A dilapidated building in Downtown Nassau
THE Downtown Nassau Partnership has called on the government to get serious with owners of abandoned and dilapidated buildings on Bay Street.
In a statement released yesterday, DNP managing director Ed Fields, speaking on behalf of the group, called on the Ministry of Works to act on provisions afforded to the minister under the Building Regulations Act and to take a wrecking ball to abandoned buildings.
“If we are going to truly clean up the blight that we see east of East Street, the government will have to be aggressive, and it has the tools to do it,” Mr Fields said.
Under Chapter 200 Section 10 of the Act, the minister may take action if it appears that any building, structure or part of a building or structure is in such a condition or is used to carry such loads as to be dangerous or is by reason of its ruinous or dilapidated condition “seriously detrimental to the amenities of the neighbourhood”.
The DNP said most of the structures east of Elizabeth Avenue fall into the category of being detrimental to the neighbourhood’s amenities.
“In layman’s terms, those buildings are eyesores and they need to be demolished,” Mr Fields said.
The DNP said property owners have not improved or cleaned up the properties in question for decades. The group said tax concessions are in place to incentivise improvements or developments, yet little to nothing has occurred in this regard.
“If the carrot has not worked, it is an appropriate time to apply the stick,” Mr Fields said.
“We cannot continue post-COVID in the same manner. Change has to happen, and the Act can be the agent for the changes needed.”
The DNP said it recognises there will be challenges in carrying out such a move, but said the law is clear. It added that ridding downtown of these “eyesores” will not only make the area more attractive to local and international investors, but will aid the country’s national psyche, as the “condition east of Elizabeth (Avenue) is depressing for all”.