(Jamaica Gleaner) The Urban Development Corporation (UDC) says construction of the state-of-the-art beach park at the Closed Harbour Beach in St James will begin in January 2019.
The 16-acre property, also known as “Dump-up” Beach, will be transformed into a world-class multi-zoned public space within two years at a projected cost of $700 million.
Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett has endorsed the development.
Project Manager at the UDC Kerrymoure O’Connor made the announcement during the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Invest MoBay Breakfast Forum at the Sea Gardens Beach Resort on Friday, October 19, 2018.
O’Connor said the National Contracts Commission approved the project contract last week, adding that this will now be submitted to Cabinet for its approval.
“The contractor has about 28 days to submit all his bonds and insurances. So we expect that construction should begin by the first week of January 2019,” he disclosed, pointing out that the project timeline is 18 months.
The park will feature a jogging trail, soft and hard landscaping, an outdoor amphitheatre, multipurpose courts, a children’s play area, food kiosks, a boardwalk, among other amenities.
O’Connor emphasised that access to the facility will be free, and revenue for upkeep will be generated through paid parking and private investment.
“There will be opportunities for investment from private interests. There will be about eight small kiosks, [and] they are about 250 square feet each. The dining experience will be more along the boardwalk by the beach as well as on other private eatery areas outside. There are also opportunities for some anchor shops [of which there] are about four [measuring] 2,000 square-feet [each]. These are some of our major [areas of] revenue generation,” he told the forum.
O’Connor added that the beach development “is a transformation project that the city of Montego Bay deserves.”
In his remarks at the forum, Bartlett said development of Closed Harbour Beach will be a recreational and experiential attraction for the residents of Montego Bay.