Wed | May 23, 2018

UDC hunts lessees for Festival Marketplace

Published:Friday | January 19, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Festival MarketPlace on the Kingston waterfront.

Nearly three years after completing its new downtown landmark, the Festival Marketplace in Kingston, the Urban Development Corporation, UDC, is still hunting lessees for empty shops.

The scenic development, replete with brightly coloured architecture and landscaped surroundings, was one of the initiatives of the state developer to bring the Kingston water-front to life.

UDC declined to comment on the number of shops constructed under the $77-million project in its first phase in 2015, but said five shops are unoccupied at the complex, which sits adjacent to the Kingston Craft Market.

The first phase comprised a food bazaar, with vending kiosks, recreational seating, as well as parking facilities that double as outdoor entertainment space.

The Marketplace is, by design, a waterfront extension of other redevelopments downtown, such as Coronation Market, UDC noted.

The other phases of Marketplace are expected to include facilities for in-bond and local shopping; restaurants and bars; multi-use commercial or office space; exhibition space; vendors arcade; a marina and docking facilities.

"Other phases will come on stream this year and going forward, as we continue to implement the downtown Kingston redevelopment plan," the state development agency said, while noting that updates will be provided as the various phases unfold.

UDC also said on Wednesday it would be advertising for shop operators, but avoided comment on lease prices. The five remaining kiosks can be "subdivided into two shops each," it said.

"The Urban Development Corporation will approach the market in early 2018 to identify suitable operators. Therefore, the shops are currently unoccupied," the agency said, a comment that appears to imply that the shops have to stay vacant until they are advertised.

avia.collinder@gleanerjm.com