Sun | Oct 22, 2017

Proven to develop commercial park in Mandeville

Published:Wednesday | November 16, 2016 | 12:00 AMSteven Jackson
Pierre Shirley, acting general manager of Proven REIT Limited, shows a graphic design of the Bloomfield Park.

Proven REIT Limited, a subsidiary of Proven Investments, has acquired property from Black Brothers in Mandeville, which it plans to transform into a commercial park.

The Bloomfield Development Park, currently the largest planned commercial development in Mandeville, will span 220,000 square feet. The plans for Bloomfield are yet to be finalised but its meant to accommodate retail stores, a small hotel and a business process outsourcing - BPO - facility.

"We bought the 7.5 acres of land from Black Brothers Limited and we are planning a strata commercial development, similar to Fairview in Montego Bay," said Pierre Shirley, acting general manager for Proven REIT. The price for the property was not disclosed.

Negotiations under way

The Bloomfield project concept includes a 60,000-square-foot office building suitable for call centre operations. Negotiations are ongoing with a BPO provider, but no deal has yet been concretised, said Shirley in an interview with Gleaner Business.

The hotel would be around 70 to 100 rooms with meeting and conference space of about 50,000 square feet.

Another 100,000 square feet would be mixed-use space for offices, shops and restaurants.

Shirley said the retail shops, spanning 98,000 square feet overall, can be broken up into blocks of 1,000 square feet and sold, depending on the needs of the end user.

Proven is not disclosing the indicative project cost. The company will develop the infrastructure for Bloomfield but give investors the choice of developing their own space in conformity with its master plan for the park.

"I wouldn't say it's ambitious," Shirley said of the project's scale.

"The location and timing is appropriate - it's located just outside the town next to MegaMart; there is a lot of traffic in the town which makes this location perfect for a lot of businesses - new and existing."

The BPO space could mean up to 1,000 jobs, which in turn would be "a captive audience" for retailers and restaurants in the Bloomfield Park, he said. "Who wouldn't want to set up a business at this location?"

Bloomfield is the fourth project by Proven REIT and its first commercial endeavour. Its residential developments to date include: 8 Kingsway - completed and fully sold out; 21 Sullivan Avenue - to be completed in March 2017; and Luxury Villas in Millsborough - to break ground by February 2017.

"For Bloomfield Park, the next step is that we are going to market and currently seeking parties interested in participating in the development," Shirley said. This includes investors, developers, purchasers and tenants.

Shirley also indicated that Proven is seeking a partner to develop the hotel.

"We are in discussions with a few hotel operators for them to design and develop the hotel. So we will be in collaboration with the selected operator, once we have come to an agreement," he said.

steven.jackson@gleanerjm.com