By NEIL HARTNELL
Tribune Business Editor
A newly-launched western New Providence office development is targeting $25 million in gross sales, its broker telling Tribune Business his phone had been “ringing off the hook” with inquiries the past fortnight.
Kevin Cross said the Windsor Professional Centre, located between the Airport Industrial Park and Charlotteville community, aimed to “fill the gap” created by unfulfilled demand for high quality commercial space in the rapidly-growing district.
While no commitments had been received yet, the Cross and Mosko Real Estate broker said he was”very confident” that purchasers would be found for the project’s 11 buildings.
He added that the three 5,000 square foot buildings built in Windsor Professional Centre’s first phase would likely be priced at “just under” $1 million, with all construction work done by the developers.
Located opposite the Old Fort Bay Town Centre, Windsor Professional Centre, which broke ground on its site work and infrastructure last week, will feature 68,400 square feet of office and upscale warehousing space.
The five-acre site, which is targeting the likes of law firms and financial services companies as purchasers, will feature seven 5,000 square foot buildings, each comprised of two units of 2,500 square feet each; two 7,500 square feet buildings, each comprising four units of 1,875 square feet each; and two 9,200 square feet buildings each comprising of multiple units of various sizes.
Sonya Alvino, the Windsor Professional Centre’s project manager, told Tribune Business: “It’s a $25 million project in terms of gross sales. We’re at about that number.
“It seems like Windsor Field Road is becoming the hub of future commercial trade in the west, A lot of businesses are trying to get away from downtown and many of the neighbourhoods that are built up around there. They see a lot more infrastructure development, momentum in the west. A lot of the law firms are trying to position themselves out west.”
Site development at Windsor Professional Centre had already started, Ms Alvino confirmed, with Bahamas Hot Mix selected from eight contractor bids to perform the work.
Phase one of the project’s build-out will include all infrastructure, security walls, a booth and gates, plus front roads and three buildings. Confirming that all relevant government approvals had been received, Ms Alvino added: “We’re probably looking at being eight months out in terms of building. I feel like there’s hope in the economy again.”
Both she and Mr Cross declined to state how many companies were likely to occupy the Windsor Professional Centre, due to uncertainty over how the two 9,200 square foot units were to be divided up.They also acknowledged that some purchasers may ‘buy to let’.
Mr Cross said Windsor Professional Centre might ultimately accommodate around 30 firms, and told Tribune Business: “At this stage, we’re literally just breaking ground.
“We’ve had a fair amount of interest. I wouldn’t say it’s overwhelming, but we’ve had a lot of inquiries in the past two weeks and my phone has been ringing off the hook. There’s no commitments yet, though.”
Estimating that it would take three years to build the project out and sell it, Mr Cross added: “There’s huge demand right now. There’s just not enough office space out this way, and we’re trying to fill that gap. Everything’s happening out this way.
“The first couple of buildings, we’re quite negotiable on the price. We want to price it at just under $1 million. Everyone that you talk to that has made the move from working downtown and living out east, to living and working in the west, their lives have changed drastically. There are real quality of life issues, not having to deal with all that traffic.”
Mr Cross added that while the office space above the retail store at the Old Fort Bay Town Centre would appeal to some businesses, the Windsor Professional Centre was targeted at firms that wanted their own standalone presence, such as trust companies.
Tribune Business understands that the main investors behind the Windsor Professional Centre include Jimmy Mosko, head of the Mosko Group of Companies and the Arawak Cay Port’s chairman, and Terry Myers. A further advantage it its proximity to Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA).
The project was designed by Stefan Russel of the architectural firm, CDS. A landscape planning and design firm headed by Michael Myers was aso hired, while DHP Associates was engaged to manage the bidding process and the construction contract.
The 2,500 square foot units, which is half the standard 5,000 square foot building, will include a customised design consultation for interior fit outs hurricane rated windows and doors, travertine floors, molding and base boards and landscaping.
Each unit will have, or have access to, a landscaped courtyard. The overall site will be maintained by a property owners association that offers 24 hour security and manages parking, landscaping, and individual generators for every unit.