Sun | Apr 22, 2018

Former Oceana to become a mix of condos, hotel

Published:Thursday | May 18, 2017 | 11:02 PM
The former Oceana hotel on the Kingston waterfront was acquired by PanJam and parner Downing Street for $385 million. It's now referred to as Caribbean Place.
Paul Hanworth, chief operating officer for PanJam Investment Limited.

locally and among the diaspora," said Hanworth. "We also think that there would be strong interest from corporate Jamaica, who may want a downtown condo for visitors," he said.

Caribbean Place is PanJam's second hotel investment in Jamaica in the past five years. It is also holds a minor stake in a Miami hotel.

Along with partners from Costa Rica and Trinidad,

the property conglomerate developed the Courtyard by Marriott, a 129-room hotel targeted at business travel, which began operating in New Kingston at the end of 2015.

The King Church partners aim to follow that model for Caribbean Place, but so far they are not saying which hotel management company is targeted for partnership.

Those talks, too, are ongoing.

"We are in discussion with our partners and some hotel brands with regards to how we'd want to position it, who would be interested in flying their flag on it, because

we think that international branding is important," Hanworth said.

The partners are hoping to have sign-off on final designs and budgets, in collaboration with the selected international brand, by the end of 2017, he told the Financial Gleaner. Construction and renovation should take another 12-18 months, he said.

Courtyard Kingston was financed with 50 per cent equity and 50 per cent debt

from International Finance Corporation and the Inter-American Development Bank, according to Hanworth, who says a similar financing mix and funding sources are under consideration for the Caribbean Place project.

"We have spoken to both lenders, who have signalled a willingness to finance the project both through the construction phase and long-term after completion. We will look at that and entertain input from construction financiers in the banking sector, and so on," the PanJam executive said.