UDC rejects blame for delay in opening of Victoria Pier
The Urban Development Corporation (UDC) is rejecting blame for a three-month delay in the opening of the renovated Victoria Pier on Kingston's waterfront.
In an article in yesterday's Sunday Gleaner, businessman Andrew Azar blamed the state agency which owns the Victoria Pier for the delay in the opening of the facility in time for last night's Fireworks on the Waterfront.
According to him, the opening has been pushed back to February.
Azar said a stop order issued by the UDC has resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses for him and his partners, who came up with a proposal to revive the Victoria Pier by redeveloping it into a restaurant and entertainment hotspot.
But in a letter to the editor of The Gleaner today, the UDC said the delay resulted from the failure of the lessee to correct breaches that were identified in the expansion and renovation works.
The UDC said it issued the lessee with a Notice to Remedy Breaches/Cease and Desist order on October 3 due to concerns for public safety and a failure to produce desired results as indicated in the contractual agreement.
The agency says the lessee should have provided it in November with a full set of architectural and engineering drawings and the engineer’s report relating to the pilings.
However, the UDC says these have still not been provided to allow for a comprehensive review of the location, public amenities and their connections to storage and disposal.
The UDC says it has been extremely accommodating of the lessee in light of the breaches identified.
Nevertheless, it says it has a duty to ensure the safety of the public and was left with no choice but to issue the stop order.
It says the redevelopment of the Victoria Pier is an important part of its plans for the redevelopment of downtown Kingston and remains available to the lessee to facilitate the completion of the project.