Portmore is more like a country than a parish
Portmore and adjoining ‘cities’ like Greater Portmore, Hellshire, among others present a major challenge to the concept of Jamaica.
The “Cross di waters” communities have now morphed into superstars with a population size perhaps by far larger than most rural parishes.
Although on paper only a tenth of the Kingston and St Anfrew area, of approximately one million, Portmore is attracting a range of business and major capital. The original dormitory dwellers are now in “retirement age”, but a new vibrant cluster of Baby Boomers are now actively working in the region.
The location of Portmore, with proximity to the sea and maritime nucleus, poises the area to be more than a parish, but like Tobago, an island onto itself.
Portmore is no longer the ‘back bencher’, but on the front page of what matters most to Jamaicans.
It has had an independent spirit of people who were “charged” with development. Portmore simply has a different energy. The rooftops have the potential to create solar millionaires. The housing model is successful and such planned development, although with infrastructural flaws, could be replicated islandwide. People own their own homes and have made massive improvements. It was not originally thought that residents would own cars in the Greater Portmore development, with no driveways, just walkways, but the tide has changed.
Greater Portmore, boasts of a public library, courthouse, health centre, Institute of Jamaica offices, post office, community centre, shopping malls, and mini-stadium among other amenities. These facilities make the area attractive for investment at all levels, including health tourism, visits to beaches and natural science tours by students across Jamaica.
Those who have invested in their houses in Portmore are reaping an abundant harvest. It was once the wild west, but all the major banks and businesses are now laying their nests in the goldmine. The political parties have a vested interest in wooing the Portmore nation as Portmorians have their tentacles in major businesses in the leading firms in Jamaica. They have toiled, leaving out early morning, facing the narrow Causeway and now increasing toll fees. The public transportation system is now centred on delivering swift destination convoys for the Portmore populace, their chief income earner.
Once upon a time, Portmore depended on Jamaica. The reverse exists today.
Portmore is there to show the world that the Jamaican citizen, given the opportunity to own land, will make a real living.
It pays to own your own, even if you remain unknown. Parish title or not, business is booming and growing fast in the country named Portmore.