Business
JM | Sep 21, 2022

JMMB Group eyes commercial real estate development for growth opportunities

/ Our Today

administrator
Tracey-Ann Creary, corporate development manager with portfolio responsibility for the management of JMMB Group’s land and property holdings and the execution of its real estate development projects.

The JMMB Group is looking to capitalise on the growth potential in the commercial real estate market, targeting the development of commercial, warehousing and business process outsourcing (BPO) projects, over the next two to three years, according to Tracey-Ann Creary, corporate development manager with portfolio responsibility for the management of JMMB Group’s land and property holdings and the execution of its real estate development projects.

The seasoned real estate development professional, with extensive experience in managing residential, commercial and civil infrastructure projects, shared: “This move is in keeping with the strategic direction of JMMB Group to leverage opportunities that will add shareholder value and diversify its portfolio; as such the company is actively identifying and pursuing projects that will grow its portfolio and respond to market needs and trends.”

In further explaining, Creary said: “With the Jamaican government and private stakeholders undertaking key infrastructural projects such as the Southern Coastal Highway Improvement, and the development of town centres in Morant Bay and other rural towns, we believe that this signals clear opportunities to undertake real estate projects that will create significant value that are broadly aligned with national development and Jamaica’s Vision 2030 plans.”

BPO A SECTOR WITH FURTHER GROWTH POTENTIAL, SAYS WORLD BANK

Additionally, the investment in commercial real estate, aligns with the changing economic environment with the growing need for warehousing, business process outsourcing space and related projects that will support infrastructure development.

The government has signaled long-term economic plans, in the form of the build-out of special economic zones (SEZ); the Logistic Hub Master plan; and expansion of ports, airports and highways, which are expected to strengthen the country’s distribution network, and make warehousing more efficient.

Additionally, with logistic supply chain disruptions, resulting in shortages and increased costs for imported goods, medium-sized companies are looking to mitigate against future fallout and increase efficiency in the control and distribution of inventory, thereby strengthening their overall supply chain process to ensure business continuity process; as such warehousing is expected to be a major area for growth in the medium to long-term.

Jamaica’s growing BPO industry has also been identified by the World Bank, in a recent report, as a sector with further growth potential including provision of higher value-creation.

The offices of JMMB in New Kingston.

This sector is projected to increase employment by 13 per cent per year, from approximately 44,000 in 2021 to more than 76,000 in 2025.

At the same time, according to the World Bank report, revenue is expected to grow by an average of 15 per cent per annum, from US$881 million in 2021 to more than US$1.4 billion in 2025.

It is against this background that JMMB Group will seek to leverage real estate opportunities that will cater to the growing needs of this sector.

JMMB Group rolls out commercial real estate development plans

Planning has begun for two major projects slated for downtown Kingston and Mandeville, consisting of approximately 33,000 square feet and 30,000 square feet respectively of commercial office and BPO spaces, stated the corporate manager.

The real estate team lead, although declining to share the breakdown of the projects under way, also noted that “these two multi-billion dollar projects are expected to be completed in the next two to three years, even while JMMB Group looks to roll-out other projects in its portfolio”.

Creary noted that JMMB Group is looking to build out its existing properties initially, to provide a win-win opportunity to increase the return on investment, diversify its income stream and create value for shareholders.

As a newer player in the real estate market, JMMB Group is looking to plan, design, develop and construct properties and later bring to market for sale, lease or sale-leaseback.

While acknowledging that the financial group is looking to lead in the development and construction process, Creary outlined: “Real estate is not static and as an innovator in the field, we are open to lucrative opportunities that are in keeping with our portfolio focus and therefore will explore joint-ventures and other partnerships, that will allow JMMB Group to deepen and expand its reach in the real estate market, meet the investment and strategic performance criteria, and fulfill our business objectives, thereby providing returns for our stakeholders.”

Over the long-term, JMMB Group will continue to build out its portfolio of greenfield and brownfield projects for other commercial projects that can facilitate agile working and other uses.

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