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$36m tag on BET property

Shawn Cumberbatch

$36m tag on BET property

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The imposing BET building and the ten acres of land that surrounds it are on sale for $36 million.

And whoever purchases the property owned by Fortress Caribbean Property Fund Limited SCC, the National Insurance Scheme and Sagicor will have an opportunity to “build a mixed-use development, subject to planning approval”.

Indications are that the development plan as conceptualised would see the existing field, which is the home base of LIME’s cricket team being otherwise utilised.

A few months ago BARBADOS BUSINESS AUTHORITY reported that the prime piece of Wildey, St Michael commercial real estate was being vacated by LIME earlier than originally planned, and that redevelopment plans were likely to be implemented sooner than expected.

Now, two of the island’s leading real estate companies – Terra Caribbean and Altman Real Estate – have been contracted to find a buyer.

“This prime commercial property, ready for development, includes a six-storey tower, several secondary buildings and parking areas. The site is located in a high visibility area within a well developed network of local roads and is directly accessible from the ABC Highway,” a brochure advertising the sale said.

“The southern boundary is lined with mature trees lending to the potential for a park-like development. The site presents a myriad of development options. An initial feasibility shows that the opportunity exists to build a mixed-use development, subject to planning approval.

“A concept plan proposes the phasing of a development plan over a five-year period. Further details on the feasibility analysis and the concept plan are available on request. This is a unique opportunity to acquire a ten-acre development site in a central and strategic location,” it added.

Fortress had said that the BET building was leased for 15 years by Cable & Wireless until October 2016, but that the company notified it “of a phased withdrawal and early termination of the lease” effective the end of March this year.

Fortress added that “discussions with LIME are ongoing and no exact dates for exiting all the premises have yet been agreed upon, and the rent continues to be paid in full in accordance with the lease”.

“Plans are being refined for the redevelopment of the site and the modernisation and upgrading of the main building are proceeding well. It is anticipated that a planning application will be made in the third quarter of 2014,” it said.

Almost a quarter of a million dollars has already been spent “investigating” possible improvements to the property.