Written by Roderick T. Dela Cruz as seen in the Manila Standard last September 17, 2022
The Wongchuking family, who sold Mighty Corp.’s cigarette business in 2017, is reinvesting their money in the development of modern and well-planned communities in Bulacan province.
“That is my vision—to make self-sustaining communities,” Czark Mak Corp. chairman and president Caesar Wongchuking said in an interview during the opening of Café de Margaux, a modern restaurant and Acro Residences, a 102-room hotel at T12 Polo Land Industrial Estates in Tabang, Guiguinto, Bulacan.
Wongchuking, who is also the chief operating officer of Wong Chu King Holdings Inc., said he envisions T12, a 22-hectare property near MacArthur Highway which the family acquired in 2017, as a township with industrial, commercial and residential components.
His son Angelo said T12 started off as an industrial park with warehouse facilities. “But we saw the growth potential of Guiguinto in terms of restaurants and commercial activities,” he said.
T12 now has about 66 warehouses with an average floor area of 1,000 square meters each; Acro Residences which became one of the largest hotels in Bulacan province; Café de Margaux, which has a coffee shop and restaurant; a high-end Japanese restaurant called Mount Fuji; and a gasoline station.
Among the industrial tenants at T12 are Japan Tobacco Inc. which bought the Mighty brand for P46.8 billion in 2017, a Japanese railway supplier, a telecom SIM card supplier, a bottler, a furniture maker, sugar traders and fast-moving consumer goods wholesalers. Sapporo Ice and Cold Storage, which is also owned by the Wongchuking family, also has facilities in the complex.
Czark Mak plans for the commercial development of another 10 hectares. It will soon put up a large Chinese restaurant, a bar and restaurant at the top floor of the three-story hotel, a convenience store and other commercial spaces. It also aims to build a residential condominium building.
“Eventually, we will go into mid-rise residential development,” said Caesar Wongchuking.
The company spent about P1.5 billion to develop T12 over the past five years and plans to invest more to attain its township vision that will help attract more investors and visitors to the town of Guiguinto.
Guiguinto Mayor Agatha Paula Cruz thanked the Wongchuking family for seeing the potential of the previously empty lots in the town and for bringing much-needed investments for their development. “This will provide important jobs to our residents. It will hopefully inspire others to come up with developments such as this that will become the local driver of economic development,” she said.
Angelo said the family is investing in Bulacan province where La Campana Fabrica de Tabacos Inc., the predecessor of Mighty Corp., established tobacco threshing and drying facilities in the 1940s. “This was based on research and the fact that our family has always been close to Bulacan. We started off in Malolos, but upon research, there is huge potential for industrial and commercial activities in Bulacan, and not to mention, the airport would be built in Bulakan town which is just 10 minutes from T12 complex,” he said.
“We are very confident about the potential of Bulacan especially Guiguinto, and we now have good restaurants, starting with Mount Fuji Japanese Restaurant and now Cafe de Margaux,” said Angelo.
Aside from T12, Czark Mak is also developing a 30-hectare property called Polaris Industrial Estates along Doña Remedios Trinidad Highway in Barangay Tarcan, Baliuag, Bulacan.
Polaris Industrial Estate, which is registered with the Board of Investments, is a domestic industrial zone whose primary purpose is to develop, sell or lease industrial, commercial and residential properties. It has recently obtained a permit from the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development for the development of housing projects.
Czark Mak already spent P500 million for the road development of Polaris. The complex is equipped with amenities aimed at providing an efficient and convenient way of doing business. “With the New Manila International Airport soon to rise, Bulacan is set up to be the next business hub in the country, with Baliuag as its main access point,” the company said.
Czark Mak is into real estate, industrial leasing, manufacturing, agribusiness, food and hospitality and technology sectors.
The Wongchuking family also has various properties and businesses across the country. Their family complex spans more than a hectare near Circuit Makati where land values exceed P130,000 per square meter.