Government Rescinds Decision to Sell Land in St. James

Photo: JIS Photographer Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, emphasises a point while addressing journalists at Wednesday’s (July 19) post-Cabinet media briefing at Jamaica House. Seated (from left) are: Press Secretary, Office of the Prime Minister, Naomi Francis; and Education, Youth and Information Minister, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid.

The Government has rescinded its approval for the sale of 96.5 acres of land at a section of the Success Estate in Rose Hall, St. James, known as North Estate, to Celebrate Jamaica Limited for US$40.1 million.

According to Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, this resulted from the entity’s failure to execute certain prerequisites for the property’s development as an integrated resort, incorporating a casino, among other things.

He was speaking at a post-Cabinet media briefing on July 19 at Jamaica House, hosted by Education, Youth and Information Minister, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid.

Mr. Bartlett indicated that Celebrate Jamaica was given a six-month timeline within which to carry out certain undertakings which “did not happen.”

Consequently, he said the Administration “took the right decision” to rescind the arrangement.

“The Government takes a position that in every element of the divestment of its assets, there has to be a performance criterion that is established. So, if you are given a timeline within which to perform against whatever the undertaking is and that timeline is not met, then we simply act appropriately…and that was the case here,” the Minister explained.

Mr. Bartlett said the property is in “great demand,” adding that he is scheduled to meet with several interests who are keen on investing in its development.

“Jamaica’s tourism product is hot on the market and the demand for investments (within) the last six months…has just simply been phenomenal,” he noted.

JIS Social