Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says there are plans for greater investment in the development of the commercial and residential real estate in downtown Kingston.
“We have been speaking with the World Bank… about developing a project for the urban renewal of downtown Kingston. We are very serious about that; we believe that this can be a major catalyst for economic growth in this area,” he said.
The Prime Minister was speaking at the official handover of the $1.3-billion Port Royal Street Coastal Revetment Project to the Kingston and St. Andrew Municipal Corporation (KSAMC), during a ceremony held at the Breezy Castle Sports Centre on Wednesday (May 18).
The KSAMC now has responsibility for the project, which is designed to safeguard the corridor, spanning the coastline from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade building to the Rae Town Fishing Village, from continued erosion and the effects of storm surges.
The project, which was implemented by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) and completed in March 2022, comprised the implementation of one kilometre of composite seawall and armour stone revetment structure, upgrading of drainage features, rehabilitation and raising of one kilometre of existing roadway and installation of a 4.7-metre-wide boardwalk to improve the site’s aesthetics and promote recreational activity along the shoreline.
An 80-metre fishing beach was also created for fisherfolk in the area who currently berth their vessels along the shoreline.
The Prime Minister said that in order to create a fully protected coastline for downtown Kingston, another 20 kilometres of revetment work will need to be done “from the west going past the cement factory going as close as possible to the roundabout at Palisadoes.
“The Urban Development Corporation (UDC)… has already started that work… . Clearly, we won’t be able to do it all at once, but we will do it in segments and we would consider this to be the first segment, but the work that has been started by JSIF will be continued by the UDC,” he said.