New development reflects evolving neighbourhood

A new development is doing its part
to spruce up a corner of Industrial Park.

Close to a decade after developing
a plan for their land at the corner of Dorcy Drive and Portland Road, the Hew
family is finally seeing the fruit of their patience and perseverance.

“We had a plan in place back in
2001 with another courier service, a much smaller project, that was derailed by
9/11 and so we just had to bide our time,” said Joey Hew, the family’s lead on
the project. Hurricane Ivan dealt the family another setback as they were about
to launch a second development plan.

“It seemed to us at that time that
perhaps fate had something else planned for us for that site,” he said. “When
the Phoenix Group inquired on behalf of FedEx in 2008, I knew then what we had
been waiting for all along.”

Neil Rooney of Exeter Development,
the Phoenix Group’s development arm, said his firm had been in discussions with
FedEx since 2004 about managing a design/build/lease solution.

“Over the years, while we waited
for the FedEx head office to prioritise the project, we examined multiple sites
for traffic flow, travel time, access, visibility and, critically, the right
corporate partner for FedEx,” said Mr. Rooney.

The site, he said, was right in
almost every way, and the Hew family was exactly the sort of landlord in which
FedEx could see a long-term future.

“It was our job to make sure that
the every aspect of the project was consistent with the long-term goals of the
all parties involved,” said Mr. Rooney.

“The site and its other
pre-existing uses, the building style, construction type and cost, the lease
and its conditions all had to be win/win and we needed our full design/build
team resources to bring it together successfully” he added.

“It really is exactly what we are
set up to do – find turnkey solutions for landowners and investors.”

The new project, along with the new
Thompson Building going up alongside it, represent how the area is gradually
changing to a more up-market profile, quite a step from the dusty face of the
Industrial Park that it used to be.

“We always felt that the area would
evolve,” said Mr. Hew.

“We are seeing more quality retail
in the area, with the classy refurbishment of Car City, the reno of Cayman Air
Conditioning and the additional retail space that will be available in the new
FedEx building, which will be called Hewden Place. In fact, we also have some
additional office space for lease in the new building,” he added.

The project, which has been
financed by HSBC will open in early 2011.

“HSBC, Gemel Sobers and his team of
professionals deserve our thanks,” said Mr. Hew.

“It was a pleasure
working with a bank that truly understands business and what it takes to make a
project like this happen.”

BUSINESSHewdenplaceSTORY

Hewden Place is slated to open in early 2011.
Photo: Submitted
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