Roderick ‘Ricky’ Francis, son of the late Roderick ‘Bunny’ Francis, says he intends to execute the dream project conceived by his father, a multibillion-dollar complex called The Spires to be developed on the Kingston waterfront.
Bunny Francis was the founder of seafood company B&D Trawling, which launched in 1980, a business his son now operates.
The Spires will comprise residences, a marina, retail stores and restaurants.
“The first stage will be the 10-storey residential project on the waterside on the site we occupy. It’s always been a dream of my father to develop the area and bring back downtown,” said Francis. “We want to see Kingston as a premier city in the Caribbean, with downtown in particular being a driver for bringing people and commerce back.”
The land on which B&D sits is owned by the Urban Development Corporation (UDC). Francis said Thursday that negotiations are under way with the agency to acquire the five-acre property, adding that B&D holds a lease with an option to buy, which it is now attempting to execute.
“We are in the final stages of negotiation in terms of just identifying the land usage,” he said, but declined to disclose the price offered for the land.
The B&D Trawling Seafood Market, Processing Centre and a Major Water-Front Entertainment Park is listed by the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation as included in the Downtown Kingston Redevelopment Plan – the DKRP.
Other proposed developments under the DKRP a proposed Musson’s West Kingston Business Park; Kingston Lifestyles Plaza; Railway Station Museum projects; a Microbrewery, Restaurant and Beer Garden and the Pan-Jam Boutique Hotel and Business Centre. They were cited as public private partnerships.