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Gov’t signs MOU for new Parliament, redevelopment of downtown Kingston

Jamaica Observer

Gov’t signs MOU for new Parliament, redevelopment of downtown Kingston

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KINGSTON –  The Jamaican Government, through the Urban Development Corporation (UDC), yesterday morning signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with China Construction Company of America (CCA) — South America Division — for new Parliament and Government offices as part of the Administration’s Oval Zone project.

According to Jamaica House, the signing of the MOU is the first phase of the project which will see the CCA providing consultancy services for the design concept of each zone.

Speaking at the signing ceremony at Jamaica House, Prime Minister Andrew Holness said he was happy for the public-private partnership, which signals the start of great things for Jamaica.

“In concentrating our development efforts we could become the catalyst for the wider redevelopment of the downtown Kingston area. The general vision is not just to put up square boxes that rise several storeys. The vision is to build buildings that represent the future of Jamaica. Buildings that show the aspiration of the Jamaican people, structures that when we look at them we can say we are leaving legacies for future generations, and when you put them all together you can also say that we are building communities,” said Prime Minister Holness.

Last year, the prime minister announced that the Government would seek to develop a campus of government buildings that would surround National Heroes Circle, with the intention to bring together all ministries, agencies and departments into a purpose-built area which can be leveraged for greater efficiency, provide greater security and improved service delivery.

“The Government will provide the lands, we will ensure that the regulatory environment works in an efficient and supportive way, we will participate in the design and development of the project, we will ensure security for our Chinese partners who will be working in Jamaica, and we will ensure that generally, the atmosphere around this project is one that is representative of the good relationship that exists between the Government of Jamaica and the Government of China,” added Prime Minister Holness.

The UDC, in 2010, as part of its redevelopment plan for downtown Kingston and Port Royal, designated the National Heroes Circle and the surrounding zone as the space to locate the new Parliament, a national museum and locate government offices and mixed-use commercial, residential and service zones around the oval. (Jamaica Observer)