Eden Gardens, the small Kingston hotel, the unique venue and home for a suite of businesses owned and operated by entrepreneur and researcher Dr Henry Lowe, has been sold amid a boom in real estate development for Upscale accommodations in the area which is on the outskirts of New Kingston’s business district. The property was acquired on September 8 this year by MJR Real Estate Holdings Limited, several of whose directors are officers of the brokerage and investment firm Barita Investments Limited.
The address of MJR Real Estate Holdings is also listed at 15 St Lucia Way, Kingston 5, the address of Barita Investments Limited.
Documents from the National Land Agency’s Titles Office indicate that the property, located at the corner of Lady Musgrave and Argyle roads in the area known as Vale Royal Pen, for its proximity to Vale Royal – the official residence of the Prime Minister, has was acquired for US $ 3.2 million, or over US $ 470 million. The property was sold by its owner Environmental Health Foundation Limited, of which Dr Lowe is registered as a director. The other directors are Professor Ishenkuma Kahwa, management consultant Oral Shaw and corporate secretaries Janet Wilson and Faradaine Forbes-Edwards.
Barita Investments, who described himself to Financial Gleaner as “agent” of the new owner, took possession of the property on September 23. Jamaica Companies Office records list the directors of MJR Real Estate Holdings Limited as attorneys Trevor Patterson and Dane Patterson, as well as officers of Barita Jason Chambers, Ramon Small-Ferguson and Malindo Wallace, the secretary of the real estate company being Barita’s attorney and legal counsel, Stepanie Sterling.
The company was incorporated in March of this year without share capital and is registered as a real estate development and sale company.
Barita executives declined to discuss the details of the transaction or indicate the real estate holding company’s specific relationship with Barita Investments Limited, which is listed on the Jamaica Stock Exchange, recently raised some $ 10.8 billion in an additional public offering, the majority shareholder of which is Cornerstone United Holdings Jamaica Limited.
Dr Lowe also declined to discuss the details of the transaction. However, his attorney, Lance Hylton, whose law firm Hylton and Hylton is said to have handled, told the Financial Gleaner that the property had been on the market since last year after the company, which mainly derived revenue from the rental of commercial space and rooms, slowed significantly following a market downturn made worse by the pandemic of COVID-19.
Hylton said the transaction was a “simple private sale”.
According to Titles Office records, the property of Eden Gardens, originally owned by businessman and management consultant Dr Trevor Hamilton, was sold to Voche Capital Investment Limited in 1997 for $ 26 million. dollars. It was acquired in 2002 by Dr. Lowe together with Ludella Lowe, Jason Lowe and David Lowe for $ 10 million. Ten years later, the property was transferred as a gift to Eden Gardens Property Holdings Limited and in June 2014 sold to Environmental Health Foundation Limited for US $ 6.5 million.
The property was mortgaged to the National Export-Import Bank of Jamaica, EXIM Bank, in November 2018 for $ 30 million with interest, and the discharge of EXIM Bank’s lien on the property was registered on September 8, the day of the sale to MJR Real Estate. Assets.
The property is located in an area which in recent times has become a hive of real estate development. It is close to the AC Marriott Hotel and the ATL Autobahn New Car Showroom developed by Sandals Resorts International and Marriott Hotels at a cost of over US $ 50 million. Just across the road, Guardian Life is completing its high-rise condominium complex in Cambridge near its recently completed Hampshire, two developments on which the insurance company has shelled out some $ 10 billion. Another 99-unit condominium complex, the VIA, is being developed near Braemar Avenue by the real estate investment and development company Proven REIT.