Sun | Dec 11, 2016

Loshusan puts $1.4b early price tag on Sovereign Village

Published:Wednesday | April 15, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Wendy's and Domino's, food franchises operated by the Wisynco Group, as well as a branch of Sagicor Bank Jamaica are among the prospective candidates for space at Sovereign Village, a commercial complex under development by Gladstone Loshusan in Portmore.

Loshusan said on Monday that he has more than enough prospects to lease the shops at the complex. The development comprises 45 shops, but the number of occupants may round out at about 30 or 40, depending on the operating space requested by lessees, he said.

Wendy's and Domino's have all but confirmed and are slated to occupy a stand-alone building with drive-thru, while Sagicor Bank is still looking over the location, according to a representative of Sagicor Property Services Limited, the property company hired to manage the complex.

Sagicor Property Services and Sagicor Bank are both owned by Sagicor Group Jamaica.

The Sovereign Village complex, which includes a Progressive supermarket, is costing in the ballpark of about $1.4 billion to develop, said Loshusan, while noting that a more precise estimate was pending.

"We don't have a final figure on it yet. In another couple months, we should complete [the development]," he said.

Construction is expected to wrap up by September 2015 and all stores open for business by December. The signage for the Progressive Supermarket is already in place. That space was leased by Progressive Grocers of Jamaica, a consortium of supermarket owners of which Loshusan is a member.

Loshusan said the complex includes a food court and other shops.

"We have applications for all of them, but we have to check out everybody correctly before. You don't want to have problems," said the developer.

SIMILAR TO SOVEREIGN CENTRE

Sovereign Village is similar in style to Sovereign Centre in Liguanea, Kingston, which was also developed by the Loshusans through Vincent Loshusan & Sons Limited.

"It will mirror as close as possible the Sovereign plaza in Liguanea. That is the look and feel we are going for as well as the tenant mix," said Sagicor Property Services' leasing officer, Jhanine Jackson.

She said that while there are about 45 shops, the units are convertible. Dividing walls in shops of 500 to 800 square feet in size can be taken down if clients want larger spaces, while in the larger units of 4,000 square feet those shops can open up to a second floor to space of equal size.

For two shops of 4,000 square feet each, the property management company is seeking a large pharmacy for one and a bank for the other.

Loshusan said Monday that negotiations were still under way with Sagicor Bank.

The property managers are also in talks with a gym, health food stores, fast-food stores, restaurants, clothing stores, and others for space in the complex. They are also considering adding a sports bar on the second floor, with a view overlooking the city.

Jackson said the rental rate for the complex is US$18 per square foot, which she notes is a bit above market for Portmore but is based on the quality of the development.

"There is ample parking to the front, left and to the right. We expect a lot of traffic," she added.

Sovereign Village is divided into three sections: Block A comprises 14 units on two floors; Block B has 12 units; and Block C has 19 shops.

avia.collinder@gleanerjm.com