Kingston re­vival key to in­vest­ment, eco­nomic growth – Vaz

Jamaica Gleaner - - FRONT PAGE - Jodi-Ann Gilpin Gleaner Writer

IT WAS an up­date on plans to con­struct the new of­fices for the Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs and For­eign Trade in down­town Kingston, that Daryl Vaz, min­is­ter with re­spon­si­bil­ity for land, en­vi­ron­ment, cli­mate change and in­vest­ment in the Of­fice of the Prime Min­is­ter, was sched­uled to present last Thurs­day. How­ever, he used the op­por­tu­nity to em­pha­sise the Gov­ern­ment’s thrust to sig­nif­i­cantly boost in­vest­ment and growth for the area.

Stress­ing that re­vi­tal­i­sa­tion of the city should have hap­pened a long time ago, the min­is­ter noted that down­town Kingston is ripe for ex­po­nen­tial growth and devel­op­ment.

“The re­vi­tal­i­sa­tion of our cap­i­tal city is crit­i­cal to the process of at­tract­ing in­vest­ments and achiev­ing eco­nomic growth. We see the vast his­tor­i­cal and cul­tural po­ten­tial of down­town as a tourist des­ti­na­tion. In fact, the Devel­op­ment Bank of Ja­maica is look­ing at a pro­posal for the devel­op­ment of Kingston as a cruise ship des­ti­na­tion,” he said.

Vas stated that plans which in­clude the re­de­vel­op­ment of the Na­tional Heroes Park, a new par­lia­ment, in ad­di­tion to plans to erect high-rise apart­ment build­ings is a sig­nal of what is needed to se­ri­ously en­hance and re­ju­ve­nate in­vest­ment.

“Through pub­lic-pri­vate part­ner­ship, we are also seek­ing to add a new com­mer­cial district to serve all busi­ness seg­ments, in­clud­ing large com­plexes,” said Vaz. In the pipe­line, he said, are the com­ple­tion of phase two of the fes­ti­val mar­ket­place to in­clude an out­door theatre, con­struc­tion of a multi-stor­age car park on Port Royal Street and re­search into the con­struc­tion of high­rise apart­ments ad­ja­cent to the Dig­i­cel headquarters.

“We have ex­panded the ar­eas slated for ur­ban re­newal from 633 acres to ap­prox­i­mately 3,033 acres, we ex­pect that this will boost re­newal. We have re­viewed the area for re­new­able en­er­gies to lo­cal and over­seas in­vestors to in­clude in­vest­ment tax credit and ex­emp­tion from trans­fer tax and stamp duty,” the min­is­ter said.

Lorna Perkins, deputy gen­eral man­ager for plan­ning, devel­op­ment and

project man­age­ment at the Ur­ban Devel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion, also as­sured ci­ti­zens that great plans were un­der way to at­tract in­vest­ments, stress­ing that af­ford­able hous­ing so­lu­tions would also be crit­i­cal. “We im­plore other gov­ern­ment of­fices to come down­town. We are look­ing at bring­ing back life to the trans­port cen­tre, we want more ac­tiv­ity down­town. The life­style cen­tre is ex­pected to boost the whole mar­ket district devel­op­ment, all with the aim of mak­ing Kingston the city it should be,” she de­clared.

King Street, down­town Kingston.


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