Market for sale

Constant Spring facility to make way for road expansion

BY CLAUDIENNE EDWARDS
Observer writer
edwardsc@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

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The Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation (KSAMC) has been given the go-ahead to sell Constant Spring Market to the National Land Agency (NLA) to facilitate the road expansion project for the Constant Spring Road corridor.

A resolution was approved at yesterday's council meeting for the KSAMC to enter into negotiation with the NLA for the sale.

The KSAMC has already received private and public valuations for the market. The private valuation has placed the market value of the property at $270 million, while the public valuation is $186 million.

Councillor Susan Senior (JLP, Norbrook Division), who moved the resolution, noted that the road expansion will considerably reduce the time motorists spend in traffic on Constant Spring Road. She, however, recommended that there should be dialogue with the vendors who will be displaced.

Councillor Karl Blake (PNP, Greenwich Town Division), who seconded the resolution, pointed out that the Constant Spring Market had always been a 'headache' as the low vendor population had made it a financial liability to the corporation. Nonetheless, he noted that vendors would be inconvenienced, so the council should hold discussions with them.

Councillor Lee Clarke (JLP, Whitehall Division) said he was relieved that the market was to be sold to the Government. He said that from in the 1970s the then PNP Government had wanted to dispense with the market and develop the area. He noted that at that time “all the people on the gully were paid for their land” by the Government.

Councillor Gareth Walker (PNP, Brandon Hill Division) said he was concerned that the closure of the market would swell the numbers of street vendors on the sidewalks of Grant's Pen, Red Hills and Constant Spring roads.

Walker argued that the KSAMC needed to review its vending policy and pursue collecting fees from street vendors in those areas.

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