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PROP UP: Rockwell Land – Building community, perfecting the intangible

by Joseph C. Tay

Drive around Makati at night and you’ll be sure to catch a gleaming beacon of towering silhouettes in the heart of the city. For more than two decades, Rockwell Center has been one of Metro Manila’s most exclusive residential and commercial developments. And this year, Rockwell Land is slated to break ground on two more developments just like it in Angeles City and Bacolod.

For more than two decades, Rockwell Center Makati has been one of Metro Manila’s most exclusive residential and commercial developments.

Valerie Soliven, EVP and Chief Revenue Officer of Rockwell Land, describes the company’s unique approach in building communities from the ground up. 

Rockwell Center Makati is a thriving example of urban renewal and transformation. It was built on the site of a decommissioned Meralco plant and was the first masterplanned “city within a city” in Metro Manila. Rockwell Land hired San Francisco-based designer Walter Raleigh Stewart to plan the community with an emphasis on convenience, accessibility, and open spaces.

Rockwell is moving into horizontal properties starting in Calamba, Laguna (picture above), and Lipa, Batangas.

“The vision was for Rockwell to be world-class in the Philippines,” says Soliven.

But beyond masterplanning, the intention was to create a community bound together by personal interactions.

“We think of ourselves not just as property developers, but as community builders,” says Soliven. Every decision is made to foster relationships, whether it’s through curating retailers in the Power Plant Mall to give customers a one-of-a-kind experience, or through going the extra mile for service in the properties. 

Following the success of its residential developments, Rockwell has also expanded into hotels and resorts under the Aruga brand.

Following the success of Rockwell Center, Rockwell Land has expanded far beyond Makati’s borders, with residential developments across Metro Manila and Cebu, as well as offices and hotels under the Rockwell Workspaces and Aruga brands. All while maintaining the level of personalized service that their residents know them for.

“The thread that binds all our projects together is that we really bend over backwards for service. We try to make sure that every moment is memorable,” she adds. 

A key differentiator is in the company’s property management, which Rockwell handles exclusively through its in-house team. Unlike other developments where property managers only focus on common areas, Rockwell’s services extend into the homeowners’ units themselves.

Rockwell is slated to open two new Rockwell Centers outside Metro Manila — one in Nepo, Angeles City (picture above), and another in Bacolod City.

“We won’t give you a headache when it comes to finding someone to fix your aircon or rent out your unit, we’ll help you with that as much as we can,” says Soliven.

For investors on the other hand, Rockwell is also focused on outperforming in all the important financial metrics.

“We always strive to give the best deal,” she says. “We always make sure that in terms of capital value appreciation and rental yield, we’re ahead.”

The emphasis on quality property management is also key, as well-maintained properties support capital appreciation. For investors ready to sell or rent out their properties, the company has a dedicated leasing team and brokers’ network to assist its customers. 

Rockwell manages all its developments through an in-house property management team focused on providing personalized service to residents and tenants.

Like most developers, Rockwell has turned to technology to enhance the customer experience. Since the pandemic, the company has implemented Rockwell On Demand, a buying assistance service to bring the Power Plant Mall to residents of Rockwell Center and neighboring villages. But every digital effort is always complemented by a personal option.

“If customers have a hard time navigating, a Rockwell Insider will assist them with their shopping needs,” says Soliven. 

Not one to be set back by the pandemic, its growth has only accelerated in the last year and a half. The company has enjoyed robust sales of its first horizontal developments in Calamba, Laguna and Lipa, Batangas, and is developing two new Rockwell Centers in Nepo, Angeles City, and Bacolod.

“Nepo, Angeles was an obvious choice because of access to the airport, railway, and New Clark City. When the subject of a joint venture with the Nepomucenos was brought up, it was really a no-brainer as our values are very much aligned,” says Soliven.

As for Bacolod, it will be host to the largest Rockwell Center thus far, double the size of Rockwell Makati, to bring the same concept of a world-class “city within a city” to the burgeoning Visayas region. 

It is easy to get lost in the size and scale of Rockwell Land’s future developments, but beneath the towering silhouettes and landscaped avenues is a company focused on perfecting the intangible – community, attention to detail, and the feeling of arrival.

“We’re a small player in the industry,” says Soliven. “But as soon as you get down that ramp from EDSA, we want our residents to breathe a sigh of relief, we want them to feel that they’re home. That’s the feeling we aim to capture in all of our developments.”