Tue | Mar 20, 2018

New Caymanas golf club operator to improve property

Published:Friday | March 31, 2017 | 12:00 AM
In this February 2017 file photo, a young golfer competes at a tournament at the Caymanas golf club. The UDC has divested the Caymanas Golf & Country Club to a group of investors, who will oeprate the facility under lease, effective April 1, 2017.

The Caymanas Golf & Country Club will be divested by way of lease and not sale, as previously reported.

The Urban Development Corporation (UDC), the state agency that owns the property, says Caymanas Acquisition Group Limited (CAG) is leasing the facility for a decade, at $12 million per year. The new operator will also pump $30 million into upgrades over the period of the lease, with the agreement stipulating that 80 per cent of the capex should be deployed within the first three years of the takeover.

CAG, whose shareholders and directors are listed as bankers Peter Chin and Robert Chin on Companies Office records, will take control of the property within a month of the contract, which takes effect April 1.

Peter Chin declined to comment on plans for the property and the staff, telling the Financial Gleaner that a meeting with the membership of the club was being arranged and anything said before then would be premature.

The Caymanas Golf & Country Club and its 18-hole course sit on a 57-hectare, or 141-acre, property. UDC has operated the golf club for 19 years, and many of the workers there have served the property for over 17 years.

Several of the staff there told the Financial Gleaner that they are to be placed on three-six months probation when the new operator takes over, but they are uncertain of what comes after that.

At a meeting between UDC management and the golf club staff, they were told UDC would pay redundancy in keeping with standard labour relations practice. This will see persons with over 10 years service getting at least 12 weeks' pay. Representatives of one of the largest investment houses in Jamaica were also said to be on hand to assist with money management questions.

UDC says the leasing of the golf club is in keeping with its push to develop properties in its portfolio through partnerships with the private sector. The club is part of the wider Caymanas Estate, for which the UDC has been executing a master plan since 2009 that covers a mix of residential, commercial and light industrial developments.