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An artiste's rendering of One Belmont

Sygnus Real Estate Finance obtains JM$3.2 billion in financing to complete ‘One Belmont’ project

An artiste's rendering of One Belmont

After falling short at securing the expected $4 billion capital raise through its just closed initial public offering (IPO), Sygnus Real Estate Finance Limited (SRF) has successfully secured JM$3.2 billion in financing for its “One Belmont” commercial development project.

Co-Founder, President and CEO of Sygnus Group Berisford Grey, answers questions from the audience during a Q&A Session with Mischa mcleod Hines, vice-president of capital market at Sagicor Investments, and Scotia Investments Head of Capital Markets Sarah Cumming — joint lead brokers. (Photo: LinkedIn)

The financing raised consists of a construction loan of $2.5 billion provided by National Commercial Bank (NCB) and JM$650 million in preference shares, which has been arranged by Sygnus Capital Limited.

The $3.2 billion financing comes on the heels of SRF’s $2.3 billion IPO and is part of over $7.2 billion in total financing that SRF has secured over the past five months to fund projects across various segments of the real estate asset class. SRF is a specialty real estate investment company, which uses flexible capital (debt and equity) to unlock value in real estate assets across the industrial, residential, commercial, hospitality and infrastructure segments.

Sygnus vice-president and head of Real Estate & Project Finance David Cummings explains that, “One Belmont is a response to an evolving world, in which SRF has seized the opportunity to design and deliver class A offices in a striking design, with abundant parking and a host of other features that will be highly sought after in a post-pandemic corporate environment.”

From left: Berisford Grey, co-founder and CEO of Sygnus, with David Cummings, vice-president and head of Real Estate & Project Finance at Sygnus and Mischa McLeod Hines, vice-president, Capital Markets — Sagicor Investments Jamaica. (Photo: Jamaica Observer)

Commenting on the capital raise, Berisford Grey, president and chief executive, Sygnus Group, remarked: “We are pleased to be able to secure all the financing to develop the One Belmont Project, which will be a key landmark in the Kingston financial district. The JM$3.2-billion fund raised will allow SRF to have the project fully funded so that it can focus on a strong execution and timely delivery of the investment.”

He thanked NCB and the investors in the preference shares for their continued partnership and support. In concluding, Grey said, “as the leading alternative investment manager in the market, Sygnus is relentless on its mission to drive shareholder value through leveraging our expertise and creativity by bringing various alternative investment opportunities such as real estate, private credit and private equity to investors.”

General manager, corporate & commercial banking at NCB, Raymond Donaldson, shared his confidence in SRF’s capacity to successfully execute this project. According to Donaldson, “while we look to expand our footprint in construction projects of this nature, we are excited to partner with Sygnus Real Estate Finance, a long-standing customer with the business acumen and business model that is aligned with our goals at NCB. This project is a perfect fit with our appetite in terms of construction lending and we see this as a first of many such projects that we would like to finance in the future.”

Jeffrey Brown, loans syndications specialist, NCB; Raymond Donaldson, general manager, Corporate & Commercial Banking, NCB; Berisford Grey, co-founder & president, Sygnus; and David Cummings, vice-president and head of Real Estate & Project Finance.

The project will deliver approximately 79,000 square feet of commercial offices, supported by four levels of parking, roof top entertainment for corporate events, LED lighting surrounding the building, as well as a host of other unique features.

The project is being executed through its special purpose subsidiary (Audere Holdings Ltd) and work has already commenced on site with a team, which includes Virtuoso (architects), Neustone Projects (project manager), BYD (contractor), Peter Jervis and Associates (civil engineer), CPM Consultants (quantity surveyors), and HTG Engineering Consultants (MEP engineers).

One Belmont, which is located at 1-3 Belmont Road in St Andrew, has already seen strong interest from potential tenants and investors seeking direct exposure to real estate assets. The project is scheduled to be delivered in early 2023.