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Landlords seek takers for Air Jamaica office space

Published:Wednesday | October 8, 2014 | 12:00 AM
The Air Jamaica building is seen partially obscured at Harbour Street, Kingston. File

National Insurance Fund is making another go at recruiting tenants for unused office space at the Air Jamaica building that has been on the market for more than three years.

The agency has advertised for rent some 3,000 square feet of space that was previously occupied by the Public Assistance Department of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security. The space has been vacant since May 2011.

NIF owns three floors of the 12-story Air Jamaica Building, comprising approximately 23,360 square feet, which is rented on the open market. Air Jamaica (Legacy) Limited owns five floors, measuring 32,802 square feet. A law firm and another government body is said to own the rest of the property.

Air J legacy said four of its floors are on the market, but there are prospects for three floors with tenants soon to move in, with one floor still available.

Previously the corporate headquarters for the national carrier, the five floors were put up for sale by Air Jamaica in 2010 when the airline was approaching final agreement with buyer Caribbean Airlines of Trinidad.

Deer-Williams said NIF purchase of its space was made long before 2010, and NIF has no plans to divest its holdings in the downtown property, which were last valued at $180 million in 2011.

The pension fund earns about $17 million from the building each year, she said.

Former project manager with Air Jamaica Legacy, Dennis Chung, said Thursday that no buyer was ever found for Air Jamaica's portion of the property, which remains an asset of the Government.

The building has 52 parking spaces. Each floor has its own amenities and is partitioned with demountable gypsum board to provide general and private offices.

For NIF-advertised space, rental per square foot is $750 per annum. There is also a maintenance portion that is determined annually, Deer-Williams said.