they offer is a “leading edge of residential living with regards to quality and cut size and layout and so forth.”
In making this proposition, Hans noted they understand that their clients are not first-time buyers so they know what they want.
Foreign investors are also flocking in dominated by three markets – Japan, Korea and China out of Hong Kong and Taipei. There are also investors from European countries and the US.
Some of his fellow Swiss, who may have lived in Hong Kong and saw a good prospect for retirement, are also interested because they benefit from real estate appreciation. Imagine, he said, they started with P200,000 per square meter price in Tower I and now they are up to P360,000 per square meter, which is 60 percent real estate appreciation.
South Tower is now the crème de la crème in this part of the city aside from a very prominent address.
“It is the most luxurious so far in BGC,” he adds.
The approach to buyers, however, is on an individual approach because the market can be very selective.
Some buyers are looking at accommodation for visitors, vacationing relatives and kids from abroad. This is something to show hospitality to loved ones. Others may be thinking of investment by renting it out for the long term.
The Grand Hyatt brand is associated globally with luxury hospitality and best hotel service. Thus, the residences only bring in the best architectural designers Casas and Associates and interior designers from Shanghai.
The Hyatt standards also takes into the design and construction of the building and the entire Grand Central making it environment friendly, like less use of air-conditioning because the heat penetration is under control. It is a green building.
Amenities at South Tower include a children playground, an outdoor swimming pool, a gym, a change room and sauna, and a business center. There are function rooms to hold parties, events and meetings for condominium association.
“It creates an active residential life where owners keep contact with each other,” he adds.
“South Tower is benefitting from an unrestricted wide-open view because Makati is mostly low-rise buildings so whether you are looking west or east you have unlimited view of the horizon.”
Traffic is a problem of big cities and Metro Manila is no exception, but Hans said that everything is in BGC, “Do you really need to leave BGC?”
The plan is to sell all the units by 2022 and key turnover by 2023, noting that some buyers also include corporate investors. But there are really wealthy Filipinos, who can very well afford this lifestyle living.
Hans noted the evolution in the domestic hotel industry from the traditional hotel to residential developments that took into the personality brands of famous global celebrities. Now, the trend is towards the development of residences.
On their part, they want to create residences that are associated with a global brand. Thus, the Grand Hyatt standards came into the picture.
“Number one, it is a strong brand, strong orientation towards the US market, and an outstanding loyalty program,” he adds.
Aside from the Grand Hyatt brand, another differentiator is the Federal Land, which is known for its selective and taste for luxury. It is known as reliable quality developer in very strategic location.
Grand Hyatt Manila Residences melds luxury services and design efficiency giving dwellers the chance to live out the signature level of grandeur delivered by Grand Hyatt.
Hans’ career in the hospitality sector has practically made his twin sons grew up and live in the hotel.
The hotel corridor has become their playground. It was good, very convenient and safe. He himself has lived inside a hotel for 30 years.
Hans has previously worked with Hilton International in Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Colombo, and Seoul; Swissôtel Zurich; Shangri-la International Management in Beijing, Dalian; and Marco Polo Hotels in Cebu.
But the Philippines could be his longest stay so far with 13 years, including 9 years at Marco Polo Cebu, a Federal Land hotel.
According to Hans, he came to the Philippines on the invitation by the company Chairman George S.K. Ty.
“He was a preferred customer of mine in China World Hotel in Beijing and I feel fortunate for that and now with Alfred Ty,” says Hans.
The opportunities given by Chairman Ty has made him stay this long in the Philippines.
“First is the culture of Mr. Ty that you feel valued in a company and the other thing is the opportunities,” says Hans citing that the GT Capital conglomerate is steadily growing not just in banking but in other business units such as cars, insurance, property and so forth.
“So, we can say we have more entities to run that are offering opportunities while each is growing in its own speed,” he says.
His role in the conglomerate as a hospitality expert is to help shape the lifestyle business. While they are growing, Hans said his division’s contribution may still remain small compared to the earnings of other subsidiaries of GT Capital.
The hospitality group maybe the new baby of the group, but Hans says this business can be traced back to the old days of travel.
“Hospitality has been moving from centuries and with a growing population and affluence, there are service providers of different levels, inexpensive, backpacker’s type, to luxury,” he adds.
According to Hans, the most important lesson he learned while living in eight countries as hotel executive was understanding culture.
As a hotelier, he would like people who can automatically connects by just looking, hearing, sensing and in taking interest in what is shaping to be able to anticipate future requirements.
But there are also institutes to help one grow in the hospitality sector. “You have to start somewhere. You cannot become overnight manager just because you graduate from an institute, but it is a long way to go so it is important to learn how to work with people,” he adds.
He noted the industry that he belongs have happy employees and as such they also create happy customers and ultimately happy owners or investors or stockholders. These are individual value propositions that when taken together give substance to employees, customers and the company.
Employees build relationships with customers by being able to deliver cleanliness in their work and making the facility well-maintained at all times.
“It may be very elementary but not too many practice it or translate it into action,” says Hans, a very hands-on manager. He recalled that his first hotel job was the kitchen as an apprentice cook.
“It is management by working around and not by sitting down,” he says as he motivates people to interact with staff and guests. He is one manager who also likes to address an issue before it becomes big. If there is a customer complaint, he would like to face them rather than writing a long letter in the end.
While he is the industry’s jolly fellow and is kind to everyone, Hans is very result-oriented manager that he emphasized can be achieved on a team basis, not by one standing like a lamppost. He has roughly 600 people in all with 500 from the Grand Hyatt hotel complement, but the industry linkages must have generated 5,000 indirect employees taking into account various suppliers like the restaurants, procurements, drivers, as every room generates additional related job opportunities.
He recalled that when he was offered the job to lead Marco Polo in Cebu after working 12 years in China, Hans was drawn by his familiarity with Filipinos. All his secretaries in China had always been Filipinos and most of his managers were also Filipinos whether it is in service oriented post or not.
“Filipinos have hospitality in their DNA,” he says noting that while the Chinese know the answers or can deal with situations, Filipinos have practical applications on how to deal with customers and how to answer properly.
With Hans around, Grand Hyatt brand in the Philippines is always in good hands.