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Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Karl Samuda has said the relocation of the Factories Corporation of Jamaica from its downtown offices to its current New Kingston site, will save taxpayers more than $1 million in rental costs annually.
“This (was) a business decision and I want to re-emphasise the fact that this is a business Ministry and we are expected to behave as business people and we make business decisions when it affects how we use the resources allocated to us,” he told the press during a briefing at his St. Lucia Avenue office on Tuesday (February 9).
Mr. Samuda informed that it was costing approximately $6.4 million annually to rent the office space on King Street, while the new location on Knutsford Boulevard will cost $5.2 million per annum.
“So, that is $1.2 million of annual savings just in rental,” he noted. “But it doesn’t end there, the building in New Kingston has 6,775 square feet, whereas the building they were renting downtown has 4,500 square feet, so that is over a 1,000 square feet more for $1.2 million less,” he stated.
Mr. Samuda told journalists that the aim is to eventually have all the agencies that fall within the ambit of the Ministry operating under one roof, preferable in downtown Kingston as requested by the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
He said that efforts are being made to locate an affordable premises that would be large enough to accommodate the Ministry’s 19 agencies and staff. He informed that close to 20,000 square feet of office space is needed, however, the present location at St. Lucia Avenue only offers 12,000 square feet.
“The fact is, of these agencies of ours, only two operate downtown, but it would be impossible to contemplate moving everyone downtown at the same time in the short-run. It takes time to get the kind of building that would accommodate us and there is none at the moment,” he said.
“So we figured that the best thing would not only be to save money but to relocate Factories Corporation closer to the heart of the Ministry where the key agencies are presently operating,” he pointed out.
He informed that a number of other agencies would also be relocated to New Kingston in the next coming months, including the Ministry’s Intellectual Property Offices and the Anti-dumping Commission, which will be moved to the JAMPRO building in New Kingston as of April 1 and June 1, respectively.