The construction of a 300,000-square-foot commercial space is now underway in the Greater Bernard Lodge Area of St Catherine, which developers say is poised to be an interactive hub where life thrives in harmony with nature and a driving force for sustainability, inclusivity, and economic growth.
The Portmore Promenade, being developed on a 30-acre site with a budget of $8.4 billion by Sagicor Group Jamaica Limited (SGJ), is expected to create 1,500 jobs during and after the development period, inclusive of a business processing outsourcing (BPO) company, a supermarket, a bank, restaurants and other amenities.
“This site is not just a development; it is a testament to our dedication to creating a vibrant and eco-friendly community hub. This development is for Portmore, its surrounding communities, and the wonderful people who live and work here. It is a reflection of our responsibility to the environment and our commitment to building a space that will endure for generations to come,” said Christopher Zacca, President and CEO of the Sagicor Group, at the ground-breaking ceremony on Wednesday, February 7.
The Portmore Promenade incorporates a central park or “green heart” with a network of green spaces, playful urban spaces, view corridors, frontage for retail use, and a diverse range of commercial activities and amenities, including a one-stop-shop offering a range of goods and services.
The area will be powered by solar energy and will incorporate rainwater harvesting in line with modern environmental standards and practices.
“It will become the Mandela Park of Portmore”, quipped Zacca, comparing the new development to Nelson Mandela Park located in the centre of Half-Way Tree, St Andrew.
The presence of a BPO company further underscores Jamaica’s profile as a BPO-friendly nation and supports the establishment of a dynamic ecosystem for doing business, Zacca noted.
“The economic contributions of this development are multifaceted,” Zacca highlighted. “By leveraging technology, we will create jobs across various industries, diversifying the economic landscape. The injection of commercial activity is poised to attract additional investments, fostering a positive cycle of growth and development in the Greater Bernard Lodge area”, the Sagicor boss stated.
The Portmore Promenade is located directly across from Phoenix Park Village near Dunbeholden. Aligned with SGJ’s commitment to fostering energised urban spaces, the project also presents an environment that supports playful public activity, which allows people to better connect with their environment.
Moreover, with frontage on two significant roadways, the site will provide a unique opportunity to introduce essential retail offerings to the area.