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Story Highlights

  • The new owners of the Oceana Hotel will be investing in the development of the property located at the Kingston waterfront.
  • The Urban Development Corporation (UDC) has sold the property to Jamaican-Canadian consortium, King Church Property Holdings Ltd for $385 million.
  • Chairman of the Corporation, Senator the Hon. K.D. Knight noted that the move is in keeping with the continued thrust by the Government to re-develop downtown.

The new owners of the Oceana Hotel will be investing in the development of the property located at the picturesque Kingston waterfront.

The Urban Development Corporation (UDC) has sold the property to Jamaican-Canadian consortium, King Church Property Holdings Ltd for $385 million. The consortium comprises Canadian real estate developers, Downing Street Partners Realty, and Jamaica Property Company Ltd, which is a member of the Pan Jamaica (Pan Jam) Group.

Speaking at the signing of the sales agreement at the UDC’s downtown offices yesterday (Nov.18), Chairman of the corporation, Senator the Hon. K.D. Knight, informed that the property has been sold for use primarily as a hotel.

He said the corporation has also settled on a 25-year lease agreement for the adjacent Jamaica Conference Centre multi-storey car park, with an option to review the terms after the first 10 years.

“The Downing Street Group has agreed to undertake improvement works on the Oceana Hotel and partner with a global leader as deemed necessary. Additionally, the adjacent car park will see improvements in the areas of security, lighting, signage and retrofitting of elevators,” Senator Knight informed.

He noted that the move is in keeping with the continued thrust by the Government to re-develop downtown.

“The development of Oceana Hotel, we believe, will breathe fresh life into downtown Kingston, adding further to the solid investment by the Digicel group in constructing their global office at 14 Ocean Boulevard, a deal which was facilitated by the UDC,” Mr. Knight said.

He further noted that this move strengthens the UDC’s vision for downtown Kingston which is intended to be a vibrant, mixed use environment with commercial/business, civic/government, residential/resort/accommodation, cultural and recreational/entertainment uses.

Senator Knight assured that there will be “absolutely no dislocation” to current tenants of the car park, which will be managed by Church Property Holdings Limited.

Chairman, Downing Street Group, Anthony Alberga, said he sees the purchase of this property as “an important step towards the revitalization of the city of Kingston, back to its vibrant condition of the 1970’s…our shared vision is a beautiful waterfront city becoming the gem of the Caribbean.”

He noted that under the project, which has been renamed Caribbean Place, the plan is to refurbish the building and garage “to the highest standard and our first task will be to completely remodel the interior of the building.”

Mr. Alberga said the property is going to be developed on a phased basis starting with cleaning out the debris.

“We will start with the ground floor first and the interior will be completely demolished and made ready for commercial use. Then, we will work towards a hotel operation as a second phase,” he explained.

Chairman, Pan Jam, Stephen Facey, said work is expected to start shortly.

The contract period is 60 days, which goes up to the middle of January.

“We hope to complete the first phase during the course of the early part of next year and we should have completed plans on the remainder of the project during the course of the year and be in a position to move ahead with it shortly thereafter,” he said.

 

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