14 Sep 2018 - Trinidad (Port of Spain)

James Whitmee

I am in Port of Spain in Trinidad looking at the office market. I have come here on a plane that island hops, and by the time I get back to the UK I will have been in five Caribbean countries.

The major users of office space in Port of Spain comprise Government and the oil companies. BP is probably the largest single corporate user of offices with 150,000+ sq ft.

Government is now mostly located to the south of the city, and in particular in the new, high-rise development which has taken place on the waterfront around the Hyatt and Radisson hotels at Downtown Port.

Corporates, and the oil majors, are generally to the north of Downtown and in the areas of Newtown and St Clair, to the west and south of Queen’s Park Savannah.

The standard of offices in this market is relatively high, with the best buildings having sprinkler systems, and even some with LEED-certification (eg RGM’s Savannah East).

As mentioned, Trinidad's economy is based on natural gas and oil, and as a result the real estate market essentially follows the fortunes of that sector (and currently is depressed). It is around 20-25% below its peak from around three years ago and there is significant vacancy of maybe around 15%.

The weather here is very changeable at the moment and at times there has been a lot of rain. The city is not great for getting around as a pedestrian as the streets do not go in straight lines and sometimes the pavements disappear.

Port of Spain

View towards Downtown Port from Newtown

 

Tags: Trinidad and Tobago