Prime Minister Andrew Holness
Prime Minister Andrew Holness has moved to dispel what he says has been confusion about the vision for the Heroes Circle project.
Speaking on Thursday at the launch of the design competition for the new Parliament building to be located at Heroes Circle, Mr. Holness described an area with mixed use, containing government buildings, commercial properties as well as homes.
Mr. Holness announced that about 5,000 residences are to be built at various price points.
Noting that the government is looking to contain its debt, he said the area will also have more than one million square feet of commercial space.
"Of course, all of this has to be paid for and what we have said as part of securing our economic independence is that we are not going back to a situation of debt and so a part of the development here will have commercial value...(of) approximately 1.2 million square feet of commercial space," he declared.
Outlining the plan for government buidlings, Mr. Holness said 14 ministries and four agencies will be located at Heroes Circle.
He touted it as a gamechanger in improving government efficiency, pointing out that there would no longer be a need to travel to different locations for different ministries.
Local architects have raised concern that the proposed plan would see the government complex taking up 40 of the 50 acres at Heroes Circle, destroying the potential for the area to be developed as a major public recreational open space.
In the meantime, the Prime Minister said the Jamaican diaspora will be called upon to contribute to the construction of the
He noted that a member of the diapora is overseeing the competition to design the building.
The Prime Minister said in the same way Commonwealth countries contributed to rebuilding the United Kingdom Parliament, Jamaicans abroad should play their part in funding Jamaica's own Parliament.