Minnis promises to address derelict downtown buildings through legislation
Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis promised yesterday that his government would address the issue of derelict buildings in Downtown Nassau through legislation and other legal means.
Noting that there have been successive public and private efforts to revive Downtown Nassau over the years, Minnis admitted that while there has been progress made in some aspects, in others there has been regression.
“There is a vexing issue that must be addressed if Nassau is to meet its potential. There are too many derelict buildings in the city center. They are eyesores. While some of the old buildings can be refurbished, many have to be demolished,” he said during the ribbon cutting ceremony for Margaritaville at The Pointe yesterday.
“My government intends to address this issue judiciously through legislation and other legal means. Once this is done, through legislation we will seek to ensure that buildings in the city center are no longer abandoned and left to deteriorate. This includes government and commercial buildings.”
The Minnis administration has said upgrading the city center was a primary focus since it came to governance.
Several new developments have progressed in the area including the demolition of the Post Office on East Hill Street, the commencement of the redevelopment of the Prince Geroge Dock and New US Embassy and also the completion of The Pointe resort.
However much of the main Downtown area remains an eyesore with many storefronts are outdated or dilapidated, and where vagrants frequent leaving behind telltale scents.
“My government’s policy has been to welcome Bahamian and foreign investments into our city center to help revive it. The City of Nassau has the potential to be the economic hub of The Bahamas. We have extended concessions to continue incentivizing investment. We believe this will further bolster capital flows into Nassau,” Minnis said.
He added, “we will revitalize and beautify downtown for Bahamians and visitors. Government House and its grounds are being restored and modernized. On the site of the now demolished Main Post Office a new Judicial Complex will be built. As I noted before: Fort Charlotte and its environs should be turned into a central park with walking trails, facilities for cultural events and other features similar to such parks in other international cities.
“The central park’s recreational features can extend to the waterfront encompassing an upgraded Arawak Cay and Western Esplanade with its boardwalk. Complementing Fort Charlotte Central Park and Arawak Cay will be a restored Botanical Gardens. A new, beautiful and iconic Central Bank facility will rise on the grounds of the former Royal Victoria Hotel. And there are other private and public developments to come, which will result in many more hundreds of millions of dollars in investments.”