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KPREIT offloads Dumfries Road property for US$1.6m

Published:Friday 12:08 AM

Kingston Properties Limited, KPREIT, has sold its Dumfries Road property in the busy New Kingston area for a gain of about US$400,000, or $62.4 million in local currency.

The property was sold in August to an undisclosed buyer.

It comes a little over two years after Kingston Properties bought the property with the intent of transforming it into a multistorey commercial complex to accommodate any spillover demand for office space that its nearby property, the former Caldon building, could not satisfy.

But those plans changed earlier this year.

Both the Dumfries Road and another property Kingston Properties owns in Florida were reclassified as held for sale.

In an update posted on the Jamaica Stock Exchange earlier this week, Kingston Properties said the Dumfries asset was sold for a consideration of approximately US$1.6 million, net of transactions costs, after being acquired for some US$1.2 million.

For now, the cash gained will go straight to the company’s balance sheet, adding to the US$8.8 million of cash the company held up to June.

“We just want to maintain a healthy level of liquidity in case other opportunities come up, so we can actually move on them,” CEO Kevin Richards told the Financial Gleaner.

Its stance comes amid a 12.6 per cent dip in quarterly profit to US$321,473, despite a 6.4 per cent improvement in core revenue.

Kingston Properties is eyeing several acquisition targets in Jamaica, the wider Caribbean region, and as far as the United Kingdom, an entirely new market for the real estate investment company. Its activities up to now have been focussed on Jamaica, Cayman Islands and the United States.

“We think that the UK is a very opportunistic market for commercial real estate. We are seeing a lot of office-to-residential conversions which are quite interesting to us. Additionally, interest rates continue to rise in the UK and we think that there may be some opportunities that come up, but we are still doing our due diligence,” said Richards.

Kingston Properties thinks it can land one of the acquisition targets before the year comes to a close, but Richards was mum on the details regarding that property.

Otherwise, the company is still awaiting building permits for the construction of a mini-warehouse complex at Rousseau Road in the Cross Roads area of Kingston.

The Florida property that has been reclassified as held for sale also remains on the market. That property is expected sell for about US$2.3 million.

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