Condo on a cocktail napkin
In the late-1980s, a market boom saw the prices of luxury condo units double. Clifford Guzman, president at the time of International Design Consortium, had just returned from engineering school in Arizona, and he was approached by Henry M. Simpson Jr., president of Island Imports. “He had a dream about doing a condo project,” Guzman says, so the two met over beers to begin to conceptualize it.
Guzman joined Ike Santos to form a team of architects, engineers and a designer brought in from California and formed International Design Consortium to join forces with Simpson’s Alupang Beach Club, a division of Island Imports.
The property they had in mind for the structure was actually about eight different properties that would have to be consolidated. This required working with private land owners and also the government.
At the same time, the group had aspirations for a second project: a boardwalk from Alupang down to Agana Marina.
“Between the two, I think we went through a total of about 80 public hearings,” Guzman says.
Residents were concerned over the size of the tower, that it would obstruct views. But within about a year, the project passed its various approvals and broke ground in 1988.
“At the time we had the largest single pour of concrete on island,” Guzman says. “I think it was 29 trucks…” The building required a floating foundation to prevent it from shifting during any seismic activity.
The boardwalk never materialized as it was derailed in the legislature, but the plans still exist, and Guzman said he would love to revisit the idea.
The condo building was completed in early 1991.
“It was a great opportunity for us to all come together and work on a fun project. I had a blast doing it,” he says.