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NCB puts Sand Castles admin block up for auction

Published:Wednesday | April 25, 2012 | 12:00 AM

National Commercial Bank Jamaica (NCB) has put the administrative block of the Sand Castles hotel up for sale, but says it would not comment on whether the 174-suite hotel is still taking guests.

The listed phone numbers at the hotel located in Ocho Rios were "temporarily out of service", according to a recording on all but one of the lines, which was constantly busy, suggesting that the resort was not operational.

The bank holds title to Lot No 177, Block F, which houses the reception area, boardroom, manager's office, open office area, the storeroom and kitchen and a conference room covering 2,347 square feet of space.

NCB has commissioned Thomas Forbes and Associates of Mandeville for the auction "under powers of sale contained in a mortgage" with an advertised auction date of May 10.

The amount of the mortgage was not disclosed.

Shelly-Ann Harris, NCB's senior corporate communications officer in the marketing communications and service delivery division, said on Tuesday, "Unfortunately, the bank is not in a position to provide you with the answers to your questions as, if we are the mortgagee, we could not disclose any information on the matter, given the importance of confidentiality of our customers' information."

Wednesday Business was reliably informed that NCB is the mortgage holder.

The remainder of the hotel, outside of the administrative block, comprises self-contained units including studios, one and two bedrooms all in five blocks, plus shops, many of which are owned by individuals.

The management of the hotel was responsible for the cleaning of rooms, common areas, including the swimming pool, evening entertainment and service of a la carte meals in the conference room/restaurant upstairs the reception area.

Centrally located on Main Street, Ocho Rios, the property was a favourite with both Jamaicans on business and at play on the north coast, as well as international guests with an interest in nightlife, nearby restaurants and attractions such as the Harmony Hall art gallery, Dunn's River Falls, Dolphin Cove, the eco-adventure park of White River Valley, Seville Great House & Heritage Park and Cranbrook Flower Forest.

Castle-like in design, the apartment complex is set in landscaped gardens.

Attempts by Wednesday Business to make contact with managers of the property were not successful.

The property was said to have been developed by Urban Development Corporation, but that it now operates as a strata corporation with individual owners of the apartments.