Wed | Dec 12, 2018

Downtown Kingston redevelopment on track

Published:Wednesday | September 27, 2017 | 12:00 AM
The waterfront in downtown Kingston transformed for a staging of a popular brunch.

General Manager of the Urban Development Corporation (UDC), Dr Damian Graham, has reiterated the Government's commitment to undertake the downtown Kingston Redevelopment Project.

He highlights construction of new offices in downtown Kingston that will house the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade.

"It is an 11-storey building worth almost $4 billion. The UDC was asked to step in with the ministry to ensure that the grant funding being provided by China was utilised. We have been taking that project through, and it will be delivered next year," Graham said.

He was speaking in a recent interview on the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) television programme, 'Issues and Answers'.

The UDC is the overall project manager for the $3.968-billion project. Approximately $3.267 billion of the total project cost is funded by a grant from the People's Republic of China, while the Government of Jamaica is providing funds for the coastal protection, drainage and external works.

Another major investment includes the construction of a new corporate head office for GraceKennedy Limited.

"They are also moving ahead at the right pace. We have the UN (United Nations) House that is coming downtown at the Jamaica Conference Centre space. We are doing upgrades with the Ministry of National Security, and if you go downtown... you will see cameras going up," Graham said.

He added that there is now new zoning with respect to security and emergency services.

Victoria Pier to be reopened for winter tourist season - UDC general manager

General Manager of the Urban Development Corporation (UDC), Dr Damian Graham stated that the old Oceana Hotel was divested to King Church Property Holdings Limited, adding that the UDC was asked by the Government to refurbish the lower floor to house the Accountant General's Department.

"We have done so and delivered that project. Victoria Pier is on its way to be reopened for the winter tourism season. You have the festival marketplace that is next door, a $154-million investment that the UDC put in, and we will be going to market soon to invite persons to come into that space to have the Kiosks operating. It is supposed to be the ground zero for the lifestyle centre," Graham said.

The UDC is the principal public-sector organisation responsible for planning and designing urban environments in designated areas in Jamaica.

It is also the entity charged with preparing, developing and implementing plans for urban development, urban renewal and rural modernisation, in collaboration with other agencies.