Mon | Sep 24, 2018

Proven to develop $1.7b high-rise in New Kingston

Published:Friday | August 10, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Christopher Williams, CEO of Proven Management Limited, speaks at a press briefing on Wednesday, August 8, 2018.

Proven Investments Limited, PIL, said Wednesday that its real estate subsidiary will be developing an 80-unit residential complex on Braemar Avenue, which was the original home of Red Bones Blues Cafe in New Kingston up to eight years ago.

Concurrently, PIL announced at a briefing that it received regulatory approval from the Cayman Islands to acquire a financial entity, which itself operates three financial services within a group. But Christopher Williams, CEO of Proven Management Limited, the management company for PIL, declined to name the company and the price at which it was acquired.

"The cost of acquisition will be disclosed in the next quarter. We are happy with the price we got and were able to negotiate a price below market value. We got good value for money," said Williams at an investors briefing, held at Proven's head office on Lady Musgrave Road in Kingston on Wednesday.

As to the Braemar project, PIL expects to spend $1.75 billion to develop the complex. The two-acre property itself was acquired for US$1.9 million, Williams said. He did not name the seller.

The complex is being designed as a densely populated set of apartments, mostly super studios and one-bedrooms with very few two-bedroom units, he said. It will rise eight to 10 storeys.

"We are going to keep the price range affordable ..." said Williams, noting that it's doable because of volume.

Proven will use its first large development at Kingsway and Sullivan Avenue as a model but its architectural goal is to develop the new complex as a head-turner.

"The design is attractive. We want the building to wow," Williams said. "The location is very good (so) that when you drive by you will be proud to see that in your capital."

PIL hopes to break ground for construction by the end of the year, pending final planning approvals. The apartments will go on the market in the final calendar quarter of this year.

Aisha Campbell, an engineer formerly of WIHCON, now leads Proven REIT, the real estate arm of PIL. She will oversee three ongoing developments, including Braemar and two upper-income developments in Millsborough.

Proven Investments, which owns stakes in five companies, made US$1.79 million profit for its owners on revenues of US$8.5 million for its first quarter ending June. Profit is up 58 per cent year-on-year.

Subsidiary Proven Wealth made net income of US$900,000 for the quarter, which increased sixfold year-on-year; Proven Fund Managers' earnings grew two-thirds to US$220,000; Access Financial contributed US$790,000 or one-fifth more to PIL's group profit; and Boslil Bank of St Lucia made US$610,000 for PIL.

steven.jackson@gleanerjm.com