Categorized | Featured, National News

$318 Million Energy Efficient U.S. Embassy

embassy groundbreaking

The groundbreaking ceremony for the new $318 million United States Embassy was held yesterday and the energy efficient facility is expected to be completed in 2023.

Attending the ceremony was Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis who said the new facility will reside on a five acre site and serve as a symbol of the long standing relationship between The Bahamas and the United States.

The five-acre site is located on the corner of East Street North and Shirley Street.  A portion of the site was the office of The Bahama Journal and Jones Communications Network. 

At the peak of construction, the prime minister said 160 Bahamians will be employed to assist in building the state-of-the-art facility.

While highlighting the features of the new embassy, Dr. Minnis noted that there may be a 50 percent energy cost savings from a variety of energy efficient strategies, which includes the use of LED lighting, solar-thermal hot water and photovoltaic panels. 

“Other sustainable features include low-water flush and flow fixtures and a wastewater treatment system to treat wastewater onsite, which will also provide 100 percent of landscaping irrigation,” Dr. Minnis said.

 “I am pleased that Bahamian art will be prominently featured in the new embassy.  The permanent art collection will showcase works from American and Bahamian artists in various media, including painting, photography, textiles and sculpture.”

While the U.S. is The Bahamas’ major trading partner and close ally, with deep security ties, Dr. Minnis pointed out that U.S. response to Hurricane Dorian is evidence that the country is a true friend to The Bahamas.

“During our time of need, the United States provided critical assistance, saving lives through the prompt intervention of the U.S. Coast Guard, USAID and other federal, state and local government agencies. The assistance is ongoing,” Dr. Minnis said.

“We thank President Trump, the responding agencies, the U.S. Embassy in Nassau and the American people, for all you have done to help us.”

According to the prime minister, new embassy is part of the wider redevelopment and revitalization of Nassau into a vibrant, modern city.

“Just down the street, the new Central Bank with its Sand Dollar design will be constructed on the old Royal Victoria grounds,” Dr. Minnis said.

“The old Central Bank will be repurposed as a museum.

“Just above the Old Royal Victoria site, the former main post office building will be demolished to make way for a new Supreme Court complex. 

“The Pointe, next to the Hilton on Bay Street, is a $200 million hotel, condo, retail shopping area and entertainment project that is nearing completion.”

With 2.6 million cruise passengers visiting Nassau last year, the prime minister pointed out another project that would enhance tourism and revitalize the downtown area.

“In partnership with Global Ports Holding, we are embarking on a quarter of a billion dollar project to redevelop what will become the world-renowned and new Nassau Cruise Port,” the prime minister said.

“The new Nassau Cruise Port will include a new terminal, a waterfront park, a harbour village, a new inner harbour, an amphitheater, a Junkanoo museum, shops, restaurants and an impact theatre.”

Dr. Minnis added that the number of berthing facilities for cruise ships will be expanded from six to eight, which will mean more cruise passengers and more economic opportunities for Bahamians. 

The government has also begun the redevelopment of the Southern Recreation Grounds.

“In restoring the Southern Recreation Grounds, we are revitalizing the Bahamian spirit and our collective memory,” Dr. Minnis said.

“The city of Nassau is reemerging as a dynamic, vibrant city, celebrating and showcasing Bahamian heritage and history.

However, Dr. Minnis noted that the U.S. government could have chosen another location in New Providence to build the new embassy.

“That the city of Nassau was chosen demonstrates that the U.S. wants to be part of the renewal of this historic city,” he said.

He further explained that with multiple development projects in the city, each with values in the hundreds of millions of dollars, the government is well on its way to achieving its long sought after goal.

“This goal is to make the city of Nassau one of the most dynamic cities in the Caribbean,” Dr. Minnis said.

 “The revitalization of the city is even more essential, as the revenue from new tourism business, will play a vital role in the reconstruction of Abaco and Grand Bahama.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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