Government pushing for development of idle properties
Ground broken for Caterpillar's US$8-million head office on Spanish Town Road; Sygnus Group the developersSunday, July 11, 2021
Idle properties on the Spanish Town Road industrial belt in Kingston are being pushed for development as the Government encourages private developers and financiers to get these properties back into production.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness, who on Friday broke ground for the new US$8-million head office of IMCA Jamaica (Caterpillar) located at 443-445 Spanish Town Road, urged developers, entrepreneurs and financiers, like Sygnus Group, to invest in these idle properties along the belt. Sygnus is developing the property on behalf of the Dominican Republic's IMCA Jamaica, who is the sole authorised dealer in the island of one of the world's most recognised construction brands, Caterpillar.
The location will become the new home for the sale and servicing offices of IMCA Jamaica. Holness, who was the keynote speaker at the launch, pointed to the many idle properties along the industrial belt and other locations, which he argued host vast potential and economic opportunities for entrepreneurs who are willing to take the risk.
Bringing idle properties into productive use
He encouraged Sygnus to get more of these deals for developing idle properties and get them into meaningful productive purposes, not just in real estate but also in agriculture. The prime minister cited the case of Bernard Lodge in St Catherine, where the lands have been idle since the closure of the Bernard Lodge sugar factory, but is now being brought back into productive use.
“Let's get all those idle properties into meaningful economic activity,” Holness urged as he made out a case for rebuilding the Spanish Town Road industrial belt. In 2019, IMCA Jamaica Ltd and Sygnus Real Estate Finance (SRF) commenced discussions to establish a project under which SRF would identify and acquire a suitable property for a new facility for IMCA.
Building out IMCA Jamaica head office
Having completed the purchase, SRF had the responsibility to design, build-to-suit and deliver the 32,500-square-foot facility, which will host the IMCA Jamaica corporate headquarters, an equipment exhibition patio (outdoor sales showroom), spare parts sales office and parts storage warehouse, as well as equipment servicing and repair workshop. The location will also include loading and equipment wash bays, staff and customer parking and a lubricant tank farm.
David Cummings, vice-president and head of real estate and project finance at Sygnus, stated, “SRF is proud to bring this unique project to fruition, which demonstrates how we were able to bring flexible capital to the table with IMCA, and design a total technical and financial solution that allows us to unlock the true value of this property and to create a world-class facility for them.”
The facility will be constructed over a 12-month period at a carefully selected 2.85-acre property, with ideal close proximity to the port of Kingston, as well as easy connectivity to the main highways (east-west, as well as the north-south).
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