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UDC puts Belmont property up for sale

Published:Friday | February 3, 2012 | 12:00 AM

Avia Collinder,Business Writer

The Urban Development Corporation is advertising the property it owns in Belmont, St Ann, for sale to private developers, through its agent the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ).

The DBJ says the property incorporates 3.4 acres of land, bordered by Mystic Mountain to the west and Dolphin Cove to the east, for sale by competitive bid.

The UDC's corporate plan in mid-2011 indicated that the land was slated for development under a public-private partnership, and was being marketed as a "prized opportunity for development of Dunn's River Estates ... conceptualised as a secluded luxurious collection of three-bedroom villas on 170 lots".

The listing of the property in January requires the buyer to develop the property in line with UDC's goals, but did not specify the initial 170-villa plan. Nevertheless, UDC said through its public relations unit on Wednesday that it has made no revisions to the investment models for properties now placed on the market.

"We note that the properties listed for sale does not reflect a shift in our corporate strategy, or a departure from considerations of public-private partnerships," the agency said.

In the case of Belmont, the investment model was for a private partner to design and build, then sell or operate the estate.

The project was also one of 36 properties listed nationwide for development by UDC using different models.

Calls to acting general manager Desmond Young were previously redirected to DBJ.

The DBJ said the St Ann property, which was advertised in January, was being sold under the policy enacted four years ago to return the UDC to its core functions of planning and developing designated areas of Jamaica.

DBJ said it was handling the tender in its capacity as a provider of advisory services to UDC on divestment.

"The DBJ, as the Government of Jamaica's privatisation agency, is the secretariat to the UDC Enterprise Team, and provides advisory services on the divestment of select GOJ assets. The DBJ is managing the tender process for the divestment of the 3.4-acre commercial property located in Belmont, Ocho Rios, St Ann. The DBJ is not at liberty to publicly disclose the valuation during the public tender process," the development bank said.