Prime Minister the Hon. Bruce Golding says the country is on the threshold of a rebirth of the investment spirit that existed in Jamaica years ago.
He argued that for a variety of reasons, the investment spirit and enthusiasm that existed in the country in years gone by, got damaged somewhere along the way.
Mr. Golding was speaking at the opening of a $2.9 billion complex in the Whitter Shopping Village, Ironshore, Montego Bay in St. James on December 11.
Prime Minister Hon. Bruce Golding (right) and Minister of Tourism, Hon Edmund Bartlett (2nd right), greet land developer Joe Whitter (left), while Mr. Whitter’s wife, Angella, looks on. Occasion was the official opening of the $2.9 billion complex in the Whitter Shopping Village, in Ironshore, Montego Bay, on December 11.
The 240,000 sq. ft. facility was constructed by land developers, Joe and Angella Whitter, a husband and wife team.
“What we are witnessing today, the kind of effort that has been made here, the kind of thinking, the kind of bold adventurous, but astute investment decision that went into this project, is what we want to be the template for the way forward,” the Prime Minister said.
He noted that the new facility is different from other shopping complexes, as it has a certain ambience and intimacy that is a tribute and a credit to those who conceptualised it.
The complex is the first phase of a comprehensive development plan for a 15-acre property, with the next phase set to include the construction of offices and living space to create a town setting. The building houses a mix of businesses, including gift shops, book shops, a variety of dining facilities, boutiques, a supermarket, pharmacy, sports bar, and a night club.
Mr. Golding commended the developers for undertaking such a venture, pointing out that this is an example of their commitment to Jamaica. He said that the project started some years ago, at a time when the economic climate was much different from what it is today, and as such, the developers ought to be commended for their foresight.
“He (Joe Whitter) represents in my mind, a symbol, an icon, that should be held up to investors both here and abroad. He represents the kind of spirit that we want to bring back to Jamaica,” Mr. Golding said.
Mayor of Montego Bay, Councillor Charles Sinclair, Jnr., described the new facility as a magnificent addition to the physical landscape of Montego Bay. He argued that the city of Montego Bay is in need of a facelift, and called for other private sector interests to take note and follow in the footsteps of the Whitters.
Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, said that the Whitter Shopping Village is a very important addition to the ‘Elegant Corridor’ in Rose Hall.
Mr. Bartlett said he is excited about the developments taking place along the corridor adding that the location of the Whitter Village will make the Ironshore /Rose Hall main road intersection the most prestigious and luxurious cross road along the corridor.