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New Harbour Hit Prompts Gore to go BIG

Jamaica Observer, July 26, 2009

Gore Developments is currently seeking planning approval that will clear the way for construction of over 4,500 housing solutions in St Catherine.

According to Gore's Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), submitted to the National Environment and Planning Agency this month, the development is expected to take five to six years to complete while pumping $10 billion into the economy. After having success with its New Harbour Village - an 845-two-bedroom-house subdivision located to the south of Old Harbour and in close proximity to the Old Harbour exit off Highway 2000 - Gore now wants to proceed with phases two and three that will involve the construction of 1388 and 953 two-bedroom houses, respectively, with similar amenities to those built during the first phase.

As with the first phase, forthcoming developments will also include commercial zones, park space and basic schools, although Gore plans to go a step further and is proposing to allocate land space - 5.2 hectares (12.86 acres) - for a primary or secondary school.

"Gore Developments initiated dialogue with the Office of the Prime Minister in 2008 in an effort to present the proposal for expansion of the housing solutions in the New Harbour area," said the EIA report. "The proposed development of (phases two and three) aims to satisfy the demand for housing in the wider region of Old Harbour within a large community in proximity to Kingston, Spanish Town and May Pen.

The project area has also been designated an area for future urbanisation under the Portmore to Clarendon Park - Highway 2000 Corridor Development Plan".  The construction of the housing development will create approximately 500 jobs, by Gore's estimation and "will require a capital injection of about $10 billion into the local and national economy." "This is a very substantial figure which can do much to boost the national economy and stimulate recovery and growth in the Old Harbour area."

The Old Harbour area has in the past been characterised as an urban centre growing rapidly with settlements while its economic vibrancy has waned, underpinned by the cessation of productive activities such as tobacco farming, construction on Highway 2000, and more recently, the closure of Windalco, which up to March of this year had used Port Esquivel - located outside the town of Old Harbour - as its shipping point for Alumina and raw material.

New Harbour is not the only housing project Gore has in the pipeline. NEPA already gave it an environmental permit to commence a housing development at Florence Hall, Trelawny. In June, NEPA granted the developers a permit that will allow Gore to construct 828 two-bedroom units each with 74.3 square metres (800 square feet) of floor occupying approximately 72.8 hectares (178.9 acres) of land in New Falmouth, Trelawny.

The agency also granted Gore Develoments with permits to establish a petroleum storage facility and a concrete batching plant at the Florence Hall site. 
The proposed property is adjacent to the Northern Coastal Highway on its northern boundary and lies to the east of the Greenfield Stadium.