Stakeholders are welcoming Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley’s $1 billion plan to develop the San Fernando waterfront.
During his address to the nation on Sunday night, Rowley said: “The San Fernando Waterfront project is a project that needs to be done so that the southern city, the second-largest city in the country with a waterfront, San Fernando in the only waterfront city in the Caribbean, or possibly the world where the waterfront is a dump.”
He said the project was one that would improve the city’s economy, and benefit the entire country.
President of the Greater San Fernando Chamber of Commerce Kiran Singh agreed with the Prime Minister regarding the condition of the waterfront.
He said the Chamber is anticipating the start of the project as it will bring about potential for business growth.
Singh said with the closure of Petrotrin, the Waterfront redevelopment project would provide employment opportunities.
He said King’s Wharf has historically brought economic activity but “the development of King’s Wharf has been neglected along with its historical significance, resulting in its current state of disrepair”.
There are signs that the project has begun, with the relocation of the Public Transport Service Corporation (PTSC) garage at Lady Hailes Avenue, to the formerly occupied OAS site in Golconda.
PTSC chairman Edwin Gooding said most of the derelict buses have been moved out of San Fernando.
He said PTSC is now in possession of some four acres of land at the Golconda site and by the end of February the garage and maintenance operations are expected to be completely moved.
The waterfront project includes the reclamation of 3.8 hectares of land at King’s Wharf North, at a cost of $57 million with a target completion date of 2020.
There is to be an establishment of a small fishing facility and jetty along Hatter’s Beach, the construction of a mixed-use development inclusive of medium-income housing at Lady Hailes Avenue utilising public-private-partnership arrangements, and the development of an administrative complex at Chancery Lane, San Fernando, with ten floors for office accommodation, three floors for commercial space and 300 car parking spaces.F