Mon | Nov 19, 2018

Skyline shift - PM says Gov't getting requests for 20-storey buildings in the city

Published:Monday | October 22, 2018 | 12:00 AMRomario Scott/Gleaner Writer

Prime Minister Andrew Holness has trumpeted that developers are buying into the vision of the Government and have moved to capitalise on infrastructural works now under way to modernise the city of Kingston.

He said that requests are coming in for approval for 20-storey buildings as developers seek to make better use of land in the capital.

Holness said this is being facilitated by a strong economy and steps are being made by the Government to improve the infrastructure in Kingston.

"People's don't take risk in an economy that is generally not doing well. And for Arthur [Von Strolley] to take the risk, it would have been that the Jamaican economy is on the right track, that there is business confidence, that the Government has in place the right policies ... ," said Holness, who was speaking at the official opening of 20 South, a 10-storey high-rise residential complex on South Avenue in St Andrew last Saturday.

The prime minister noted that "within short order, the face of Kingston could change fundamentally".

He said that Kingston has the potential to rival Miami with respect to vibrancy if the issues of security and infrastructure are addressed.

"The Government is already taking on the infrastructure problem, and once we solve the infrastructure problem, people will take the risk putting up structures like this," he said.

Holness said the issue of security is now a priority for his administration as it seeks to position Kingston as the city of choice in the region.

"From my perspective, within five years, we would have made an impact on the stability of the macroeconomy; improved the infrastructure, bringing it up to world-class levels; and making a significant dent on the security front.

"Once we get all those three things aligned, within five years, the skyline is going to change," Holness said, adding that the money to do it "is right here in Jamaica".

"It is tied up in the pension funds, it is tied up in the banks," he added.

romario.scott@gleanerjm.com