Self-contained offices attract investors
NG Business Reporter
Published: Sep 01, 2011
Necessity may be the mother of invention, but often enough she delivers a hot investment opportunity, too.
The beautiful Bahamian-Colonial style offices at Old Fort Bay are a case in point. When Nicolas Mosko, president of Mosko Realty, needed to set up an office for his business four-and-a-half years ago, he and his partner Tony Miaoulis came up with the idea for what Mosko describes as “self-contained offices”.
Since making the initial investment in the property and building the first unit, Mosko said the concept took off.
“This was my first move here, and we took a risk and went and bought the land,” Mosko said, referring to the site of the Pineapple House and Pineapple Grove units. “We were worried about how to make it work, but it fed itself. The response was tremendous.”
Trust companies, investment banks, law firms, an embassy and “just a good mixed group” have moved into the home-style offices since that first unit, Mosko said. Many were attracted to the opportunity to move away from large complexes where the building too easily swallowed up their corporate identities and gave them no “presence”, he explained. With the contained units, they had their own location to help build their brands.
President of the Bahamas Real Estate Association, Patti Birch, told Guardian Business in an earlier interview the units also provided a great satellite to businesses in town who wanted to serve upscale western markets, such as those in Lyford Cay, Old Fort Bay, and at Albany.
It's a trend she expects will continue to grow.
When the units were initially put on the market, they were introduced at what Mosko described as “good deals”. Since then, he said each unit has progressively been sold at a higher price – protecting the value of the investment for buyers.
Some investors were able to ride this wave when it was just a ripple – they purchased units and turned around and rented them out. Those investors, Mosko said, have done well – one of them taking three units.
The turn-key units come in 2,200, 3,200, and 5,500 square-foot models, with standard layouts or interiors that are designed along with the client. Like a condominium, there is an association, and all the owners are
responsible for their share of maintenance fees.
These fees cover upkeep of the fountain, security, landscaping, generator expenses, painting every two years and securing the building against hurricanes.
None of those things are left up to the owners to take care of, Mosko said.
Mosko said there is space for another ten units between the Pineapple Grove and Pineapple House sites.