Work begins on Jamintel building - Tenants needed for two of seven floors
Work is well under way to renovate the old Jamintel building in downtown Kingston, with some $370 million allocated for the project in this year's Estimates of Expenditure.
The Transport Authority purchased the building for $250 million from the Urban Development Corporation last year, and Minister of Transport and Works Dr Omar Davies, says preliminary renovation work has started on the building and provisions are being made for additional parking at the facility.
"They are not going to be using all the space at the facility, they will be renting some," Davies said during last Wednesday's sitting of the Standing Finance Committee of the House of Representatives.
Dr Peter Phillips, the minister of finance, said that the acquisition of the building would not only see the Transport Authority relocating its operations downtown, but that it "will generate more employment down there".
The Transport Authority is located in two buildings on Maxfield Avenue in Kingston and has reportedly outgrown the space it occupies.
"The Authority has had to retrofit containers to ensure proper storage and management of its records. In simple terms, the Authority's operations have far outgrown its current locations," said Dr Morais Guy, minister without portfolio in the transport ministry.
"The Jamintel building provided a unique opportunity to invest in a building to put back ministries, department and agencies downtown, in an effort to revitalise the business and commerce," added Guy.
Two floors up for rent
According to the minister, with the Jamintel building having more space than is needed, the Transport Authority will be seeking to get tenants to occupy two of the seven floors. He also said that efforts are being made to find adequate parking that would service the need for users of the building.
"We are negotiating the purchase of property in proximity to the building for parking."
It was initially announced that the Transport Authority is scheduled to move into the retrofitted building by early 2016. However, it is not yet clear if that timeline will be met.