MP promises City reboot

Member of Parliament for The City Corey Lane is promising a revitalisation of Bridgetown sooner rather than later.

“The City will be back. We’ve started with Golden Square Freedom Park. There is the work ongoing at Fairchild Street, and where there is a shanty town near the river, we are going to convert that as well,” he said.

He said he did a walk-through of The City about two weeks ago with developer of the proposed Hyatt Hotel, James Edghill, and more recently with director of Urban Development Commission Sonia King.

Lane said they intended to have boat rides across the Constitution River, tours, the redevelopment of Temple Yard and Baxters Road.

“The City is coming back, and we coming back hard. One of the other things that was presented to me by a colleague – I am not letting it fully out of the bag as yet – is a full redesign of The City with green spaces, green banks, plant features, water features,” he told the media on Thursday.

He added that all was required now was the funding.

“I am going to be before the Chamber of Commerce and the Barbados Private Sector Association. A lot of people who have been walking the walk and talking the talk need to walk the walk some more. These ideas could be good and cool, but they require money. It costs to care. Without a shadow of a doubt, once we get these plans off of the paper, The City is going to be back, and it is going to be back with a bang,” he said.

Lane said many businesses had closed their doors, following the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, but admitted some had left before.

“What a lot of people don’t know is that a lot of vending space in Bridgetown is actually almost free because a lot of people don’t pay a fee to be in these vending stalls. Obviously, when we remodel them and bring them back, put in the utilities, put in sanitation, and all the various amenities that the vendors will need, there will be a small fee,” he said.

Lane said in his vending tour on Wednesday, there were certain stalls where rent or fees had not been collected since 2008.

“Where you find high rents [is] on Roebuck Street, Broad Street and Swan Street to a lesser extent. What I am hoping can happen is that once we give the entrepreneur experience and opportunity across Constitution River, across Fairchild Street, across Baxters Road, across Temple Yard, I believe that that can bring some competition to The City and drive some of those rent prices down. That is economics 101; that is not Corey Lane saying so. Where there is an increase in supply and there is then a decrease in demand, then prices start to come down,” he said. (RA)

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