Real equity on trackSunday, July 25, 2021
BY DAVID ROSE
With a massive increase in demand for commercial real estate space to facilitate the growth of numerous businesses locally, Real Equity Limited (REL) is moving ahead of schedule on its first commercial real estate development as it looks to satisfy the need for office space.
REL is currently developing Real Equity Professional Suites (REPS) on 218 Mountain View Avenue, St Andrew, which is its second major development after completing an upscale development in Russell Heights, also in St Andrew. As the group's first foray into this real estate subset, it represents a plan to redesign the focus on urban living and changing the dynamic of the typical real estate project.
REPS will feature 31 professional suites, a modern-day conference room, two levels of underground parking and one high-level parking and will be a multi-level gated complex.
“In terms of need for commercial space in Jamaica, we at Real Equity saw it fit to design a modern, sexy facility that we envision would house our own offices and allow us to partake in that space which we'll enjoy with the prospective purchasers. At the moment, we're ahead of our scheduled February 2022 completion date and the list of interested buyers outweighs the number of offices that we're constructing. The desire is overwhelming as the need is great for commercial space. We envision that at the end of the period, we will boast the most modern commercial professional office complex on this side of Kingston. We're having an executive launch for owners who will enjoy the luxury amenities of modern contemporary office living,” stated director and co-founder of Real Equity Rohan Grant. Grant is also the founder and CEO of Garco Construction Services Limited.
The company is a real estate investment, acquisition and development firm which was formed in 2017 between four partners. The partners include attorney-at-law Sean Shelton, entrepreneur Neil Crooks, Rohan Grant and professional engineer Garold Hamilton.
Across the Kingston and St Andrew Metropolitan Area, there has been significant investment in new commercial spaces with some getting renovations to attract greater rental yields. There has been a slew of construction of new plazas along Eastwood Park Road, Red Hills Road, Barbican Road and Lady Musgrave Road. Even the iconic Southdale Plaza and Mall Plaza have undergone substantial multimillion renovations to the properties to enhance space utilisation and improve the image of the plazas. A previously unoccupied building sandwiched between JMMB and GK General Insurance on Knutsford Boulevard has been improved and expaned as it now boasts at least five floors of usable space. Sagicor Property Services officially opened the Sagicor Millenium Mall in Curatoe Hill, May Pen, Clarendon last week.
Listed companies such as Kingston Properties Limited and Proven Reit Limited (subsidiary of Proven Investments Limited) have been acquiring or developing more commercial real estate space in the last two years. Sygnus Real Estate Finance Limited will be tapping the equity markets later this year as it looks to construct its One Belmont project which will be one of the tallest properties on the Kingston skyline. The Ascent at Oxford is looking to become the tallest building in Jamaica once completed, as it states that it will be a 26-storey skyscraper which will overlook numerous parts of the capital.
Real estate focused unit trusts have been performing commendably during the year as well due to the increase in property valuations and acquisition of new properties. The best-performing fund year to date has been VM Wealth Management's classical property portfolio with a 9.23 per cent performance followed by JMMB Fund Managers Limited's at 7.47 per cent. Most real estate funds have given double-digit returns over the last 12 months.
Upcoming Development and Changes
Once there's no major disruption to the completion of REPS, REL will be looking to construct The Vineyard Reserve in Rollington Town. Located along Deanery Road, the project is focused on providing a home for low or middle-income earners especially for young professionals. Although all approvals are in place, the 50 apartment complex is expected to break ground in the fourth quarter.
“We haven't even put up the billboard as yet and we have overwhelming support already. We've structured it in such a way that two persons can qualify with their deposit from NHT. It is upscale living in the regentrified area. We purchased this land more than four years ago and have all the required approvals with groundbreaking set to start by the end of this year. This will start once we're well advanced with REPS,” Grant explained about the upcoming development.
This is no clearer than the focus of providing things like a gym, jogging trail, convenience stores and other amenities which should exist in modern living. Instead of building so-called 'concrete jungles', REL is looking to ensure that the development of these properties is done in a sustainable way with the environment in mind while providing a place for people to live, enjoy and exist. With density limits increasing across the country, upward living is the expected future like other modern cities in the developed world.
Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at https://bit.ly/epaper-login