Editorial Staff
5 months ago

Editorial Staff
5 months ago

Gov’t and city property owners to dialogue enhancing the City

Gov’t and city property owners to dialogue enhancing the City (Photo Credit: Robert Emmanuel Observer)

The government is planning to collaborate with property owners in St. John’s City to enhance the appearance of the nation’s capital. Minister of Information, Melford Nicholas, has stated that improving the city’s aesthetics is a top priority for the government.

This may involve making legal changes that require building owners to adhere to specific standards.

The growth of international shipping companies has had a negative impact on local businesses, including retail trade, which has resulted in decreased revenue. Minister Nicholas explained that many businesses in St. John’s are no longer financially viable due to US mailboxes and e-commerce logistics, making it increasingly difficult for them to maintain and reinvest in their properties.

Minister Nicholas emphasized the importance of reimagining the use of St. John’s while preserving its cultural heritage.

This process could include a review of vending in the city, which would require engaging with the vending community and the St. John’s Development Corporation. Once a master plan is developed, specific zones will be designated for certain businesses to operate instead of a free-for-all.

“At the end of it all, there must be a multistakeholder engagement. It will involve the vending community and St Johns Development Corporation and once the master plan has been developed and approved, there will be zones within that masterplan where certain types of business will operate. It will not be a free flow of vendors.

He said there is sufficient space in the capital for everyone to be able to have an economic stay.

“We looked at Tarner Street with the drain that runs in the middle perhaps we can convert Tarner Street into a promenade…it’s just a thought”, he said

The Cabinet has decided to take action to tackle the pollution problem in the city. In the short term, the Ministry of Health will investigate the possibility of installing small sewage plants that can purify the grey water system of each building.

This will help to eliminate the polluted effluent that is currently contaminating the air. The ultimate goal of the government is to bring the city in line with other Caribbean countries and improve its condition.

However, Minister Nicholas has acknowledged that achieving this goal may take more than ten years.

To increase revenue from the cruise industry, the government plans to invest in the St. John’s port, especially the cruise port, by providing additional services.

Minister of Tourism Charles Fernandez, who is also responsible for the St. John’s Development Corporation, will lead the government’s consultations with property owners.


  1. Mae

    Converting Tanner Street into a vending alley was Mr Knight’s idea from the get-go. Mr. Knight has mentioned several areas in the city on several occasions during his night program that the government should designate for vending, and Tanner Street was one area.
    I have concerns about building over the Tamner Street gutter because we, the people love to litter and don’t clean up after ourselves.

  2. Teacher for Life

    Let’s get to work on this right away because as a citizen, I am highly embarrassed at the state of our capital city. How embarrassing is the state of the buildings, vendors pouring into the street, cracked concrete, smelly running water in inadequate gutters…just chaos and funk. .. so yeah, let’s get it done now.

  3. my 2 cents

    This is great. St. John’s definitely needs a facelift. I think they should also consult with the general public to find out what we wish to have in the capital if they want to woo customers back. It’s a nice idea to have different zones for different activities e.g. there could be an area for restaurants with outdoor patios so that persons can sit and eat whilst in town. People would linger more and shop. Also, some things are hard to find locally e.g. clothes of certain sizes for adults or for certain ages of children, or simple basics. It would be nice if retailers would consider what people need and offer that. Also, some retailers should hire an interior decorator to make their stores more appealing to shop in. And a proper sidewalk system is needed. Retailers should also open branches in the communities not just stay in town or offer delivery since people want an easier way to get what they need than to always have to go to town.

  4. imho

    What’s nice about St. John’s is that one can find items from all over the world e.g. Europe, different areas of Asia, Africa, North America… (would be nice to have a bit more Caribbean representation as well) whereas when you order online you mostly get items from North America and China. So, shopping in town is worthwhile. But, the city definitely needs some improvement.


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