Arthur Hall, Senior News Editor
CHIEF EXECUTIVE Officer of GraceKennedy, Don Wehby, recently outlined his dream for downtown Kingston, and it has sparked the interest of everyone interested in the rebirth of the city.
Wehby's dream carries the weight of someone who has worked at one of downtown Kingston's major entities for almost 20 years. This is coupled with GraceKennedy's undoubted commitment to downtown Kingston, with the firm having called the area home for 90 years.
In his recent presentation, Wehby applauded the Urban Development Corporation for its work and plans for the redevelopment of downtown Kingston, even as he put other proposals on the table.
"I envision cruise shipping returning to downtown Kingston, with duty-free shopping areas built for tourists to take advantage of. We have the very interesting Institute of Jamaica and our excellent National Gallery for them to visit," said Wehby.
"Perhaps there can be a reggae museum, even an athletes' museum, for them to enjoy as well. Port Royal and its rich history could be on display for all tourists to see through daily tours," added Wehby.
He noted that all this would need to be done with a master plan in mind, "so there would have to be supporting infrastructure such as solutions to existing traffic issues, particularly parking."
According to Wehby, "That master plan should also include timelines on the project's completion and how it will be funded. It should form a critical part of our Vision 2030.
"I think most people would agree with me when I say that downtown's value has not been properly acknowledged, and that a valuable economic opportunity is not being taken advantage of.
"Jamaica is a jewel. Downtown is the diamond in the rough, waiting to be cut and polished so that it can shine as brightly as possible and live up to its real value," added Wehby.