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UDC to bring 68 commercial lots to market

The Urban Development Corporation, UDC, has begun groundwork for the sale of roughly 108 acres of Caymanas Estate lands, all of which is slated for light commercial development.

So far, the state agency has received approval from the National Environment & Planning Agency for the subdivision of the area into 68 service lots. The next step, says UDC’s Deputy General Manager for Planning, Development and Project Management, Loy Malcolm, is to get the procurement process for infrastructural works under way.

“We are going through the Public Investment Management Committee, PIMC, for approval. Once we have all those approvals in place, the financing of the infrastructure will advance, and we will move on to procure, etc,” Malcolm told the Financial Gleaner.

The PIMC falls under the Jamaica Public Investment Management Systems, which is the common framework for the preparation, appraisal, approval, and management of all public investments in Jamaica, irrespective of the source of funding or procurement and implementation modalities.

The UDC will need the committee’s approval of the budget for infrastructure works such as roadways, sewage, electricity, and a green area before the project can advance.

Malcolm wants to get the procurement process rolling this year and to at least get a contract in place by March 2024. But hitting that timeline will be dependent on several factors, she says.

“There are many things that can impact the timeline, but that’s what we are aiming for.”

The lands slated to go on the market form part of the Caymanas Estate Development Area, or CEDA, and are located north of Mandela Highway and west of the Ferry Police Station. Each of the 68 lots will run approximately one acre in size, while two and a half acres will be reserved for green space.

Business owners operating in logistics, business process outsourcing, and commercial shop, for example, are welcome to seek land in the 108 acres once it hits the market, Malcolm said.

A price range for the lots has not been disclosed.

“We would not put that out until the advert for the lots goes out. However, sometimes the divestment area of the business will decide whether we state a reserved price, but certainly whatever we do will be in accordance with the divestment policy of Government, which is guided by market valuation,” Malcolm said.

According to the UDC website, the Caymanas Designated area comprises 10,703 acres of which approximately 46 per cent has been earmarked for various types of developments, including mixed income group residential solutions, light industrial, commercial, institutional and recreational uses.

The broad area is located west of the city of Kingston, east of Spanish Town, and north of the Portmore Town Centre and was designated for development in 2009 under the UDC Act.

The CEDA is divided into seven blocks, six of which are slated for “high-end” mixed-use residential development. Block 1 is designated for development as commercial property.

Aside from the sale of the service lots for commercial use, The UDC is also in the market for a joint venture to develop 132 acres or 53 hectares of land in the CEDA for residential development. Last year, the UDC issued a request for expressions of interest on the development and in short order, will issue a request for proposals.

“We are still in that process, and it’s an active, competitive process, so we won’t say too much about that, except to say that we are advancing,” she said.

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