Turks and Caicos Commercial & Retail Plazas
Many commercial and retail businesses on the island of Providenciales, such as shops, law firms, and real estate agencies, are located in small and mid-sized commercial plazas.
Due to the smaller populations, the other islands do not have quite the selection of properties that Providenciales has, yet small commercial plazas can be found in most settlements.
As may be expected, location greatly affects unit rental rates.
In central Providenciales, a 1,000-square-foot unit (93 m²) in a presentable complex can often be rented for around $1,000 per month. In prime areas such as Grace Bay, rates tend to be at least double that.
Which Location is Best?
Location plays a critical role in any commercial endeavor, and can make the difference between success and failure. In the case of Providenciales, any business that relies on walk-in and foot tourism traffic needs to be seen by customers. Consequently, this means that it’ll likely have to front the “Grace Bay Strip” which is a 1-mile (1.6 km) stretch of Grace Bay Road and the home of most of the country's luxury resorts.
Traditionally, professional services such as banks and lawyers were located in the Downtown region of Providenciales, as were most government offices. However, this has begun to change over the last decade, and the upper levels of the Grace Bay shopping plazas and the Graceway Plaza on Leeward Highway are now the favored sites. The expansions of two local banks reflect this, as both Scotia Bank and First Caribbean now have Grace Bay branches, and Royal Bank of Canada’s main location is adjacent to Graceway Plaza.
Some of the smaller tourism enclaves may be worth considering as well. In addition to the marina, the Turtle Cove area now supports quite a few accommodations, restaurants, and vacation villas.
Car parking is another consideration. Due to the limited landmass and property size, the commercial complexes in the Turks and Caicos often have poorly-designed and insufficient parking spaces. Many of the newer sites have improved on this, yet frustrating and dangerous layouts still are common.
Purchasing a Unit
Units and offices in many of the plazas are offered for sale at times, and depending on the business, it may make financial sense to buy instead of lease. In most cases, strata and maintenance fees apply. Keep in mind that Stamp Duty applies on real estate purchases, and may be as high as 10% of the property value (depending on the island and sale price).
Due to the premium value, purchasing vacant land in an area of high tourism foot traffic is out of reach for many small businesses, and construction tends to be costly as well.