Big resort-style tourism project for St Thomas
3D imagery of planned interior of St Thomas development.

BULL BAY, St Thomas — Construction of a model unit for a $22-billion novel housing development, a gated community to be developed on beachfront property in St Thomas, which mimics the celebrated all-inclusive resort concept, will begin this month.

The development, which promises to boast an almost full slate of facilities and amenities akin to a top-level resort setting, is the elegant Sun Coast Beach Club (SCBC), to be constructed on 90 acres of beachfront property at Twelve Miles in this south eastern Jamaica parish.

It promises to offer an almost full slate of facilities and amenities akin to a top-level resort setting for 396 owners and their families and guests.

The five-year development is being done by TCF Holdings Limited out of New Kingston under the direction of Chief Executive Officer and conceptualiser of the idea, Kevin Frith, and is already well underway from an infrastructural standpoint, with construction of the model unit set to begin this month.

FRITH... Sun Coast Beach Club is the first of its kind in Jamaica.

"Sun Coast Beach Club is to be the first of its kind in Jamaica in terms of the broad overall tourism-inspired and centred concept," Frith stated.

Senior Adviser and Strategist in the Ministry of Tourism, Delano Seiveright noted that the proposed development represents a notable and welcome addition to the overall tourism product, nationally.

Seiveright posited that it is out of the allround success of the country's tourism industry why a dynamic entrepreneur would have conceived of the nostalgic idea of the tourism-styled community in the making in St Thomas.

Seiveright also noted that the broad infrastructural developments under the Southern Coastal Highway Improvement Project (SCHIP) in terms of roads and utilities across St Thomas, would have helped significantly in cementing both the concept and the undertaking of the Sun Coast Beach Club development, citing that such an endeavour would likely not have been practical without the major highway improvement that are now underway across the parish.

3D imagery of planned exterior.

"With the highway, St Thomas is certainly the new frontier. With the highway going in now, it's going to be a quick and very easy drive from the international airport in Kingston. We are encouraging local and international entrepreneurs to explore the parish and seek out development opportunities. So we are very happy with the work that Frith and his team are doing in the parish," Seiveright added.

He also cited that there were numerous hotels that were on stream for development along the coastline of the south eastern parish, making way for St Thomas to eventually have a unique mix, "inclusive of residential tourists"

"We have seen other interests, certainly from other countries who are exploring the potential of the parish – local and international entrepreneurs who are looking at villa developments and also major hotel developments. The highway is the most significant development, certainly for the parish. Once that highway iss completed or even before it is completed we believe you will see that interest from several stakeholders turn into actionable development projects," Seiveright added.

Located just 15 minutes outside of metropolitan Kingston, the virtual gateway to St Thomas is to showcase a combination of two and three-bedroom townhouses, two-bedroom duplexes, three-bedroom villas, and two and three-bedroom apartments.

But from the developers' perspectives, those are really only the 'basics' of the development, as chic and comfy as the residences are slated to be, with the real deal set to come in the form of a super-premium list of supporting and complementary amenities and facilities.

Bunched into five major categories – Sports and Fitness, Recreation and Relaxation, Kid 'N' Play, Beach Activities and Watersports, and Community Engagement, those are really where the full realities of the sensational pending development start coming home in terms of its all-embracing, one-of-a-kind concept and focus.

From tennis courts with private trainers, multi-purpose hardcourt, badminton courts, futsal courts, a miniature golf park with a private trainer, a fitness centre, jogging trails and a hiking trail, those are the sports and fitness elements.

For recreation and relaxation, there is to be a clubhouse with a bar and sports lounge, a games room, spa, yoga centre and a dance studio. Added to that will be a general swimming pool, a sculpture park, picnic grounds, observation decks, BBQ areas, camping grounds and a dog park.

Then, for the little ones, there will be a wading pool, a skate park, tot lots, pocket parks and a maze.

For beach activities and watersports, there is to be access to a therapeutic black sand beach, a changing room, beach bar and BBQ facilities, surfing, scuba diving, jet skiing, parasailing/paragliding facilities/settings, and nostalgic weekend boat trips to Lime Cay, downtown Kingston, Port Royal, Morant Bay and Port Antonio.

In respect of community engagement, there will be a community garden, a farmer's market, an event hall, and a homeowners' administrative office.

All that, say the developers, are outside of a commercial centre, which is to include a doctor's office/urgent care centre, pharmacy, a daycare centre, boutique supermarket, a fast food outlet, a male and female grooming salon, an electric vehicle changing station, roof observation deck, and an ATM.

With the villas coming with private individual swimming pools, the overall combination of facilities on the roster makes for full-scale resort-style living at home in St Thomas, just a whicker away from metropolitan Kingston, courtesy of the highway connectivity between Harbour View in St Andrew and Port Antonio in Portland.

Interestingly, the SCBC development is being built out by a Spanish contracting firm that operates globally, and has footprints among some major local resort properties.

BY HORACE HINES Sunday Observer writer

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