After being on the market for more than a year, the ten-acre commercial site in Wildey, St Michael, on which the BET buildings are located, has been sold for $16.5 million, at least $2.3 million below its value.
The property was sold to Era Educational Services DMCC, operators of the American University of Barbados.
It was owned by a joint venture comprising the Fortress Caribbean Property Fund Limited SCC – Value Fund (Property Fund), the National Insurance Scheme and Sagicor.
Describing the sale as “significant”, Investment Director Roger Cave of Fortress Fund Managers said it would result in an immediate injection of cash for reinvestment, and would augur well for shareholders of the Fortress Caribbean Property Fund.
“While the sale price is below the carrying value and will result in a net loss of BDS$2.3 million to the Property Fund, it reflects the assumption of a loss of rental income as well as the significant costs that would have been incurred going forward for redevelopment to prepare the property for new tenants,” Cave said in a release announcing the sale, which took place at the beginning of this month.
“The sale affords the Fund a high level of flexibility as it provides immediate cash resources to reinvest in long-term, revenue-generating real estate assets consistent with the Property Fund’s mandate. This flexibility is a positive move for the Fund and we were pleased to accept the offer from a qualified buyer based on this,” he explained.
The property was vacated by Flow (formerly BET) at the end of October 2015, and renovation work on the interior of the main building began in April this year. The northern part of the property houses several buildings and parking areas, while the southern part includes cricket grounds and tennis courts.