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KPREIT partners with CEMEX Jamaica to build homes in Westmoreland

Published:Wednesday | January 14, 2015 | 1:00 AMTameka Gordon
Jermaine Barnaby/Photographer Fayval Williams, executive director of Kingston Properties Limited. (at second right)

Kingston Properties Limited (KPREIT) has partnered with CEMEX Jamaica Limited for a residential development at Waterworks, Westmoreland.

The $700-million project will deliver 105 homes within two years, which are intended for sale to middle-income earners.

"Cemex will be doing the development work, in terms of building the structures, and we, along with a real estate broker, will be the doing the marketing and sales at the end of things," executive director of KPREIT, Fayval Williams, told Wednesday Business.

The investment being made by each partner in the project was not disclosed, but Williams said her company is putting up the 20 acres of land for the development.

The 550-square-foot two-bedroom units will sell for $8 million to $9 million, she said.

While KPREIT has investments outside of Jamaica, in Miami, the residential development is its first home-based investment outside of Kingston. The residential development, which is in the proximity of the resort town of Negril, as well as parish capital, Savanna-la-Mar, is the real estate investment trust's first attempt at executing its own development project.

"It's western Jamaica, and western Jamaica is exposed to the tourism market. So, there is good underlying sense when you think of the people who would have the financial wherewithal to purchase the homes," said Williams.

"We think it's an attractive location based on the market research that we did. We found quite a bit of demand for that price range for the product."

Kingston Properties is a pioneer and publicly listed real estate investment trust, which has traded on the Jamaican stock exchange since 2008. The company acquires and manages real estate properties both locally and in the Unites States.

As of September 30, 2014, KPREIT had approximately 100,000 square feet of property in its portfolio, comprising offices, warehouse, and residential apartments. Investment properties on its balance sheet value $1.1 billion.

The company largely derives primary income from residential and commercial property rentals. Rental revenue at nine-month September 2014 topped $77 million, while net profit amounted to $4.6 million.

CEMEX Jamaica, a subsidiary of CEMEX SAB de CV of Mexico, has operated in Jamaica since 1989. It produces and trades in quicklime, aggregate and concrete.

The parent company produces, distributes, and markets cement, ready mix concrete, aggregate, lime and other related building materials in more than 50 countries and does business in more than 100 markets throughout the Americas, Europe and Africa.

Williams said KPREIT chose Cemex as a partner because of its "financial wherewithal" and global connections.

"They have been in Jamaica for a while; they do affordable housing developments in several countries, so we don't have to be concern about the quality of the product that is coming to market," she said.

KPREIT also hopes to follow up with other projects, she said.

tameka.gordon@gleanerjm.com