Sunday, Aug 25, 2019
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Historic time for Nassau

On Sunday the government announced the winning proposal for the redevelopment of the Port of Nassau

The Global Ports Holding-led project was selected as the successful bidder for the multi-million dollar redevelopment and management of the port.

The overall investment is projected to be $250 million. Contract negotiations are the next phase of the process.

Global Ports Holding is expected to create a modern, world-class port, creating open spaces with adequate shade. Its proposal includes a Junkanoo museum and amphitheater, which the company hopes will host major performances. Additionally, the port will be able to accommodate eight ships instead of the current six.

“What we came up with is basically a project which is, like the minister said, a transformational project, not only for the port, but for the whole of Nassau, starting from downtown,” said Global Ports Chairman Mehmet Kutman.

This project will change the center of Nassau, for the better. An attractive port will attract more cruise ships, with more passengers, and it will also draw Bahamians and residents from across the island.

Bahamians should be excited at the potential.

Our downtown appears set for historic revival. There is also The Pointe next to British Colonial Hilton. It is a $200 million hotel, condo, retail shopping area and entertainment project designed to lure cruise passengers. China Construction America is its owner and developer.

The Central Bank has chosen Victoria Gardens as the site for its new headquarters. It hopes to break ground on the innovative Sand Dollar-designed building by the end of the year.

The government has committed to demolishing the old post office at East Hill Street. In its place the Minnis administration says it will erect a new Supreme Court. One has been badly needed for years to replace the colonial-era buildings in use.

The Americans are building, too. Their new embassy will be on Shirley Street just near the intersection with East Street. Caddell Construction has secured a $224 million contract from the State Department to design and build the structure.

The government is also considering a contract for the upgrade and management of Junkanoo Beach.

If all, or the vast majority, of these projects happen, Nassau’s downtown would be transformed.

The success of these projects on and around Bay Street would spawn success in all directions, including Over-the-Hill.

We continue to encourage Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis to keep his focus on downtown. It will take the weight of the Office of the Prime Minister to push through roadblocks to full revitalization. Being so close to an unprecedented boom downtown, no impediments should be allowed to get in the way of all the investment that wants to get in the ground.

Additionally, all effort must be placed into ensuring more residential buildings come into the downtown redevelopment mix. The more people live there, the more businesses would spring up to serve them.

Downtown Nassau has the potential to be a beautiful, vibrant, well-populated, creative city. We are moving closer to making that dream a reality.

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