Explore Altman Commercial
Barbados is a hub for many international commercial headquarters (ICHQs). Considered the Caribbean’s most respected island, Barbados hosts the Caribbean headquarters for many international banks, distribution agencies and embassies which encompass the Eastern Caribbean. Our international airport, highly qualified staff and ideal living conditions make Barbados the perfect choice. Businesses can choose from a selection of landmark office buildings which house insurance companies, legal offices, global companies, financial institutions, government and medical offices, along with many other commercial centres.
Altman Commercial’s most visible property, that covers the entire gambit of commercial activity, is Limegrove Lifestyle Centre. There we have the full offering of a mixed-use commercial community – fashion, food, film, art, offices and a residential component. These activities are divided almost equally in terms of the areas they occupy. Other commercial properties range from the Eppley Caribbean Property Fund’s properties - which include Carlisle House and The Chattel Village (among others) – to Chelston Park and The Speightstown Mall to name a few.
The expansion of global tax treaties has allowed this list of ICHQs, based in Barbados, to grow. This growth has been reinforced by the advancement of high-speed internet. Special tax treaties have saved billions of dollars for these companies. Barbados – classified as a low tax (as opposed to a no-tax jurisdiction) – profited immensely, receiving between 1% and 2% in tax revenue. In fact, Barbados’ total annual income tax revenue is fed mainly from international companies, which represents approximately 60% of its tax revenues.
Altman Real Estate continues to support this area of business. We provide advisory services, assist with applications for work permits and concessions and, most of all, sell, lease and manage commercial properties - looking after the buildings and their tenants. One area of commercial management that has become more widely appreciated is that of facilities management. This is a well-defined service which provides owners with a detailed inspection and programmed schedule for preventative maintenance. Facilities management has proven to not only keep buildings and their environments in better physical and operational condition but, most importantly, to save major costs. These ongoing maintenance services extend the life of buildings and their mechanical features. This allows the buildings to attract and maintain higher income and better quality tenants.
In today’s world, healthy buildings are even more relevant. Items such as air quality and the enforcement of health-related protocols are standard requirements. Working remotely has changed the way office spaces function, yet it has not reduced the need for central operations. New and advanced air-conditioning systems, more thought to indoor/ outdoor facilities and many details linked to keeping personnel healthy require that the management of buildings is a top priority. Facilities management speaks to these new requirements.
Looking ahead, there are many opportunities. One that stands out is the need for greener, eco-friendly buildings. This concept not only refers to large office blocks, but to single offices as well; in particular, where we are attracting more owner-operated businesses and international companies requiring smaller spaces from 500 sq. ft. – 1,000 sq. ft. Shared office spaces became popular at the turn of this millennium, where users could tap into space for an hour, a day or longer periods. Regus Barbados is a leader in this category and their modern office spaces allow for a central lounge and booked meeting rooms.
WeWork is another shared office provider. A user could move from London to New York and not know that they had changed countries – simply arriving at a duplicate setting with all services provided.
As start-up companies and creative minds develop, new office options spring up. One such offering is Dogpatch Labs which allows entrepreneurial millennials, many times with similar business models, to share space and share creativity. These businesses are often crowdfunded or venture funded.
Another approach being considered is the construction of residential and commercial spaces adjacent to each other; a type of home office designed for commercial use. Adjacent spaces where employees can work, separated from residences; and where executives can live or visit and enjoy high standards of accommodation. These units could be rented or purchased. The main benefit is that this option qualifies as tax efficient. Not expensive if you expense it