General Post Office site still unacquired despite announcement

Minister of Transport and Local Government, Frankie Campbell.

Transport and Local Government Minister Frankie Campbell said he is awaiting full control of the proposed new site for the General Post Office building on Gladstone Road, which he said will allow his ministry to begin the necessary assessments to get the building ready for operation.

“I still haven’t taken over the building that the government is acquiring. So, until we take it over, we aren’t able to actually go in to make those kinds of assessments,” Campbell said.

In an interview with Eyewitness News Online, Campbell said, he hopes by end of this week, his ministry would be able to complete a full assessment of the new site.

Government announced in late March that the postal hub would be moved to a new site that holds the former Phil’s Food Services complex.

At the time of the announcement it was said that the acquisition would bring to end the “nightmare” for postal workers who have been working in hazardous conditions in the existing East Hill Street general mail hub.

The minister was unable to speak to the cost of the new building and said, “My hope is, while I won’t be boxed in to being given a timeline, that we are treated with the urgency that it deserves, mindful that he situation that exists has been ongoing for the past five years. It is an urgent matter.”

He continued, “The general post office is the nucleus of postal services throughout The Bahamas that speaks of mail going in and coming out.

“So, we’ve got to get that up and running so that we can behave like modern civilized country should with the passage of its mail.”

During its last term, the former Christie administration entered into a private-public partnership (PPP) arrangement for the purchase of the Independence Shopping Plaza on the Tonique Williams-Darling Highway, and construction commenced on the abandoned building.

However, due to push back from residents in the Garden Hills community, who questioned the need for the post office and voiced concerns about prohibited exit/entry into the community, a stop order was granted in early 2017.