Jamaican retreat getting a facelift

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KINGSTON, Jamaica -- Goldeneye, the scenic rural retreat in eastern Jamaica where British author Ian Fleming created the James Bond character that spawned dozens of novels and films, is getting a facelift.

Work begins in June on 82 villas, cottages and suites at the 100-acre property overlooking a harbor in St. Mary parish, according to Jason Henzell, president of luxury hotelier Island Outpost.

Henzell said Goldeneye's current owner, media mogul Chris Blackwell -- who is also the owner of Island Outpost -- wants to use the property for tourism.

"He wants to develop a new niche in Jamaica called residential tourism, where people buy land, visit and ultimately promote the island," he said. He declined to comment on the project's cost.

Fleming bought Goldeneye in the mid-1940s when it spanned just 40 acres, and wrote several books there. One of those novels, Casino Royale, was the first to feature the super spy and charmer James Bond.

Fleming died in 1964 and some of his memorabilia is kept at the site.

Several 007 movies including "Live and Let Die" and "Dr. No" were filmed near the estate, and it shares a name with the 1995 Bond film "GoldenEye."

The property was also briefly owned by the late reggae great Bob Marley, who bought Goldeneye in 1976 and sold it the following year to Blackwell.

Blackwell founded the Island Records label that launched Marley to international stardom.



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