Sat | Nov 17, 2018

US$13 million IDB House is a signal of bank's long-term support of Jamaica

Published:Friday | June 30, 2017 | 12:00 AMPaul Clarke
Theresa Turner-Jones (right), country representative for the Inter-American Development bank (IDB), Emma Lewis (left), new member of the IDB civil society working group, and A. Christopher Shaw in discussion just before the start of the IDB townhall meeting regarding the new IDB House, yesterday.

Therese Turner-Jones, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) country manager, says that the construction of a new US$13 million country office complex in upscale Montrose Road in Kingston signals the bank's long-term support for Jamaica.

"The construction is a huge deal and shows the IDB's long-term relationship with Jamaica," she said at yesterday's townhall meeting to discuss the design and construction of the new IDB House.

She said that the additional space would allow the bank to expand and take on additional projects and use the building as a collaborative site for all its partners working in Jamaica.

The new offices will be able to accommodate 54 people. The IDB currently has 35 people at its current location.

The IDB has been in Jamaica for close to 50 years, working across all sectors in helping Jamaica meet its development challenges such as economic growth, and issues around unemployment, education, and infrastructure, Turner-Jones noted.

She said that the IDB owning its own house would give them a strong presence in the community.

"This augers well for future relationships between the IDB and Jamaica as this building fits in nicely with the community," she noted.

"We own the space that we are in now, but having an independent house really positions the IDB in the community as a serious presence, so I think it's really going to give us a location to be proud of," Turner-Jones added.

The complete project costs include construction, acquisition of furniture, fixtures and equipment, all of the consultants, and the purchase of the property.


Jamaican construction sector's major input


Meanwhile, chief of administrative services, security and the corporate procurement division in the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Brett Copeland said that the conceptualising, design, and construction of IDB House will be done by local companies and that it marks the most important aspect of the project.

"From day one of thinking about the project, it was up to the Jamaican construction sector. We are a development bank, so it behoves us to practise what we preach, and in Jamaica, there was never a question as to who we would have liked to work on our project. It was a question that Jamaica answered for itself," Copeland said.

Local firm APEC Consultants Limited is providing consultancy services, with West Indies Home Contractors Limited (WIHCON) being the constructors of the state-of-the-art IDB house.

IDB House, as it will be known, sits in an area of Kingston called the Golden Triangle and will have as its neighbour the prime minister's official residence of Vale Royal.