The government aims to source $30 million to fund the purchase of the International Bazaar, Prime Minister Philip Davis revealed during his budget communication.

Prime Minister Davis did not specify where the government would obtain the funds or detail the plans for the site, which has fallen into disrepair. Davis stated: “This budget year, we expect to source $30 million to fund the purchase of the International Bazaar and the reopening of the West Sunrise Highway to accommodate the projected growth in tourism and economic activity over the next few years.”

The government has reportedly been considering acquiring the derelict site for a proposed African-Caribbean products marketplace. The Africa Export-Import Bank could be a possible source of funding although this remains uncertain. The Bazaar is owned by multiple entities, including the Bahamas Hotel, Catering and Allied Workers Union (BHCAWU), John Bull, and the Chee-A-Tow family.

James Carey, President of the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce, told Eyewitness News that the bazaar site is valuable for development. “The Bazaar is dilapidated, has had a couple of fires, and has been a home for vagrants. It’s an eyesore. It’s right next to the two Princess Hotels, which are also in a state of disrepair. While they have not said what they will do, it’s a valuable location ripe for development,” said Carey.

“The Prime Minister also indicated that the government plans to restore the roadway, which was discontinued when Princess Hotels were purchased by Driftwood. I know the public would want the roadway restored for convenience. Since that closure, a number of businesses have sprung up on the detoured roads around, and we hope they would not be adversely impacted. I understand the need to restore the road and clean up the area.”

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