Demolition of the structures that will make way for the country’s new Central Bank of The Bahamas (CBOB) building should be completed by early March 2021, project coordinators told the media yesterday, adding that the process to erect the new building has been set back several months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The old post office is currently being demolished as part of the same project, though the post office property is not part of the CBOB property, the bank’s Capital Development Manager Ian Fernander told the media.
“Everything has been pushed back by a good number of months because of what we have had to do as a country in the face of COVID-19, particularly the lockdowns and the inability of persons to work.
“That demolition contract was initiated and completed sometime in the third quarter of 2019, so that contractor has been ready to go since then. So here we are more than a year later.
“We have about 30-some consultancies involved in that project, outside of the architects. A percentage of them are offshore and that would have changed the expectations… because they could not travel here and work with the team. That has introduced some delays as well.”
The new Central Bank building will be built on the property of the former Royal Victoria Gardens hotel across the street from the post office.
According to Fernander, some areas of historical value on the property will be saved and restored, such as the Curry House and Little House.
He also said a change in the direction of traffic flow surrounding the new Central Bank property is being considered.
According to him, there will almost be a roundabout around the Central Bank Property, with East Street becoming a north-bound one-way street and Parliament Street becoming a south-bound one-way street.
“East Hill Street will become east-bound and likely will become a hybrid between a walking terrace with the ability to turn it into a vehicular thoroughfare, but normally it would be a walking terrace,” he said.