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$1 billion repair bill forces UDC to scrap plans for new headquarters

Published:Friday | February 21, 2014 | 7:13 AM

A $1 billion renovation estimate may have influenced the decision of the Urban Development Corporation (UDC) to scrap plan to relocate its head offices.



The UDC had planned to move to the 3.5-acre Machado Complex in downtown Kingston and purchase the property for $85 million in 2009.



But the property has recently been sold to the HEART Trust/NTA and the Overseas Examinations Council for $104.5 million.



Since its purchase in 2009, the UDC has spent $52.4 million on the property for various reasons, including retrofitting designs and security.



The general manager of the UDC, Desmond Malcolm, told Wednesday’s sitting of the Public Administration and Appropriations Committee that the corporation incurred a net loss of $32.9 million on the property.



Committee member Fitz Jackson queried whether the UDC had prior knowledge of the $1 billion price tag to rehabilitate the property before purchasing it.



However, Malcolm said he could not have provided a response, but would submit the information at a later date.



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