GraceKennedy to invest in BPO facility in downtown Kingston

KINGSTON, Jamaica – GK Investments Limited, a subsidiary of GraceKennedy Limited, has announced that it has entered into a lease arrangement with the Postal Corporation of Jamaica (Jamaica Post), for a section of property located at 6-10 Camp Road in downtown Kingston, which also houses the Kingston Central Sorting Office (CSO).

Under the terms of its deal with the Jamaica Post, GK Investments will lease the second floor of the building – measuring some 59,000 square feet of real estate, with the potential for that space to increase to over 200,000 square feet – and will have the right to sub-lease the space to third parties.

“We are excited about this project because of the role we know it will play in the redevelopment of downtown Kingston, as well as the creation of a minimum of 500 to a maximum of 4,000 jobs,” said Steven Whittingham, managing director of GK Investments.

He disclosed that the second floor of the building would be renovated particularly with a view to making it “Business Process Outsourcing” (BPO) friendly.

“Our goal is to make this the leading BPO facility in Kingston, and the preferred place of choice for employers and employees in the BPO sector. In addition to housing BPO operations, it will also include skills training facilities, which will in turn help to supply the BPO sector with the requisite talent. There will also be facilities and amenities that will serve those who will work there,” he continued.

Whittingham advised that he was unable to speak to the cost of renovating of the space, noting that this would be determined by the specifics of the layout required by the BPO occupants. He also disclosed that discussions with prospective occupants are in the final stages and that there would be an announcement when contracts are signed.

GraceKennedy Group CEO Don Wehby expressed his pride in GraceKennedy's involvement in this venture.

“I am really happy to see the company investing in the BPO sector, well known to be a significant growth area for Jamaica. I am even happier to see that the development is taking place right here in downtown Kingston, which has been the home of GraceKennedy for 93 years,” he said.

GK Investments, formerly First Global Leasing Limited, has a mandate to pursue multiple investment strategies across various asset classes and generate attractive risk adjusted returns.

“This in in keeping with GK's strategy in terms of making private equity investments in growth sectors, primarily in the Jamaican economy,” Wehby added.

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