October 08, 2019
Ladies and Gentlemen:
It is a pleasure to be here with you for the ground-breaking ceremony for the new embassy of the United States of America in Nassau. Our two nations have deep ties of friendship.
We are bonded by history and geography, and shared democratic and civic values. This new $318-million-dollar facility, which will reside on a five-acre site, will serve as a symbol of our longstanding relationship. At peak construction, 160 Bahamians will be employed building this embassy, which is scheduled for completion in the spring of 2023.
This new complex will be energy- efficient. It is anticipated there will be a 50 percent energy cost savings from a variety of strategies including 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 on-site, which will also provide 100 percent of landscaping irrigation.
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.
The decision by the Government of the United States of America to construct the embassy at this site in the City of Nassau, is evidence of the strength of the relationship between our countries. While the United States is our major trading partner, and close ally with whom we have deep security ties, the U.S. response to Hurricane Dorian is evidence that you are also a true friend.
Dorian devastated or destroyed parts of Grand Bahama, and Abaco, one month ago. This was the strongest storm to hit The Bahamas. It was the second strongest storm by wind speed recorded in the Atlantic.
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. We thank President Trump, the responding agencies, the US Embassy in Nassau, and the American people, for all you have done to help us.
Ladies and Gentlemen:
This new embassy is part of the wider redevelopment and revitalization of the City 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. 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-dollar hotel, condo, retail shopping area, and entertainment project that is nearing completion.
Last year 2.6 million cruise passengers came to the City of Nassau. 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 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.
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 redevelopment of the Southern Recreation Grounds has also begun.
In restoring the Southern Recreation Grounds, we are revitalizing the Bahamian spirit and our collective memory. The City of Nassau is reemerging as a dynamic, vibrant city, celebrating and showcasing Bahamian heritage and history. The Government of the United States could have chosen another location on New Providence to build this 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. Our Administration is committed to expanding and broadening the revitalization of the City of Nassau from east to west, and from north to south. This includes working with partners like the Downtown Nassau Partnership.
We will continue to promote the revitalization and redevelopment of Fish Fry, Junkanoo Beach, the Western Esplanade, Fort Charlotte, and other heritage sites in the City of Nassau. With multiple development projects in the City, each with values in the hundreds of millions of dollars, it is fair to say we are well on our way to achieving our long sought after goal.
This goal is to make the City of Nassau one of the most dynamic cities in the Caribbean. We will also have to build for resilience. 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.
Let me close by wishing you every success in constructing your new embassy.
Thank you and good afternoon.
BIS Photos/Eric Rose