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YP Seaton & Associates to develop $600m sewage system for Caymanas Estate

Published:Wednesday | April 29, 2015 | 4:00 AM

The Urban Development Corporation (UDC) says it is ready to sell more land at the Caymanas Estate as it signed a $624-million contract with Y.P. Seaton & Associates to construct a sewage conveyance system for the property to facilitate development projects.

The new system, 7.2km long, will include two sewage lift stations. It is slated for completion over eight months.

UDC Chairman K.D. Knight said the system would be large enough to accommodate current and future developments on the 10,700-acre estate. Caymanas falls within a special purposed zone for single-family dwellings and mixed-use recreational/residential/commercial planned developments as well as agriculture and forestry.

"The bottom line is that these are government lands which are slated for development. If somebody else comes and wants 100 acres for expansion, we are open," said UDC General Manager Desmond Malcolm. "A lot of private people want 100-acre lots for housing, etc., but the process of divestment is a very lengthy one. We also are mindful of what the minister is talking about the logistics hub," he said.

Malcolm said UDC did not want to dispose of land for housing alone, saying portions of the estate are better suited for agriculture.

He said an old valuation had priced the Caymanas lands at $600 million per acre and upwards, but agreed that the new sewerage infrastructure would increase the value of the property.

The sewerage line is being wholly funded from UDC capital which itself came from properties sold in 2014. All engineering works for the project will be done by the UDC as well.

To date, the main projects on the estate include the multi-phased Caymanas Country Club Estate - a residential development on 103 acres being pursued by New Era Homes 2000 Limited; and the manufacturing/distribution hub to be developed by Factories Corporation of Jamaica, starting with a 200-acre site.

Leo Taddeo of New Era Homes, who was present at the signing, said his project is now into its fifth and final phase.

avia.collinder@gleanerjm.com