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Norbrook Equity bursts into real estate

Norbrook Equity Partners has another line of business: real estate development.

The private equity firm has three projects lined up, valued at US$75 million, which Norbrook says will be backed by NCB and JMMB. They include a commercial tower in Kingston and two luxury beachfront communities near the resort town of Ocho Rios in St Ann.

The group, which has about 14 businesses under its wings, sees real estate as the next area of opportunity, according to Executive Chairman Khary Robinson.

He adds that Norbrook is generally indifferent to the sector in which it invests but aims instead to take advantage of gaps in the market, wherever it exists.

The company’s businesses currently incorporate a chain of gyms, ice production and distribution, water, entertainment, courier services and car rentals, among others.

“Our model has never been to build silos in any one segment but to recognise the commonalities across industries. For us it is people, process, infrastructure, and resources,” Robinson said of the considerations driving the entry into real estate.

The first of the three real estate projects – Bohio Villas – will be launched in April. The luxury beach enclave in Mammee Bay will encompass 14 villas and amenities, including a gym and spa, and was completely sold out pre-construction, Robinson said. The complex will be built by Relmac Construction with completion slated for September 2024.

The Bohio Villas, priced between US$1.5 million and US$2 million, were all sold turnkey, including furniture, and will be fully managed by Norbrook Hospitality. This, according to Robinson, ensures that buyers “can seamlessly enjoy their villa when they want and earn from it when they don’t”.

“One of the things about the area is that with the North-South Highway, as soon as you come off it, you are right there in Mammee Bay. That makes it easy for someone to leave Kingston to a second home there,” Robinson said.

The other two developments are pending approval, but Robinson expects those developments to get under way by August. They are slated to be finalised by December 2024, all things being equal. Neustone Projects will act as project managers.

The second residential project, Banbou Cove Resort Residences, will be developed on 20 acres of beachfront adjoining the Bohio Villas complex. Norbrook is going through the process of selecting a contractor to build 20 villas and 36 luxury condos on the property.

The residences will be listed at prices ranging from US$400,000 to US$2.3 million.

The commercial tower will be developed at 109 Old Hope Road, Kingston, where member company Mailpac Group Limited is housed. Robinson says the present building will be demolished and replaced by an eight-storey structure. The new tower will encapsulate retail space on the ground floor, corporate offices, short-term rental luxury condos, and rooftop restaurants. Both NCB and JMMB have already reserved a half of the available space in the tower, Robinson noted.

Although the three projects are being rolled out months apart, Robinson said that was never the intent.

“All of these projects were to be timed differently, but matters such as design, approvals, and all those things, ended up happening at the same time,” he said.

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