Condo 101: Or how to get into The Grove of cool condo living

ARTMAGEDDON By Igan D'Bayan (The Philippine Star) Updated May 22, 2011 12:00 AM

Wait, this is not just my life. Cue a piece of brooding music here — something dark and Wagnerian. You become a card-carrying member of the workforce and finally get enough feathers to wing out of your room (pop cultural reference No. 1: Joe’s Garage). So you get a condominium of your own which turns out to be a glorified shoebox with one window that opens to the window of another condo unit, boxed in by sound-conducting walls so you hear all of Shakira’s greatest hits from next door, plagued by infestation in whatever form (pop cultural reference No. 2: Joe’s Apartment), doomed to share your domicile with your old friend Claustrophobia itself.

Cue a few bars of crashing cymbals and eerie recorder, a rest here, and then segue into something idyllic — something light and Philip Glass-like.

Here’s why.

Real estate experts will tell you not to jump the gun. Or grab the first thing that pops into view (don’t be like… pop cultural reference No. 3… Joe Schmo). It’s your home you’re dealing with here, practically the extension of your soul. So, try to work out what your wants and needs are (the idealistic versus realistic dimensions) and get your priorities straight; what type of community you want to be a part of (more to consider if you’re planning to start a family of your own than if you’re the lone wolf on the existential prairie); what would work for you in the long run (and not just some quick fix); and a few other essentials.

And the livin’ is easy: Situated along E. Rodrigues Jr. Avenue and across Tiendesitas, The Grove caters to people who want to experience the unparalleled Rockwell lifestyle.

We sit down with Rockwell Land executives — Marketing Manager Vienn Tionglico and Senior Marketing Associate for PR and corporate communication Aissa Rivera —and ask them thus, a prospective first-time condominium owner should know and should look out for. “The first thing to consider is the developers’ reputation,” explains Aissa Rivera, “and how well they built their projects over the past years.” She adds that a company such as Rockwell Land has made a name for itself by “building luxury and creating lifestyles.”

Vienn Tionglico agrees. She points out how there are a lot of developers right now, thus, “Credibility is very important. It actually helps for new unit owners to see what has already been built, because it’s the promise that developers would deliver, right?”

Other considerations: the type of community the prospective buyer would be part of, the type of security and environment, the condominium developer offers, and the proximity to one’s workplace, among other things — the total package, so to speak. Rockwell — the name behind developments such as The Manansala, the Joya Lofts and Towers, Edades Tower and Garden Villas, among others — prides itself in building high-end premium residences for the past 15 years. There is such a thing, of course, as the “Rockwell lifestyle”: a mode of living that blossoms in a secure, exclusive and relaxing community. Its latest development is called The Grove along E. Rodriguez Jr. Avenue and across Tiendesitas, bringing a piece of that Rockwell experience outside of Makati and into the Ortigas area, or something like this: “A Rockwell beyond Rockwell Center.”

The resort-like Grove is an expansive 5.4-hectare, six-tower property with a whopping 75:25 landscape-to-building ratio, which translates into more lush and green spaces. It is practically a grove away from top schools, hospitals, business hubs and shopping centers. To give you an idea how accessible The Grove is, it is 15 minutes away from Rockwell Power Plant Mall. And, oh, the amenities. Residents have access to leisure pools, children’s sandboxes, barbeque gazebos, cabanas and grand lawns — for lounging around, chilling out, or simply groovin’ on a Sunday afternoon à la the Young Rascals.

Residents can have a bite of that Rockwell Lifestyle with The Grove’s top-of-the-line gym, dance studios, scenic bike, trails, as well as tennis, basketball and volleyball courts. There will also be a cluster of restaurants and coffee shops just like the one near the Power Plant, plus a convenience store. Not to mention 100-percent backup power generator.

“For Grove, we are targeting young professionals making a name for themselves, young couples and first-time homeowners,” says Tionglico, adding that the age range of prospective residents is from 25 to 40 years old. “A lot of them have young kids. They want to put their kids in a safe place.”

The Rockwell Land executives say that the first two towers are already 95 percent sold, and the turnover for towers A and B is in 2012, coinciding with the opening of the wellness center managed by The Rockwell Club. Four towers to go, and with flexible payment terms to boot. Tionglico explains, “For The Grove, we understand the need to build for the upper mid-market. Thus we put into consideration the price per square meter, and what type of Rockwell lifestyle we will bring over there. Our president is a visionary, so we were able to put that all together with a guarantee of quality we will be delivering.” “To think that it’s going to be the new homeowners’ first investment,” seconds Rivera.

Tionglico cites the Armani brand by way of analogy. “You have Armani Exchange and you have Emporio Armani (but they’re both by Armani). The Grove is a more hip version of the premium Rockwell brand.”

Tionglico and Rivera take us on a tour of The Grove model units at the Rockwell Power Plant Mall. Imagine decorating your Grove unit lathered with subdued colors and modern-minimalist accents, and making that individual Joe (or Jane) in you stand out. Imagine filling that studio or one- or two- or three-bedroom pad or loft of yours with Phaidon art books, Vertigo graphic novels, and treasured Sire records, as well as mementos of the good life to come. To start living the Rockwell lifestyle.

Get a groove going.

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