Monday 21 September, 2020

Morant Bay Urban Centre development still on - FCJ

Lyttleton ‘Tanny’ Shirley

Lyttleton ‘Tanny’ Shirley

Factories Corporation of Jamaica Limited (FCJ) is reassuring the people of St Thomas and by extension Jamaica that notwithstanding the challenges faced by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Morant Bay Urban Centre development is at an advanced stage for construction to commence.

At the start of this year the company had indicated that construction would have started in June 2020, however FCJ Chairman Lyttleton ‘Tanny’ Shirley explained that despite the company’s best efforts to stay within the June timeline, COVID-19 has impacted FCJ’s development of specific clients’ requirements, the progress of the detailed engineering designs, and the finalising of the financing arrangement.

The company said it has so far completed the following:

- Established the project company, Morant Bay Urban Centre Limited, as required by the Joint Venture Agreement approved by Cabinet;

- Secured the construction loan arrangement from a reputable financial institution;

- Prepared the draft construction agreement, which is now awaiting a detailed bill of quantities;

- Addressed the relevant environmental issues, particularly those relating to river training, water aquifer, sewage system and waste management;

- Engaged with the prospective clients (private and public sector companies) to ascertain their detailed requirements in the development;

- Engaged with the Municipal Corporation, the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), the utility providers, residents and prospective workers at the urban centre;  and

- Concluded the detailed master planning and designs to include the clients’ specific requirements, which saw significant changes to the original design.

According to the FCJ Chairman, “as soon as final approval is given from the various Government agencies, construction will commence and this we anticipate will be within the next three months”.

The development, which has been oversubscribed, will see the amalgamation of services provided by the Government of Jamaica and the Private Sector.

Shirley has emphasised that this six billion dollars project will definitely be a game changer for how urban developments should be structured and a blue print for economic growth and development in parishes such as St Thomas.

As the company prepares for the commencement of construction, Mr Shirley explained that FCJ will be meeting with all the relevant stakeholders over the next three weeks to formally update them on the commencement of construction.

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