JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says 15 major construction projects are slated for Kingston and St. Andrew as part of the continued development of the Corporate Area.
  • “The Urban Development Corporation (UDC) has several projects for downtown Kingston, including apartment buildings, office buildings, parking facilities and cultural and entertainment facilities,” he said.
  • The Prime Minister was speaking at the opening of the new GraceKennedy (GK) headquarters in downtown Kingston on Wednesday (May 29).

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says 15 major construction projects are slated for Kingston and St. Andrew as part of the continued development of the Corporate Area.

“The Urban Development Corporation (UDC) has several projects for downtown Kingston, including apartment buildings, office buildings, parking facilities and cultural and entertainment facilities,” he said.

The Prime Minister was speaking at the opening of the new GraceKennedy (GK) headquarters in downtown Kingston on Wednesday (May 29).

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness (centre), cuts the ribbon to symbolise the official opening of the new GraceKennedy (GK) headquarters in downtown Kingston, on Wednesday (May 29). Also participating (from left) are Chairman, GraceKennedy Limited, Professor Gordon Shirley; and Group Chief Executive Officer, GraceKennedy Ltd, Senator Don Wehby.

 

He noted that a key area of development will be the Government Circle project to include a new Parliament building. There are also plans for the construction of a new police headquarters downtown.

“We are truly going to transform the skyline of the City of Kingston to make it the ‘Pearl of the Antilles’,” Mr. Holness said.

Turning to plans for Port Royal, the Prime Minister said “we are well on our way with the development of the town”.

“I think we might have to do some more public education to make sure that everybody is aware of the plans, but the plans will be respectful of the rich history that exists there and I believe all Jamaicans will be happy about the development of Port Royal,” he said.

In anticipation of the proposed developments, and building projects by private interests, Mr. Holness informed that the Government will be embarking on some major infrastructure work, including building a sea wall to protect real estate assets, and putting in place the necessary utility, sewerage and water infrastructure.

“The Government is going to put in place everything to make sure that when you decide to build, you are well facilitated,” he said.

In the meantime, the Prime Minister praised GraceKennedy on its state-of-the-art structure, built at a cost of $3.2 billion, which “has changed the skyline of downtown Kingston”.

Mr. Holness said he is pleased to learn that 150 community members participated in the construction of the building and now see it as their own.

For his part, Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO), GraceKennedy Limited, Senator Don Wehby, said he is proud of the new building, which serves to beautify downtown Kingston and contribute to its redevelopment.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness (left), listens to a point being made by Group Chief Executive Officer, GraceKennedy Ltd, Senator Don Wehby, during a ceremony to officially open GraceKennedy’s new headquarters in downtown Kingston on Wednesday (May 29).

 

He pointed out that the building is much more than a physical structure, but rather a manifestation of the vision of generations of GraceKennedy leaders.

“It shows where GraceKennedy is coming from, and is a demonstration of the commitment we made in 1922 that downtown Kingston would always be our home,” Senator Wehby said.

The CEO said he is also proud that the building is environmentally friendly with solar panels installed, which has the ability to provide up to 30 per cent of the company’s power supply.

“There’s also a rainwater harvesting system in place, which provides water for landscaping and other uses,” he added.

The GraceKennedy headquarters, which spans 42-56 Harbour Street, is a 10-storey building covering 192,000 square feet.

It is a consolidation of the GK Executive Office, the GK Financial Group Divisional Office and the GK Money Services Group.

The new building houses a Hi-Lo Express, and a GKOne entity. There are boardrooms, a training facility, an innovation lab, retail spaces for non-GK entities, an 11-level parking garage and a gym.

There is also a roof terrace available for company functions and for staff enjoyment, staff socials and networking sessions.