Businessman embarks on a labour of love to give the area a facelift
Adrian Frater, News Editor
Western Bureau:The entrance to the upscale Ironshore community in Montego Bay, St James, is getting a much-needed facelift but contrary to the thinking of those who have been admiring the eye-catching makeover, it is not the work of any state agency.
Instead, the beautification project is the work of a private businessman, Donavan James, the CEO of Northwest Construction & Development Company Limited.
James, who has won several prestigious international awards for his skills at developing luxury-gated communities, some of which are located in the Ironshore area, believes that as a successful product of the western city, he has an obligation to give something back.
"I am really not worried about the cost ... getting the place to look good is priceless," says James, a Cornwall College past student who received his tertiary education at the then C.A.S.T. (Collage of Arts Science nnd Technology) now The University of Technology.
"As the gateway to Montego Bay from the eastern side of the island, we have an obligation to ensure that the area looks good."
Since the formation of his com-pany in 1989, the business-savvy James has made his mark on the Ironshore landscape with several luxury developments, including Tuscany Place Phase I, Tuscany Place Phase II, The Venetian and the Villigio.
"I am not finished ... there is more to be done both in giving IronsShore a makeover and putting in new developments," says James, who is now getting ready to roll out his latest development, the 'D' Washington, off the drawing board.
"I have been doing a lot of development in Ironshore, so I know I have an obligation to give back something to the community," he says.
James, who was recently recognised by the world-renowned Business Initiative Directives with its 2011 Platinum World Quality Commitment Award, says he hopes his facelift initiative will spur other business interest in Montego Bay to play their part in restoring the city to its old glory.
very little support
Initially, James had tried to solicit the support of other business interests in Ironshore to make the facelift a community project, but only businesswoman Angella Whitter of the Whitter Group of Companies seemed supportive.
As a consequence, he decided to make the project his personal labour of love.
To date, James has transformed the middle of the dual carriageway from the Ironshore main road leading into the community by planting palm trees, which have been imbedded into exquisitely laid-out interlocking bricks.
He has also carried out extensive road restoration work, resurfacing the areas that were littered with potholes.
"I am not finished ... . There is more to be done," says James. "My hope is that, before long, the entire area will have a first-world look."