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Entertainment company pumping $50m into Hellshire waterfront

A local investment group aims to launch a multi-purpose waterfront entertainment facility in Hellshire by July.

The venue — which is costing upwards of $50 million to develop over two phases — is influenced by the world famous South Beach entertainment spot in Miami, Florida.

“We are trying to bring South Beach to Jamaica, where nothing like it exists,” said Oneil Walters, chief operating officer of Ultra Entertainment Limited, the outfit behind the investment in the Seaforth community of Hellshire, St Catherine on Jamaica’s south coast.

Walters told the Jamaica Observer that the development, nearby the Fort Clarence Beach, will be fashioned to accommodate family events and adult nightlife activities. It will offer premium bar service, specialty cuisine, multi-media entertainment, beach sports, corporate meeting facilities, water slides and cabanas.

“We looked at what existed and said we wanted to put something in Jamaica that, whether you have a visa or not, you are able to access quality entertainment that comes with all the services,” Walters explained. “In Jamaica, there are a lot of beachfronts with a lot of persons doing fish and other stuff, but nobody has something in place where people can come and enjoy quality service, food, drink and that kind of ambience.”

Ultra Entertainment held a ground-breaking ceremony on Thursday for the 10,000 square-foot facility, branded Ultra Beach Club. Minister of State for Tourism and Entertainment Damion Crawford, South St Catherine Member of Parliament Fitz Jackson and Portmore Deputy Mayor Leon Thomas took part in the festivities. Construction will start in two weeks at the site with the project expected to be completed by June, in time for the Olympic Games.

“We would love to be up and ready for that time,” Walters told Sunday Finance, revealing the company’s plans to have a 100-inch screen television screen at the venue, “where people can sit in and watch the Olympics.”

The Ultra Beach Club development plan involves a main lounge area and an area for beach sports, which the company says can also be used as a venue for stage shows and private functions. There will be cabanas, where VIP guests can relax while having an open view of both the facility and the beach while wait staff attend to their needs. Additionally, the complex will have a conference room for corporate clientele who wish to conduct business in a relaxed environment, the company states.

The tentative nightly entertainment activities plan includes a “martini and mojito drink up night”, a “seafood and fruits fiesta” and a “DJ all stars party”. Walters said the company is targeting a wide demographic with the Ultra Beach Club, which he said will be relatively affordable for the mass market despite its upscale amenities.

“It’s not going to be expensive for the average person to come there, it’s not like you will have to pay to come inside,” he noted.

“You can access the property, what we are going to ask you to pay for is the service.”

Ultra Entertainment acquired the Hellshire waterfront property through a long-term lease agreement.

“About a year ago, my partners and I got together and had a conversation with the person who owns the block of land about doing the development there,” Walters informed Sunday Finance.

The second phase of the project, which will include a boardwalk and a pier to accommodate jet skis and water sports activities, is expected to be completed in 2013.

According to the Ultra Entertainment chief operation officer, the company has plans for two other beach related projects in other parts of the island where they are are currently conducting consultations on development options.

Meanwhile, Walters is hoping that Ultra Beach Club paves the way for other high-quality investment in the Hellshire community.

“We want to set a high standard,” he said.

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