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Transport Authority eyes old Jamintel building

Thursday, August 28, 2014    

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TWO senior Cabinet ministers will lead a community consultation forum today to examine the possibility of moving the corporate offices of the Transport Authority to a popular, but rundown building in Central Kingston.

Transport Minister Dr Omar Davies and Education Minister Ronald Thwaites, who is also Member of Parliament for Central Kingston, will be joined by Barrington Miller, project manager of Quantity Surveying Consultants Ltd, representatives of the Transport Authority, and residents from Central Kingston and the bordering West Kingston for the discussion, which is set to last from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston.

The Transport Authority has expressed a desire to move from its Maxfield Avenue, East Central St Andrew headquarters to the high-rise building at the corner of North and Duke streets, north of the seat of Parliament, Gordon House. The building formerly housed the headquarters of the Jamaica International Telecommunications Ltd, popularly known as Jamintel, which later merged into Cable and Wireless, now LIME.

The Transport Authority would seek to renovate the building, initial reports have said.

However, squatters have settled in certain sections of the building, which could delay the renovation and removal should an agreement for takeover by the Transport Authority be struck.

The Transport Authority also has two other offices in the Corporate Area, all in close proximity, and already speculation is rife that all activities of the authority could be housed in the old Jamintel building if the deal is brokered.

During the last decade, interests pressed for the relocation of the offices of the commissioner of police along Old Hope Road in South East St Andrew to the old Jamintel building, but that idea was tossed out by the then administration of Prime Minister PJ Patterson, which said that, logistically, it would be a nightmare to house the constabulary's top man and his staff there.

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