$251-Million Contracts Signed for Redevelopment of Downtown Kingston


Contracts valued at a total of $251 Million for the construction of an Urban Transportation Centre in Downtown Kingston and the redevelopment of St. William Grant Park, were signed at Jamaica House on January 15 in the presence of Prime Minister Bruce Golding. The projects are being undertaken by the Urban Development Corporation (UDC), and are expected to breathe new life into the capital city.
In his remarks, Mr. Golding said downtown Kingston was once the centre of activity, but has been the victim of urban decay and abandonment over many years. He said Cabinet recently took a decision to bar government agencies from relocating without its approval. He said the challenge for the government should not be about finding new office space, but rather, to restore, modernize and reclaim what already exists.
Mr. Golding restated his commitment to establish a major international financial centre in Jamaica. He said he wanted this to be located downtown, to serve as a fulcrum of economic activity. He said the UDC has been asked to develop a master plan for the redevelopment of downtown, one that would pull together all the existing economic activity.
The redevelopment Mr. Golding asserted, would not be done at a disadvantage to the residents of downtown, but would incorporate the existing culture and integrate other projects that would act as a catalyst for investment. These projects include the redevelopment of Port Royal and the creation of the Simon Bolivar Cultural Centre.
Mayor of Kingston, Senator Desmond McKenzie who spoke at the signing, said no interference such as extortion would be accommodated at either location, in order to ensure that the projects are completed on time and within budget.
Work on the Urban Transportation Centre which is valued at $161 Million will commence this week and is scheduled for completion by June this year. The bus park will accommodate 273 Jamaica Urban Transport Company buses daily, and will include administrative and ticketing offices for the JUTC, as well as commercial shops. It will serve as a single terminal for JUTC buses that now terminate at 10 different locations in downtown.
The contract for the redevelopment of St. William Grant Park is valued at $90 Million and is being financed under the PetroCaribe Loan Facility. The scope of work includes improvement and enhancement of the landscape, upgrading of sanitary facilities and improvement of lighting and security. Alcar Construction and Jatlin Construction and Associates, are the respective contractors of both projects.

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