Sat | Mar 17, 2018

GraceKennedy hires project manager, begins preparation for US$25m HQ project

Published:Wednesday | December 9, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Graphic artist rendition of the GraceKennedy Headquarters and Commerical Complex to be developed at Harbour Street, Kingston.

GraceKennedy Limited is now preparing a new parking lot for employees, to clear the way for construction of the US$25 million commercial complex that will become the conglomerate's new headquarters.

The designated site for the complex at Lot 21 Harbour Street will eventually house a nine-story building with approximately 350 high-rise parking spaces, offices and retail spaces. The development is expected to begin in March and wrap up by June 2018.

Alongside GK's corporate offices, it will house its money-services subsidiary, GraceKennedy Money Services Limited, which comprises Western Union, FX Trader and Bill Express, and offer 6,000 square feet of retail space for rent.

GK acquired the 48,000 square feet of land from Urban Development Corporation about a year ago for the project. The designs for the complex are still to be finalised, but they call for nine floors and a 100,000 square-foot parking garage, the conglomerate said.

The company aims to develop a modern complex that changes and enhances the landscape on the waterfront.

"Jamaica is a jewel. Downtown is the diamond in the rough, waiting to be cut and polished so that it can shine as brightly as possible and live up to its real value," said GH group CEO Don Wehby in a company statement.

GraceKennedy has already hired Keith Rigbye of Inter-national Built Environment Consultants as project manager. Michael Ranglin, the executive chairman of GraceKennedy Properties Limited, will oversee the project for the group.

The temporary parking facility is being set up adjacent to Lot 21 on the Myrtle Bank lot. GK said UDC would assume for parking lot after its complex with new parking facilities is built.

New traffic lights have been mounted at the four-way intersection at Hanover Street and Port Royal as part of the parking- relocation project.

GraceKennedy eventually plans to develop a real estate investment trust (REIT), which is expected to incorporate the complex. The REIT is to be listed

on the Jamaica Stock Exchange following completion of the