Harmony Cove to break ground in 2017

Harmony Cove to break ground in 2017

BY AVIA COLLINDER Business reporter collindera@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

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Dr Lorna Simmonds, CEO of Harmonisation Ltd, indicates that the casino resort Harmony Cove is on track to break ground in 2017, expressing confidence that groundwork is now being laid for a successful project.

The company is planning a large integrated resort development located near Duncans in Trelawny which is expected to reach 5,000 rooms in the long term.

Harmony Cove, owned by the National Housing Trust (NHT) and Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) under Harmonisation Ltd and Tavistock Ltd, is one of two companies which have been given preliminary approval for approved integrated resort development status, which — if granted — will open doors to a casino gaming licence.

The first phase of the Trelawny project, consisting of 1,000 rooms, is valued at US$900 million.

At last report, financing support was being sought from the China Development Bank (CDB) and Sinohydro Construction Corporation.

"Harmony Cove will be a success because we have a sustainable debt/equity ratio," Dr Simmonds told the
Jamaica Observer, adding, however, "We are bound by confidentiality requirements and are unable to discuss the specifics of our capital structure."

She said the company is currently in the process of negotiating construction documents with development partners, with ground breaking being planned for next year.

"No permits have yet been applied for or received, but we have kept in touch with the relevant agencies in order for them to be kept informed of our plans during the design process," she told the Business Observer.

In addition to 1,000 hotel rooms, the resort is expected to feature multiple restaurants and retail shops and a build-out of infrastructure support. Later it is expected that full room count will reach 5,000.

Commenting generally on the prospects for the casino resort, the CEO noted that the Jamaican Casino Gaming framework as designed, "by limiting the number of licences and granting exclusive operating territories, should ensure a successful gaming market in Jamaica".

The other company which is planning an integrated resort is Celebration Jamaica Ltd, which in January indicated that construction would begin by mid-2016.

Phase one for Celebration, estimated at US$500 million, will see construction on the company’s 90-acre property in Rose Hall, St James.

The development, located in Montego Bay, is the brainchild of Robert Trotta, the businessman who also conceptualised the Palmyra condominium complex.

The developer is aiming for 2,000 rooms, with 1,000 rooms being developed in the short term alongside a state-of-the-art music studio, a theatre that will seat 1,200, a banquet hall and a casino, the company said in January.

Trotta said then that he and partners were using the development services of Celebration Casino Corp, from Canada, who they said have developed and operated 30 properties internationally, ranging from small to integrated projects.


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