Thu | Dec 14, 2017

Proven Reit goes upscale residential - Expands commercial portfolio

Published:Wednesday | December 6, 2017 | 12:00 AMAvia Collinder
Shirley

Pierre Shirley, the general manager of Proven Reit, a subsidiary of the Proven Group, says the company's newest project is GIAU, an upscale residential development consisting of 11 luxury two- and three-storey villas and six two-bedroom apartments at 25-27 Millsborough Avenue, St Andrew.

"We started clearing the land a few weeks ago, and we're gearing up to commence construction any day now. This is a joint venture with Matalon Homes," Shirley told Wednesday Business on Monday.

"Five of the apartments have already been sold, leaving one available for US$325,000, and four of the villas have already been sold. The two-storey villas start at US$795,000 while the three-storey villas start at $895,000," he said.

Another development with the same target market is 21 Millsborough Avenue. Described as an upscale residential development, it will consist of six luxury villas - two-storey and three-storey - and nine two- and three-bedroom apartments.

Shirley said that construction for this development is expected to commence during the first half of 2018.

"We haven't priced or started selling as yet, but we have received quite a bit of interest for both the villas and the apartments," the general manager said.

With several projects under its belt, and with an expanded portfolio of properties, total asset value as at September 30, 2017 for the company was US$17.1 million, compared to US$6.13 million for the similar period in 2016, an increase of US$10.97 million, or 179 per cent.

 

BPO INVESTMENTS

 

The company is also investing in properties for the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector, which Shirley believes is a strong growth area.

Included is the former Empire Supermarket in Portmore Pines, St Catherine, which has been retrofitted by lessee IBEX International. "The asking price was in the region of J$350 million. However, we were able to negotiate a more favourable price that we are not prepared to disclose at this time," Shirley said.

"We see the BPO sector as a strong industry, and we are comfortable with it as part of our portfolio mix. We have a 7.5-acre commercial development in Mandeville that we intend to include another 50,000-plus square feet of space for BPO, for which we are currently seeking a suitable partner/provider," he explained.

"Our portfolio currently includes commercial rental properties, such as the property in Portmore Pines leased to IBEX and an office/warehouse building in Newport West (in Kingston) which is leased to the Facey Group of companies, and land for future residential and commercial developments. We are not involved in property management," Shirley said.

Completed projects include The Sullivan, a 24-studio apartment development at 21 Sullivan Avenue, St Andrew, that was completed May 2017 and it is completely sold out with the exception of one that is currently available for sale for J$13 million.

Other projects in the pipeline are Bloomfield Estates, Greenvale Road, Mandeville, Manchester, a 7.5 -acre parcel slated for a commercial development to include a BPO office of approximately 50,000 square feet, a 100-120-room business hotel, and approximately 100,000 additional square feet for mixed uses to include offices, retail stores, and restaurants. Construction is expected to commence in 2018.

"We have deals in the pipeline that will bring our total asset value to approximately US$25 million by the end of the financial year," Shirley said. "This includes two more land acquisitions in very favourable locations in upper St Andrew that will attract residential, commercial and/or mixed-use developments."

 

ATTRACTIVE OPPORTUNITIES

 

The general manager said, "we have quite a bit of attractive opportunities that we are actively exploring/pursuing and will continue to explore as and when they are presented to us."

The real estate company is now a 100 per cent subsidiary of Proven Investments Limited, an international business company domiciled in St Lucia.

During the year ended March 2017, the group acquired an additional 15 per cent interest in Real Properties Limited, formerly Proven REIT, for US$150,000, increasing its ownership from 85 per cent to 100 per cent. Proven Reit now falls under Real Properties as a management company. Proven Reit Limited manages the real estate assets of Real Properties Limited."

avia.collinder@gleanerjm.com