Table of Contents Table of Contents
Previous Page  7 / 16 Next Page
Information
Show Menu
Previous Page 7 / 16 Next Page
Page Background

7

BPO JAMAICA: NEWS

M

ARK KERR-JARRETT,

the managing director of

Barnett Limited, would

have been relieved when his

company landed the first client for

their Barnett Tech Park

development.

This was seven months into

construction of their first building

and, while his confidence in

Jamaica remained high, to invest

millions in a project with no real

guarantees was a big risk.

“Although I wanted to do it, I

was a little gun-shy, because my

appetite for risk was seriously

curbed during the 1990s with the

whole mismanagement of the

economy, the exchange rate and

the 70 per cent interest rates and

the 120 per cent penalties,” Kerr-

Jarrett told BPO Jamaica. “My

appetite for risk was very limited,

but with the tremendous

encouragement of Paula (his

wife) and Dr Christopher Tufton,

who was a director at the time,

we took the plunge.”

He added: “We did not have a

client, but we decided that if it

was pertinent to Jamaica’s

growth, we would just roll the dice

and take the risk.”

He continued: “It wasn’t until

about seven months into the

construction that something

became tangible, but credit must

again go to Paula and Chris for

beating the pavement to get our

first client. Now I can say that it

has worked and taken traction

and our tenants, from all reports,

are very happy.”

The 48-acre tech park has a

potential for 800,000 square feet

of IT space and is currently

occupied by Advance Call Centre

Technologies (ACCT) and

Conduent (formerly Xerox), with

further development slated for

completion in 2019.

Cimpress Jamaica Limited,

(formerly Vistaprint) also occupies

the campus-style facility, with its

impressive state-of-the-art,

92,000-square-foot building.

For Barnett Limited, the tech

park is just one phase of a

multibillion-dollar development,

which includes the construction of

1,300 homes by Gore

Developments Ltd, and a new

University of the West Indies

(UWI), Mona – Western Jamaica

Campus, capable of

accommodating 8,000 to 10,000

students, a combined investment

value of US$500 million.

FURTHER DEVELOPMENT

The plan also includes

developing 200,000 square feet

of commercial support services,

which will include recreational

area, medical, canteens, fitness,

and a 24-hour infant- and toddler-

care centre, for which UWI was

gifted a 65 per cent discount on

the land deal, plus an offer of five

years to pay.

But plans for the development,

announced in 2014, for a

US$170-million investment in the

campus with a proposal for

financing and construction by

Chinese firm COMPLANT, have

seemingly hit a snag.

“We are several years behind the

timeline, so I will be meeting with

the new principal of UWI, Mona, to

see where we are,” an obviously

disappointed Kerr-Jarrett said.

“When we developed the

Montego Bay South Master Plan

in 1994, IT and BPO was a major

consideration back then,” Kerr-

Jarrett explained.

“We saw the tremendous

opportunity that it would create for

human development,

employment, economic growth

and the diversity of employment

opportunities in Montego Bay.”

Kerr-Jarrett: Big Barnett

Tech Park risk paying off

Mark Kerr-Jarrett

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 2018