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UDC Responds to Gleaner’s Letter of the Day

The Urban Development Corporation (UDC) has noted the Gleaner’s Letter of the Day  referenced  as  ‘UDC  Projects  on  a  Slow  Boat  to  China’  and  attributed  to author Matthew Jones on November 29, 2017. 

In the article, the author made a number of points in regards to work being carried out by the UDC in the downtown Kingston area. We wish to address three of these points mentioned in the article. 

Point 1 
Those works eventually started at the top of this year. The steel frames are up but 
there  appears  to  be  little  else  to  show  up  to  now,  despite  the  relatively  small 
building that is to be constructed. 

Point 2 
In  the  meantime,  vendors  continue  to  sell  fish  for  our  tables  outside  the  site  in 
rather filthy and unsanitary conditions, including, but not limited to, sewage water 
running close by at times. 

Point 3 
Will there be cost overruns on what the UDC had said is a $40 million project? I 
often  wonder  how  long  it  would  have  taken  the  Chinese  to  complete  what  is  a 
relatively small project. 

We  use  this  opportunity  to  remind  the  public  about  our  on-going  work  in  the market  district  namely  Red  Rose  Fish  Market  and  Jubilee  Market  in  downtown Kingston. The UDC is carrying out duties  as project manager for both contracts with  the  JM$43million  Red  Rose  Market  at  80  percent  complete  and  JM$53M Jubilee  Market  at  70%  completion  as  of  November  20,  2017.  Both  projects  are 
funded under the PetroCaribe programme and are scheduled for completion by end of January 2018.  

The  works  on  the  Fish  Market  located at  the  intersection  of  Rose  Lane  and  Heywood  Street include the construction of a framed structure, vendor stall area and fish storage compartments along with fencing repairs which will improve the facilities from which the fish vendors operate in the area. Works are being carried out  by  NF  Barnes  Construction  Company.  The  Kingston  and  St.  Andrew Municipal Corporation is a major partner in the project as the owners and operators of  the  facility.  We  must  point  out  that  an  area  was  provided  for  the  vendors  to temporarily continue their trade. 

The project is running parallel to the Jubilee Market project at West Parade with work  being  carried  out  by  Chin’s  Construction  Limited  downtown  Kingston. Previous phases of the project saw the demolition of the original building and the refurbishing and construction of its brick perimeter fence. Currently underway is the  reconstruction  of  the  main  market  building,  retaining  the  architecture  and aesthetics of the original gable-end, open-framed structure.   

These  two  projects  encountered  special  challenges  due  in  part  to  technical redesigns which had to be carried out subsequent to the start of foundation works on  the  existing  sites along  with  the unique  and specific  fabrication needs of the trussing  structures.  These  challenges  combined  with  the  social  dynamics  of  the surrounding environment impacted the smooth flow of the project schedule.  Measures were introduced to mitigate and manage these challenges and to advance works to their current state. 

The upgrade of the market district is one facet of the Downtown Kingston and Port Royal Redevelopment Plan 2030 which continues to make progress, as the UDC works with partners and investors to facilitate its success.  We trust the foregoing will be published and given the same prominence as the letter of the day 
Dr Damian Graham, DBA, M PHIL, P.E