- The UDC has identified seven spots along the Palisadoes strip in Kingston to be utilised as possible venues for what is to be Jamaica’s first entertainment zone.
- The zone would not only have spots for entertainment activities, but also centralised parking and food venues.
- The Ministry’s next move is to continue its discussions with NEPA, to ensure that what is put in place is in line with environmental regulations.
State Minister in the Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment, Hon. Damion Crawford, says the Urban Development Corporation (UDC) has identified seven spots along the Palisadoes strip in Kingston to be utilised as possible venues for what is to be Jamaica’s first entertainment zone.
Mr. Crawford said his vision for the location is to establish an entertainment area similar to that of Miami Beach, Florida. He said the zone would not only have spots for entertainment activities, but also centralised parking and food venues.
The State Minister, who was speaking at Wednesday’s (June 11) Jamaica House media briefing, at the Office of the Prime Minister, said that having identified the possible spots, the Ministry’s next move is to continue its discussions with the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), to ensure that what is put in place is in line with environmental regulations.
“For example, one conversation we’re having now is that we might actually not be capable of having a permanent sewerage (system), but instead remove sewage each day, based on the environmental protection realities that exist,” he said.
“We don’t intend to have a zone and then everybody build what they feel and how they feel,” the Minister added.
He said the plan is to have a consistent design and “that’s why we are working with the UDC to work out how it should look, and how it should fit into the heritage of the area.”
Mr. Crawford further explained that what will be carried out is a process of “softscaping” where, instead of erecting permanent buildings, the Ministry will use containers as walls.
He noted that the Government is also looking at places that are already in existence, like Gun Boat Beach, which have similar facilities.
“We’re not seeking to transform and build all kinds of big buildings or big units. What we are seeking to do is have a kind of soft development,” Mr. Crawford explained.
The State Minister pointed out that one of the reasons the Palisadoes strip is an ideal location for the planned development, is that the area has already been zoned by NEPA for entertainment, heritage and conservation as well as recreational use, which includes Fort Rocky, an area designated completely for entertainment.
Mr. Crawford said this is a major advantage as the location cannot be later used for housing development, and therefore, also satisfies the need of separating residential and entertainment activities, based on the issue of noise as a nuisance.
In terms of a timeframe for the establishment of the project, he said this is dependent on investor interest.
“Persons who are interested in investing in entertainment should be putting their funds together, so that as soon as we announce a call for proposals, they are ready,” the State Minister said.
In the meantime, Mr. Crawford informed that the Ministry would be working with the UDC to retrofit a number of Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation (KSAC) owned parking lots in downtown Kingston to accommodate a growing number of entertainment events on the Kingston waterfront.