Harmony Cove to break ground in 2017
Our previous post on Harmony Cove was in June 2015, when a provisional development order was granted for the project. Back then, we were told that the provisional order stipulated that the first phase of the project should have begun construction by the middle of this year, 2016.
Well, that seems to be what locals here call “Jamaica time,” referring to a cultural acceptance that nothing will begin on time, but rather get off to a late start (Jamaica time).
Dr Lorna Simmonds, CEO of Harmonisation Ltd, indicates that the casino resort Harmony Cove is on track to break ground in 2017. She pointed out that the groundwork was being laid for it to be a successful project.
The project was first announced by former Prime Minister Percival “PJ” Patterson on April 27, 2004. Since then, it has gone through 5 Prime Ministerial administrations: PJ Patterson in 2004, Bruce Golding in 2007, Andrew Holness in 2010, Portia Simpson-Miller in 2011, and now again Andrew Holness in 2016.
The main reason for the delay was getting funding for the massive project. Harmony Cove is projected to eventually consist of 5000 rooms. The first phase of 1,000 rooms is budgeted to cost US$900 million.
From Jamaica Observer
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.
“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”.