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Lakes developing business, retail centre at Waterloo

The Lake family is developing a business and retail centre at the corner of Waterloo and Hope Road, Kingston – across from Devon House – that once was used to warehouse cars for sale.

The complex, on which construction is ongoing, will feature a mix of office space and shops for rental.

“We are constructing a multiuse space to house two quick-service restaurants on the ground and commercial space on the upper floor. Lake Group will be utilising some of the space,” said Restaurants Associates CEO Lisa Lake Epstein in response to Financial Gleaner queries.

The project is due for completion in the third quarter of this year, Lake said.

The Lake family operates a series of ventures, most notably Restaurants Associates Limited, which holds the rights to franchises such as Burger King, Popeyes, Little Caesars, and Dessert Bar, and operates in Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, and Barbados. The group employs over 1,500 people across the three islands and its turnover exceeds US$100 million annually, according to information on its website.

The new complex is in the proximity of offices from which the group operates on Hope Road.

“As a group, we are always on the lookout for great locations. Furthermore, our head offices are located a few steps away. So in addition to the intersection being one of the most highly trafficked in Kingston, it is of additional strategic value to us,” Lake said.

She declined to disclose the size of the investment in the Waterloo complex but said that JMMB was a financial partner in the development.

The land is held by the Lakes through a company called Caribbean Resources Limited. Its shareholders include Kenneth Sherwood, Lois Lake Sherwood, and Aerocon Construction Limited, according to Companies Office of Jamaica filings. Aerocon directors are Richard Lake and Lois Lake Sherwood, chairman of Restaurants Associates.

Over the past two decades, the property was utilised for the occasional soca party, as a car lot, and later, general storage.

Back in 2018, there was a stand-off at a property, which was then being used by car dealer Dwight Moore to store vehicles. During the forced removal of the vehicles, Richard Lake told the media that the property had been acquired by Caribbean Resources Limited at public auction for $190 million.

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