JIS News

Cabinet has approved four contracts totaling $60 million for the restoration of the Devon House mansion and grounds, as the Ministry of Tourism and the Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT), seek to make that property a signature attraction for the city of Kingston.
“Devon House is one of our premier heritage sites and will become a signature Kingston as a resort area, and one which will be a must for every single visitor who comes into Kingston,” Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett told journalists at the post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House on February 13.
“We are going to replicate, not only the glories of the Georgian era that spawned its development, but also create attractions and entertainment and high end activity which will not only benefit the product of tourism, but will give great value to all those who go through the portals of that great house,” he added.
APEC Consultants Limited will be responsible for the overall design and redevelopment information, while Prime Development Limited will have overall responsibility for the restoration of the historic building. Stoppi Carney Bromfield is the quantity surveyor for the project, and has long been associated with the development of Devon House.
The fourth contract would go to landscapers, Tropical Foliage, to “give the aesthetic touch to Devon House,” Mr. Bartlett said.
He informed that reconstruction of the mansion would cost $36 million, while the interior furnishing would cost $11.9 million. Work on the gardens will cost $3 million, and $8 million will be allocated for general lighting and landscaping. Work is expected to commence immediately, he said, as there are some important dates to be met, the first of which is JAPEX 2008, which will be hosted by the Kingston chapter of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA), on April 24. “We want to have it substantially improved for JAPEX. This whole development process is going to go well beyond a year,” the Minister said. This project marks phase two of redevelopment works for the property, phase one of which cost some $32 million, and included parking facilities, work on roadways, the re-definition of the Devonshire Restaurant, and other work on the grounds. The Minister indicated that phase three would include upgrading of the shops on the property, among other things.
Mr. Bartlett said the security programme was being revamped, to address the current concerns. “We are going to have security there, that will have the capability to enforce the protection of the area, and we are going to ensure that the lighting will be adequate to enhance that effort,” he said.