Landmark local investment to create well needed space for ICT, BPO expansion

Mark Kerr-Jarrett, Co-Owner and Managing Director of Barnett Tech Park (front left) and Steve Milner of Kier Construction (front right) sign the construction agreement to begin building office space for investors interested in the business process outsour

Local investor Mark Kerr-Jarrett, owner of the Barnett Tech Park, today officially signed a contract with International firm Kier Construction Ltd to build new commercial office space for local and foreign investors seeking to set up Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) operations in Jamaica.

The site, which is located in Montego Bay, will see the expansion of 50,000 square feet of office space. With the signing of the construction contract, formalized at the offices of the Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) in New Kingston, Kerr-Jarrett is encouraging local operators and new entrants to the industry to discuss taking space at Barnett Tech Park which has an investment potential of US$96,800,000.

“We really believe that the ICT/BPO industry is so important to Jamaica and can and will play a major part in meeting Jamaica’s growth projections”, said Kerr-Jarrett. “For example 10,000 seats on a single shift can contribute $3.6 Billion per annum, and at 3 shifts $10.8 Billion per annum in direct taxes, and if we assume a 3:1 multiplier the numbers become very significant”, he continued.
Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce Anthony Hylton sees this contract as a bold move by Barnett Tech Park which he hopes will signal a series of actions by the local private sector to embrace the opportunities for the provision of real estate and purpose-built facilities for the ICT/BPO sector.

The Minister added, “it is important that we do not lose sight of the goal to make available 1.2 million square foot of space by 2016 to meet the growing demand for space, and to meet our target of doubling the size of the sector by then.”

JAMPRO has designated ICT investment attraction as a top priority with JAMPRO president, Diane Edwards, indicating the agency’s goal to make Jamaica a regional investment centre for ICT companies and ICT-reliant service industries.

Jamaica has developed a strong reputation as a leading destination for BPO. JAMPRO has played a major role in attracting most of the over 30 outsourcing companies currently on the island, which employ over 14,000 persons and are seeking to expand.

The Barnett Tech Park is a 48 acre development committed solely to ICT/BPO operations. Barnett Tech has the capacity to contain 800,000 square feet of production space which is equivalent to 10,000 seats – 36,000 jobs on 3 shifts, and 135,000 square feet of commercial services to support the operations of the Tech Park; infant and toddler care services, canteen, doctor’s office, banking, recreation and fitness services. The facility is also the home of VistaPrint’s state of the art 120,000 square foot customer service center which Kerr-Jarrett refers to as ‘the bench mark to follow.

Published Date: 
Thursday, November 28, 2013