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Aug 13, 2014

Commercial Centre Gets A Facelift

About thirty-four million dollars is being spent on road works in the Old Capital. Today, Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley, along with the Taiwanese Ambassador launched another project to complement the ongoing infrastructure works, as well as the aesthetics of the downtown area.  The official renovation of the Commercial Center is taking off immediately and when the overhaul is completed, the building will house City Hall, which will be moving from its historic site on North Front Street.  News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The Belize City Commercial Center, in the weeks ahead, will be undergoing a much needed renovation.  The location, also known as Market Square, is a landmark in the Old Capital, once the landing site for fishermen, as well as farmers and butchers from across the country.  Of late, the complex has fallen into disrepair.

 

Darrell Bradley, Belize City Mayor

Darrell Bradley

“The commercial center for the last two and a half years has had a very bad reputation.  It has been a blight on our light as a city, many people were clamoring for us to renovate the commercial center.  Just as how we are transforming Belize City we need to transform this space and so the renovation of the commercial center is a project which is very important to us as a municipality because it is in the heart of our downtown.”

 

The timely sprucing up of the commercial center succeeds the renovation of Battlefield Park a year ago, bringing life and business back to the marketplace, as well as a different aesthetic to the downtown vicinity.

 

Darrell Bradley

“This commercial center being at the very heart of our city must be a beaming light of transformation for our people, to signal that we are committed to urban renewal at the very heart of our urban landscape.  I mentioned the importance of this city because this is, of course, a daunting challenge.  The renovation of this building will cost the municipality two million dollars.  It is resources that could have been spent elsewhere but it is important to us as a municipality to signal our commitment to the restoration and redevelopment of downtown Belize City as being the heart of our community.”

 

But, progress brings problems.  A week ago, vendors inside the square were being asked to relocate elsewhere.  That didn’t go over too well with them.

 

File: August 7th, 2014, Selbert Butler, Owner, Selflora Designs

“All of us in here, we are no foolish people, we understand and we know that this building needs serious renovation. Our problem is that we are just asking the mayor to give us a little bit more time and maybe help us financially if he could because it is not easy to move from one location to another location. We are talking about five hundred dollars just to put in your light; the cheapest place you can get is about six hundred dollars a month; you are talking about at least seventeen hundred dollars a month you’d need just to move your business. You are not talking about the other stuff. So if you don’t have probably three, four thousand dollars you can’t move.”

 

In a broader context nonetheless, Mayor Bradley says that the transformation of the commercial center fits into another project which will improve the overall look of the downtown area.

 

Darrell Bradley

“The renovation of the commercial center is important for many reasons.  One of them is that this signals a partnership with many actors.  The renovation of this building is part of the House of Culture and Downtown Urban Redevelopment Project, a project which is being funded by the Taiwanese government and being implemented by the Belize Tourism Board.  That will see renovation being done to the House of Culture. The building of a botanical garden, the adding of signage in the downtown area and the improvement of connectivity in the entire downtown.”

Most importantly is the announcement that the remodeled space will also house City Hall, the seat of Bradley’s administration.

 

Darrell Bradley

“The second and third floor of this building will become the new City Hall.  We have seen that Belize City is outgrowing the space of our City Hall on North Front Street.  It is a space which is cramped.  It is a space which is in need of renovation.  It has historical significance so that that North Front Street structure will remain a municipal complex and we are already talking about plans to turn a portion of the building into a city museum.”

 

The rejuvenation project is being handled by International Environments. Isani Cayetano reporting for News Five.

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4 Responses for “Commercial Centre Gets A Facelift”

  1. Ricky Malthus says:

    Here again, Bradley’s decision to displace economic activities from the market square so he has more space to squat his fat ass and turn Old City Hall into a museum is scandalous, depraved horseshit thinking. This is a waste of time, money, and squandered economic opportunities. The Chinese from Taiwan should stop meddling in the internal affairs of Belize . If Taiwan government wants to help Belizeans, then it should set up a direct people to people projects programs to provide jobs and pump money into the economy. But Taiwan must cease and desist from aiding the UDP government by what is seen as oppressing the hard working business people. How many businesses will be lost in relocating City Hall? Again Bradley’s action besides being asinine, is fraught with depraved, illegal, specious logic.

  2. Help says:

    And parking for all these offices and other businesses in the area will be on..?

  3. bmpchic says:

    we never had parking from the get go, if u know belize u would know there will never be parking in that area so WHY ASK?????????

  4. easy glenn says:

    Why Why would you do this now people need jobs and you taking jobs away to concentrate on a building beautification project while you owe the trash people money focus is not in the right place something have to be wrong with you !!!

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