Thu | May 23, 2019

Loshusans venturing into Mandeville

Published:Wednesday | May 15, 2019 | 12:19 AMSteven Jackson/Senior Business Reporter
A Loshusan Supermarket owned by the grocery family is seen at Barbican in Kingston. The Loshusans are incorporating a supermarket in a new commercial complex to be developed in Mandeville, but the brand name is unknown.
A Loshusan Supermarket owned by the grocery family is seen at Barbican in Kingston. The Loshusans are incorporating a supermarket in a new commercial complex to be developed in Mandeville, but the brand name is unknown.

The Loshusan family plans to build a shopping complex in Mandeville at Caledonia Drive on lands that currently house a Shoppers Fair supermarket, an inside source revealed.

The Loshusans are indirectly connected to Shoppers Fair as members of the grocery consortium that owns the chain, Progressive Grocers of Jamaica, but the Mandeville project is their first real push into central Jamaica under the family’s name.

The complex will span 60,000 square feet on lands that are three times that size at 172,000 square feet, leaving space for some 360 parking spaces.

“We are currently working on the pricing, but it will be heavy,” said the source. The family members largely avoid publicity and press interviews.

The timeline for the development is contingent on getting full planning approval, but the build-out period should last two years, he added. The company submitted plans in early 2018 and received some approvals, with stipulated conditions.

“There are commercial businesses already on the lands, and we are going to eventually demolish them and create a brand-new plaza, centre, complex or whatever you want to call it,” the source said.

The Loshusans are large investors in commercial property that they develop as retail space. Each development usually houses a supermarket that different family members operate under brand names Loshusan Supermarket, John R Wong and Sovereign Supermarket.

The Mandeville property, which was acquired years earlier by the Loshusan family, sits in proximity to the Golf View Hotel. Planning approvals published by the National Environment and Planning Agency, NEPA, show two buildings to be developed at the site, one spanning two storeys that will house a supermarket, offices, and 15 retail stores two offices, and the second having at least two fast-food restaurants.

The Mandeville complex is expected to be modelled after the Sovereign Village in Portmore. The cost of the project was not disclosed. Although the Loshusans call the development the ‘Mandeville Shopping Centre’ in their submissions to NEPA, the source said that name was unlikely to be retained when the complex is finalised as it is too close in identity to the existing Manchester Shopping Centre.

He would not disclose the name under consideration, but the Loshusans’ projects in recent years have borne the Sovereign marquee, including Sovereign Centre and Sovereign North in Kingston and Sovereign Village in St Catherine.

Progressive Grocers of Jamaica is a consortium of supermarket owners, each of whom operates separately owned businesses. The group, however, owns some assets in common. Progressive has two Shoppers Fair supermarkets in Manchester but no branded Sovereign or Loshusan supermarkets.

“We are in the Progressive Group, and so is Shoppers Fair, but we do not own that entity. There are no Loshusan businesses there,” said the insider.

steven.jackson@gleanerjm.com