Parliamentary Committee Explores Failed Ocho Rios Beach Sale 

The sale of land in Ocho Rios by the Urban Development Corporation (UDC ) to Puerto Caribe Properties Ltd was examined by the Public Administration and Appropriations Committee (PAAC ) on Wednesday.

As requested, the UDC outlined the divestment process with regard to the sale, it also provided grounds for the discontinuation of the sale agreement.

The UDC says it was approached by Puerto Caribe Properties Ltd in December 2015 to acquire land in Ocho Rios to expand its hotel base in Jamaica.

The land originally involved the rooms on the beach hotel and access to beach land. Later on in the negotiation, Puerto Caribe indicated it wished to purchase the beach which is approximately two-thirds of the Ocho Rios bay beach.

Fast forward to March 5, 2020, Puerto Caribe officially informed the current general manager of UDC, Heather Pinnock of its intention not to proceed with the development. In a letter, the company mentioned its distaste for discussions in the public domain regarding its purchase of the Ocho Rios land and beach, describing them as harmful to its reputation.

The result, Puerto Caribe’s decision not to invest in Jamaica where it planned to invest 250 million us dollars and a request that the land is transferred back to the UDC.

The general manager of UDC Heather Pinnock adds that returning the funds will affect about 500 million dollars worth of planned projects specifically upgrades to the Ocho Rios Bay Beach, prepared for procurement in 2020.

-ALADDEN LOVE