March 13, 2015
Blaming ‘new city’ delay for KFC woes is ‘nonsense’ – source

The construction of the “new city” at Arnos Vale had always been seen by businessman Ormiston “Ken” Boyea as a threat, rather than something that would enhance his business operations in that area.

This is according to a source, who has knowledge of the inner workings of {{more}}Boyea’s companies.

Earlier this week, Boyea told SEARCHLIGHT that when he made a $16 million investment in the construction of a mall at Arnos Vale, he thought he was “ahead of the curve,” as he had expected that by now, the Argyle international airport would have been finished and that Arnos Vale would have been already turned into the “new city.”

“I got a lot of congratulations for jumping the gun, but now I am paying the penalty,” he lamented.

However, the source says that this claim by Boyea is “nonsense”, and that the international airport was actually a threat to his Arnos Vale operations.

“The argument about a city being built in a couple years, that’s nonsense,” said the insider.

“The new airport opening was always considered a threat to the Arnos Vale location, because the rationale was that… rather than swinging past the roundabout, past the supermarket building, they would just cut the road across the existing airport…”

The source further said: “So, as a matter of fact, it’s the other way round. If the new airport was open, a lot of the traffic would basically take a right turn where Greaves [Super­market] is and cut across by the Methodist Church – which would have significantly impacted that new location!”

On Monday, receivers appointed by the Bank of Nova Scotia took control of Boyea’s businesses, including the three local branches of KFC (St Vincent) Ltd.

The 77-year-old businessman told SEARCHLIGHT that although KFC is doing well, he has had to take funds from the restaurant to pay the large mortgage he had taken to finance the construction of the mall.

“With the downturn in the economy, KFC can’t afford to pay rent for itself and rent for other people. So it’s a bit of a problem. I have been behind with my rent.”

He disclosed that although he has real estate valued at over $32 million, no one wants to pay him what his properties are worth.

Boyea said the property at Arnos Vale has recently been valued at $18.8 million and he is prepared to sell the supermarket portion for $12 million and keep the building which houses KFC and Pizza Hut.

The supermarket was opened in September 2010, after 18 months of construction. The opening of KFC Arnos Vale branch and Pizza Hut Delivery followed in December 2011.

At a symposium on the Argyle international airport on November 8, 2011, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves announced that a company, called the Arnos Vale Development Company, had been established and the Canadian firm of Diamond and Schmitt Architects retained by National Properties Ltd to develop a high-level land use and urban design master plan for the Arnos Vale area. The prime minister said the master plan should be completed by June 2012 and once it is received, Government would be able to pre-sell the 63 acres of land on which the ET Joshua airport sits.

KFC (St Vincent) Ltd is a subsidiary of St Clair Investments Ltd, a holding company which is also the parent company of WJ Abbott and Sons Ltd, Boyea Holdings Ltd and Fine Foods Ltd.

According to records (last updated in 2011) held at the Commerce and Intellectual Property Office, St Clair Investments Ltd has six directors, namely: Ken Boyea (managing director), Calvert Boyea, Shanda Boyea, Art Boyea, Omar Boyea and Stilson Fraser (now deceased).