The historic Central Business District (CBD) of Port of Spain is strategically placed to serve primarily as a national, cultural, recreational, leisure, commercial and business centre. The recommended improvements will enhance the infrastructural functionality, aesthetics and security of the area in order for it to regain and expand its historic role as a 24/7 activity centre.
The Port of Port of Spain’s new offshore location will alter the current parameters of the CBD, extending the western boundary to Invaders Bay, the eastern boundary to Piccadilly Street along the East Dry River, to the coastline in the south and to Park Street in the North.
The development of the new CBD will require the use of lands currently utilized by the present port facilities for development of further high-rise buildings along Independence Square with upper storey setbacks to maintain the pedestrian ambiance of the avenue. These changes will also enable the enhancement of existing cruise ship terminal facilities and encourage the development of mixed-use activity areas that include residential units.
The development of the CBD will include the rehabilitation and renovation of existing buildings such as the Central Statistical Office and Board of Inland Revenue, and require the demolition and redevelopment of sites including the Wrightson Road Post Office, Salvatori and Voyager Mall Building sites. The Salvatori and Voyager Mall Building properties have already been identified as the site for the construction of a new 30+ storey energy tower to accommodate offices, commerce, residences and parking.
The CBD will also contain zones that are already defined including the Public Sector Zone which includes government ministries and agencies that provide service to, and interface with, the public at existing buildings and new developments within Port of Spain such as the Government Campus Plaza, the Ministry of Education Tower, and the Waterfront Towers.
The Parliamentary Precinct, comprising the area surrounding the Red House and Woodford Square, which already effectively serves as a parliamentary precinct, will further encourage interaction between citizens and the legislative institutions within an attractive space. This area includes some of Port of Spain’s most significant historic architecture and can be re-established as a prestigious centre of government through a combination of architectural restoration projects and urban design interventions, which would enhance its role as a public space of considerable historical value and significance.
The new CBD will also be home to the Legislative Zone which includes the Hall of Justice, Magistrate’s Courts, several law chambers and the office of the Attorney General, as well as the existing Financial Services Zones (Independence Square and Park Street) which include the Central Bank, Ministry of Finance and major commercial banks.