Sun | Nov 28, 2021

UDC update on privatisation initiative

Published:Saturday | May 24, 2014 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

The Urban Development Corporation (UDC) notes the Gleaner editorial of May 19 titled 'Lethargy in privatisation' and its particular reference to the work of the UDC. We are appreciative of the opportunity to continue the update on the status of our privatisation and investment opportunities.

Recently, you may have seen where the UDC placed a number of key assets on the local market inviting private-sector investment and management, inclusive of Catherine Hall Entertainment Centre and Seacastles Apartments, St James; Caymanas Golf and Country Club and Cotton Polyester Complex, St Catherine; and Ideal Warehouse in downtown Kingston, which are currently featured on our corporate website, www.udcja.com.

We have also solicited the interest of the market in the development of the Northern Car Parking Garage on property owned by the UDC on Port Royal Street. This is planned to be a private-sector-driven project where private developers are invited to build, own and operate the car parking garage.

Recently, a number of key private- and public-sector investments have been successfully facilitated by the corporation, or are at advanced stages. These include Forum Hotel, which is being divested to a private-sector group as a residential and commercial complex. Negotiations are ongoing with respect to Oceana Hotel which will be refurbished as a hotel and business complex to increase economic activity in downtown Kingston.

HEART Trust/NTA has also invested in the Machado Complex, which will be developed as a downtown Kingston education and training complex to unearth and develop new skills in our people.

Meanwhile, the Jamintel building has been divested to the Ministry of Transport and Works to satisfy its need for space for offices and to move major public-sector operations back downtown to drive economic development, while Lot 21, Harbour Street, Kingston, will be transformed into a commercial centre and parking facility by the GraceKennedy Group.

We note your reference to Dunn's River Falls and Park and must reiterate that this national asset, which is also a significant historic landmark, is not slated for divestment.

The corporation is very actively engaged in the divestment through sale or lease of some assets where it is determined that the course of action will facilitate development and optimise efficiencies and is encouraging the private sector to come forward with proposals which are viable and will drive sustainable economic development.

UDC

12 Ocean Boulevard

Kingston, Jamaica