Chalmers Oasis Limited, a real estate company affiliated with Mayberry Investments Limited and the Musson Group, has received approvals to subdivide some 30 acres of land it owns on Chalmers Avenue in Kingston into 21 lots, opening up new development opportunities for the parties involved, Deputy Chairman of Musson Jamaica Limited Melanie Subratie has said.
The first set of approvals come after some two years of groundwork by Chalmers Oasis, but the decision on what form the final development plan for the Molynes Gardens lands will take is at least a few more weeks away, it seems. The matter is to be discussed at the next meeting of the board of Cherry Hill Developments Limited meets, which is the parent company for Chalmers Oasis.
Planning approvals issued by the National Environment and Planning Agency, NEPA, so far zones the lands formerly used as the Cable and Wireless Sports Club for commercial and residential development. Some approvals are still pending.
The property already houses a 100,000-square-foot building which now houses Outsourcing Management Limited, a call centre operator which trades as itel. It also recently completed another 100,000-square-foot building on a separate plot of land for which it’s currently seeking a tenant.
“We have about four or five potential tenants from the BPO industry for the second building that we have constructed, but the lease has not yet been signed,” Subratie told the Financial Gleaner.
But a decision on whether the next project will be a residential development is still to be discussed by the board.
“It’s just zoned for residential, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we are going to be doing that,” said Subratie. “Some of them we might do further developments on and some we sell or to do joint venture projects. There are multiple opportunities here, but the decision is really left up to the board,” she said.
Together, with the recently approved subdivision, Chalmers Oasis now has control over 23 plots of land in Molynes Gardens. Each lot spans a little under two acres in size, except for the first lot which itel now occupies, which span 3.1 acres.
To facilitate the free flow of traffic, the company has also made provisions for three reserved roadways.
Last year, Cherry Hill Developments Limited approached the corporate bond market for $2.2 billion, funds it used for the early repayment of existing bonds valued at $1.36 billion and to finance commercial office buildings on the Chalmers Avenue property.
But as it relates to financing of the upcoming projects, Subratie said, “The good thing is that you can use real estate as security and that gives you flexibility, but we will see what the board decides.”
The entire 30.7 acre property, which is located roughly four kilometres away from the bustling New Kingston area, was valued in December 2022 at $7 billion.
The location is a bit less heavily trafficked than New Kingston, which Subratie believes will factor into the decision of prospective lessees. The businesswoman is also CEO of real estate company Stanley Motta Limited, which develops and rents space to the outsourcing sector at a tech park sitting on the edge of New Kingston.
Additionally, rental prices in Molynes Gardens would run significantly less than the roughly US$26 per square foot that real estate sources say is currently the going the price for space in New Kingston.
“We are getting a lot of requests for commercial space, but they are not necessarily from BPO [firms]; they are more like people wanting to upgrade, but not wanting the New Kingston price,” Subratie said.