Vendors secure for further Junkanoo Beach upgrades

By Fay Simmons

Tribune Business Editor


A government senator yesterday pledged that no existing vendors will be displaced when the project to revive and upgrade Junkanoo Beach begins in the 2024 first quarter.

Randy Rolle, also the Ministry of Tourism, Investments and Aviation’s global relations consultant, said a staged approach to the revitalistion will be undertaken so as to minimise disruption for vendors and tourists alike.

Speaking in Senate, the head of the Downtown Nassau revitalisation efforts said: “I am also proud to announce that there is forward motion to begin the revitalisation of Junkanoo Beach.

“Groundbreaking is scheduled for the first quarter of this year. I would like to take this time to note that none of the current vendors will be displaced as this project will be rolled out in a phased approached, starting from the western end of Junkanoo Beach to the eastern end.”

Mr Rolle said there are plans to demolish another building downtown once the necessary order has been received, while the sites of already-torn down buildings such as the former Gaming Board headquarters will be converted into green spaces or allocated “for the establishment of new and promising businesses”.

He added: “The Ministry of Tourism has effectively carried out the demolition of several dilapidated buildings in the city centre, addressing not only their unsightly appearance but also the associated problems of vagrancy, crime and health risks. Among these structures was the former Gaming Board building, with plans underway for the demolition of another building pending receipt of the necessary demolition order.

“Given that there are now vacant lots, the Ministry’s objective is to either convert them into green spaces or allocate them for the establishment of new and promising businesses. The selection process for vendors interested in these lots will be conducted with careful consideration, ensuring that the chosen businesses positively contribute to the local community.”

Mr Rolle added that the pedestrianisation of Market Slope is still planned, and will increase tourist foot traffic downtown and drive visitors to nearby vendors. He said: “Another project we have on deck is the pedestrianisation of Market Slope.

“The Ministry is spearheading the effort to revitalise the city centre and bolster economic vitality by implementing pedestrianisation measures on Market Slope. This endeavour seeks to elevate pedestrian flow, thereby fostering commercial activity and nurturing the expansion of the orange economy.”

Many visitors, including the up to 30,000 passengers that pass through the Nassau Cruise Port daily, stroll down Bay Street but many complain about the city’s condition, cleanliness and the lack of activities. The downtown revitalisation project aims to give Bay Street a facelift through the installation of pedestrian zones, a business incubation centre, green spaces, a cultural village and other initiatives.


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