Business

Shanghai Business Hotel land for sale

Chinese developer opts out of building Kingston hotel behind Devon House

BY SHAMILLE SCOTT Business reporter scotts@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, January 05, 2014    

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THE Chinese developers, ZDA Construction have put the site of the boutique hotel that was to be built behind Devon House on the market.

A "For Sale" sign is now tagged on a zinc fence erected around the 1.1-acre property that was to be home to the three-storey, 46-room Shanghai Business Hotel.

Coldwell Banker is the real estate company handling the sale of the property and it is disclosed that the price tag is $200 million negotiable.

Managing director of ZDA Construction Gary Zhong told Sunday Finance that he's no longer the project manager and has no information about the property; neither does he know who has expressed an interest.

"It's being managed by someone else who is currently in China," he said.

Zhong said that his boss, who was pushing the project, had passed away.

ZDA Construction had made numerous amendments to the design of the hotel and indicated that despite protests from the residents, who objected to aspects of the development, the company would follow through with the investment.

Indeed, the future owners might have the option of continuing the hotel project, after all, ZDA was granted planning permission and environmental permit with stipulated conditions by the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), as well as approval from the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Council (KSAC).

Its building plan is also available through the sale.

But that doesn't mean the property couldn't be used for a residential development, which is the predominant use of

the area.

Zhong, in a previous interview, told this newspaper that funding for the project would be given by the Bank of China and the hotel would cost US$7 million ($685.6 million).

When the proposal to build the hotel was made two years ago, the residents of the Canterbury Manor Citizens' Association mainly complained that it was out of character, as most adjoining buildings along Kingsway do not exceed two floors, and that it could restrict light and airflow.

Now that the future use of the property is uncertain, at least one resident is concerned about the erected zinc fence

in the area for an unknown period.

The resident questioned whether the fence could be replaced with a chain link and the area consistently bushed.

"Devon House is a heritage site and as you exit on Kingsway, this zinc fencing is the view we are giving visitors," the resident said.

"This can't be right at all," she added.

ZDA constructed the Basic Medical Science Complex of the University of West Indies, Mona Campus.

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