Kurbriton Development tackles first commercial real estate project
Kurbriton Development Limited, a company that has been quietly making inroads into the residential real estate market, is taking a shot at its first commercial project.
The company, recently formed as a spin-off of construction aggregates and concrete business, GC Concrete Limited, will subdivide 118 acres it owns on the new May Pen to Mandeville leg of Highway 2000 east-west leg for sale and lease to commercial operators.
The lands were previously being held for GC Concrete’s mining and construction business, but those plans changed with the development of the highway.
“We had the property before the development of the highway. The original plan was to mine the area for construction aggregates but the development of the highway presented new opportunities and we just decided to move on those,” Director of Projects Dwight Mullings told the Jamaica Observer.
Kurbriton is in the middle of preparing design plans to submit to the authorities for the subdivision of the 118 acres into 78 commercial lots, all spanning roughly one acre in size. It’s also on the hunt for prospective buyers and lease tenants, particularly those operating in the warehousing, gas station, quick service restaurants, supermarket and retail shopping business.
“Logistics heaven. Commercial/industrial lots coming soon,” a notice published by the company said.
So far, it has got serious commitments from an operator who wants Kurbriton to build out a service station facility for lease upon completion.
Mullings is still tallying what that development will cost, but the company has already budgeted a separate $15 million that it will pump into infrastructure works — which primarily comprises the preparation of land, electricity, roads, telecommunications, water supply and sanitation — for the entire development upon receiving the relevant approvals.
“We will start with the gas station which will be on the left side heading to Mandeville. We are doing the drawings for that service station now, so we should submit the plans by the middle of the year, and then have construction started hopefully by the final quarter of 2024,” he said.
Affiliated company Kurbriton Limited will be responsible for the construction of the service station, but materials for the buildout will be supplied by GC Concrete. Meanwhile, the newly formed business Kurbriton Development Limited will handle the development, sales and marketing of the properties.
“We are also in the process of forming a new fund management company that will take charge of all activities relating to the operation of the leased properties,” Mullings said.
Kurbriton plans to hold 40 per cent or 31 of the 78 lots for lease arrangements.
“We will also be responsible for the construction of these leased properties. But based on the feedback that we are getting so far, most of the prospective investors want to purchase the properties. Some clients are doing what we call land banking, so they are looking to acquire properties now to hold as an investment or for future use,” he said.
Amid dipping its toe into a new segment of the real estate business, Kurbriton is simultaneously building up its bank of residential real estate projects. The company has completed several residential projects in the parish of Clarendon over the years, but it now has its eyes on a 35-acre plot of land in Toby Heights, May Pen, as its next development.
Located in Free Town, Clarendon, Toby Heights sits just five minutes from Highway 2000, making it a suitable location for a residential project.
Kurbriton plans on investing US$15 million in the construction of 140 three-bedroom and two-bath bungalows, spanning 1,250 square feet each in size.
“We are in the process of purchasing this property that was already approved for residential development so that will speed up the time in which things will get done. The initial infrastructure work was already started by the previous developer, so we should be able to restart work about March,” Mullings said.
The project has an estimated completion date of December, but ahead of that, Kurbriton hopes to go to market for prospective buyers. One of the units is projected to cost $30 million.
Kurbriton also has its eyes on another two developments, this time outside of its comfort parish.
“We are looking to acquire land in St Andrew for a small residential development. Upon completion of that development, we will head to Westmoreland to start development works on a property currently owned by the founder of the company,” Mullings said.
GC Concrete was started in the early 2000s by real estate developer Bilton Graham. Over the years the operation has grown to include Kurbiton Limited, Kurbriton Development Limited, and Gibralter Aggregates Limited.