Old Glass House to be demolished
The government is looking to sell the current property on which the George Town Police Station is situated and move it an area south of the airport.
Premier Alden McLaughlin made the announcement during his State of the Nation address at the Fidelity Cayman Economic Outlook conference at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman on Thursday.
Mr. McLaughlin brought up the issue when discussing ways to address the recent spike in crime.
“To assist the courts and law enforcement, Cabinet has agreed to offer by public tender the sale of the Central Police Station property, which occupies prime real estate in George Town, on condition that the money is used for the construction of a new facility on government land on Lyndhurst Avenue,” he said, noting that the area is sometime called Halfway Pond.
“The Ministry of Planning, Lands, Agriculture, Housing and Infrastructure is now working toward a request for proposal for this sale.”
The current police station will continue to be used while a new facility is developed, he said, adding that the new site is large enough to accommodate the long-discussed new courthouse facility, which was originally planned for a site on Agnes Way, but the project had to be shelved after the onset of the financial crisis because of a lack of funding.
“A steering committee has been established by the Ministry and Judicial Services to develop a Strategic Business Analysis for the project,” he said. Lyndhurst Avenue is located off of Agnes Way.
George Town revitalization
Another topic of Mr. McLaughlin’s speech was the efforts to revitalize George Town.
“Government will breathe new life into George Town’s waterfront and main commercial area,” he said. “Improvements will start at the end of this month with the widening of Godfrey Nixon Way. This will consist of pedestrian and lane improvements, including a turning lane on what has become a busy, bustling boulevard.”
In addition, he said that similar upgrades to Smith Road and Humber Lane would take place before the end of June and that in the next financial year starting in July, the Linford Pierson Highway would be widened to two lanes in both directions.
“We see these roads as the catalyst to the revitalization project as they will facilitate the efficient flow of traffic in and out of the business district,” he said.
Another key element of the revitalization project involves changes to building codes that will include mixed-use development – including residential – in central George Town.
“It is anticipated these will go to caucus and Cabinet next month and will be with the Legislative Assembly by mid-year,” the premier said.
Mr. McLaughlin said the government had been meeting with businesses and developers interested in the revitalization project to discuss “potential unique developments” for George Town.
“Should these projects come to fruition, they will not only lead to more jobs in the construction industry, but will enhance retail, commercial and tourism offerings in George Town.”
Another aspect to the revitalization project will be the creation of public green spaces, Mr. McLaughlin said. “I am pleased to announce that government is in discussions with the private sector to create a park on the site of the now closed and dilapidated old Glass House [government building], which will soon be demolished,” he said. “In addition, we plan to create a recreational park and public beach next to the South Sound launch ramp, which will help preserve that pristine area for long-term public enjoyment.”