President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Port Authority of Jamaica, Noel Hylton, is urging the Trelawny Diaspora in the United States to invest in the development of the parish, citing the “exciting and dynamic projects” underway in Falmouth. He said the projects, which are being undertaken as part of the multi-million dollar Historic Falmouth Jamaica development programme, will revitalise the town and surrounding areas, offering attractions and experiences that will redefine Jamaica’s north coast.
Mr. Hylton, who was addressing the Friends of Trelawny’s 7th Annual Business and Investment Symposium on Saturday (May 28) at the International JFK Airport Hotel in Queens, New York, informed that the development is being undertaken in phases, with the first almost completed which includes the recently opened cruise ship pier in collaboration with Royal Caribbean Cruises.
He informed that about 100,000 square feet of free-port shopping and other commercial ventures such as restaurants, offices, and kiosks that are being constructed as part of the port project, are almost complete, with some already occupied, while about 15 per cent of retail space is still available for rent or lease.
“Significant opportunities, therefore, exist for enterprising business-minded people to explore the facilities with a view to undertaking investments,” he informed. Phase II, projected to commence by 2013, will entail the construction of a boutique hotel, additional retail/restaurants and residential units, while Phase III, to get underway in 2014, will include a shopping centre and additional residences at an estimated cost of US$200 million.
Mr. Hylton said the Port Authority will be the lead agency for Phase III, and is seeking joint venture partners from real estate developers and other investors. He pointed out that the “first zone of impact” will be Greater Falmouth with its heritage sites, its commercial and business centre and those residences that fall within its environs, which form an area designated for concentrated restoration and development.
“The development of Falmouth as a theme town, based on its history and heritage, will require specialised enterprises capable of providing services in restoration, architecture and building, brick manufacturing, furniture production, and the full range of skills required for a project of this nature,” he informed.
The second zone of impact will be the wider Trelawny area with its historic estates and great houses, the coastal areas for fishing, scenic rafting on the Martha Brae, and agricultural production in other areas.
He noted that Trelawny offers a number of attractions, such as the Cockpit Country, which is recognised worldwide for its ecological significance and is ideal for eco-tourism, bird-watching and nature trails.
Neighbouring parishes such as St. Ann, will also benefit from the development, he said, in terms of attractions, food production, transportation and other services.” In her remarks, the president of FOTA, Caroldine Smith, said the symposium was staged to showcase and promote business opportunities in Trelawny as well as highlight the myriad of existing business developments in the parish and emerging opportunities.
Other presenters were Falmouth’s Mayor, Colin Gager; Member of Parliament for North Trelawny, Dr. Patrick Harris; Vice President and General Manager of Scotia Jamaica Building Society, Gladstone Whitelocke; President and CEO of Ken Casa Construction Project Development Company, Kirk Kennedy; and Caribbean Consultant/Western Union Remittance Services, Garfield Comrey. The symposium was one of the three events staged by FOTA to celebrate their 30th annual reunion weekend.
Source – JIS