Sagicor's Millennium Mall off to slow start

Sagicor's Millennium Mall off to slow start

Occupancy hit by COVID-19

Observer business writer

Sunday, May 31, 2020

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Sagicor's $2.3-billion-dollar Millennium Mall development project on the outskirts of May Pen, Clarendon, has been hit hard by COVID-19, which is being blamed for the low occupancy levels being experienced.

The 21-acre commercial property development in Mineral Heights, which was handed over to Sagicor earlier this year, having broken ground in April 2017, has a low occupancy level with few confirmed tenants.

The confirmed tenants include Sagicor Bank Jamaica, major fast food chains Popeyes and Little Caesars, Knutsford Express and a Devon House ice cream outlet.

In addition, Sagicor has partnered with GB Energy Texaco for the establishment of a gas station at Millennium Mall. Construction of the service station was recently completed.

The mall, which is being managed by Sagicor's property services arm, is expected to also host a supermarket, pharmacy, hardware store and retail shops but it has been tough in getting in additional tenants given the uncertainties caused by COVID-19.

Sagicor President Chris Zacca admitted to Sunday Finance that “occupancy and tenancy have been impacted by COVID-19 and the reduction in economic activity”.

However, Zacca remains upbeat about the prospects for Millennium Mall. “We remain actively discussing with a number of large possible tenants and we are fairly optimistic that by the end of the year, it (Millennium Mall) will be in a position where we have an occupancy that is acceptable to us,” Zacca trumpets.

It is understood that Sagicor remains locked in discussions with a supermarket chain, a pharmacy, clothing and electronics stores, medical professionals, other fast food restaurants, hair and beauty salons and a mobile accessories store for lease of business space.

Sunday Finance asked about the current occupancy level, which Zacca indicates that he doesn't have that information at the moment, but admitted that “it's quite low.” He points out that currently there is space for a supermarket, hardware and furniture stores, “so if we can get two or three of those running by the end of year, we will well be on our way.”

This, he concluded would be a “turning point for Millennium Mall”.

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