Port Authority shows off new market for Falmouth
By the last quarter of 2016, the Port Authority of Jamaica expects to hand over a modern market facility to Falmouth valued at $300 million, replacing the current 'bend down market' in the historic capital of Trelawny.
What now exists will be demolished and integrated into the coastal town, which hosts one of Jamaica's most popular cruise ship ports.
Showcasing the new facility to Godfrey Dyer, chairman of the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), on Tuesday, chairman and CEO of the Port Authority, Professor Gordon Shirley, said the market will have the capacity to accommodate some 370 vendors.
The facility is being relocated to accommodate further development of the Falmouth port, Port Authority said in its project brief. It is being financed by the agency.
The market is getting a spot in the new commercial district being created by private- and public-sector interests, Shirley said.
As described by the Port Authority, the developments in Falmouth aim to enhance the cruise product, stimulate and re-energise commercial activity, create business opportunities and facilitate cultural and social exchange between cruise visitors and locals.
Construction on the new market commenced in April 2015 and is nearly complete.
"The enhancement of the roof, covering of the walk areas and design of the stalls to fit the needs of the vendors, are just a few of the areas left to be done," said the Port Authority's senior vice-president of engineering and port development, Mervis Edghill.
"The new location is ideally located to facilitate an improved shopping/customer experience as congestion will be significantly reduced," he said.
The market was one of two projects the TEF chairman toured during his visit. The other was the Hampden Wharf Development, which is adjacent to the cruise ship port. That development includes restoration of the historic Tharpe House, as well as the creation of an artisan village. The TEF is funding the wharf project.
As it relates to the market, Shirley said it would be larger than the facility it replaces.
Other plans for the town include construction of a civic centre, to be spearheaded by the Trelawny Parish Council; and a shopping mall is to be developed across the street from the market.