“I beg your participation, contributions, encouragement and support. I also beg for your patience and understanding as many of you will be inconvenienced when works through this redevelopment exercise begins,” Francis said.
Francis stated that he was delighted to be part of the affairs which pave the way to building a better and new Castries, adding that the vision is for a capital city that is the envy of other islands and one that, moreover, lends to economic revival and commercial development.
“I think we all share a common commitment in facilitating, yet ensuring that opportunity exists for all citizens, residents and visitors to the city of Castries,” he told the gathering.
“But what also brings us together here at this meeting, is another factor – a collective recognition that in our efforts to ensure opportunity, we must be guided by accurate information through sensitization and consultative meetings, solid policy analysis and specifically outlining vision and plans,” Francis added.
He explained that the hard reality is that it takes time and dispassionate analysis to understand the nature and scope of such projects.
Components of the redesign of Castries include a food court, high-end air-conditioned restaurants, a craft market, viewing tower, an entertainment area and duty-free shopping boutiques.
Recently, Prime Minister Allen Chastanet told a signing ceremony for a sister city agreement between Castries and Taipei that the government’s printery building, parliament building and the courthouse will be demolished.
“I’m hoping to be able to have that done before the end of this year,” Chastanet said, adding that the goal is to keep the area as an open space and develop it as a park.