Efforts by the St James Municipal Corporation to rid the city of Montego Bay of several abandoned and unsightly buildings, are proving frustrating.

Under Section 4 of the Town Nuisance Prevention Act, there are eleven buildings in the city that have been certified by the Superintendent to be so dilapidated, they were “considered a danger to the public.”

The list includes premises at the old Vassell building, 3 Albion Lane, 8 Hart Street, registered to Transworld Traders Int. Ltd.; 36 Barnet View Gardens, registered to Adella Johnson, et al; one on Barracks Road, registered to Percival Wilson. On Market Street, 33 which is registered to Luiton Lewin; 50, registered to George Downer and 52, registered to Derrick McLeod.

The old Vassell building at Albion Lane, once the place of choice for poor Montegonians shopping wholesale, now a nuisance in the city.
The others are: 8 Queen’s Street, registered to Marion James, et al; 8 Queen’s Drive, registered to Fred Smith; 18, Thompson Street, registered to Ivy Craig and 42 Union Street, registered to West Indies Union of SDA.

The required resolution for notices to be served on the parties to abate “this nuisance” was passed several months ago, stating that “the Superintendent has declared these lands or buildings to be dangerous to the public, neighbours or to persons who may enter or to adjoining buildings.”

However, in recent months, the Corporation’s desire to see the declared nuisance abated has had to be tempered. They have been in court for months for “a Conditional Order to abate or give the Council (Corporation) authority to dispose of these properties” but at each succeeding meeting, the Corporation has been hearing that here has been no further update and they were still in the court.

Mayor of Montego Bay and Chairman of the Corporation, Councillor Homer Davis, is anxious to have the problem addressed. He questioned, “What are we doing about those buildings? Tell me, we don’t have the authority? I don’t think we should have these buildings giving a bad image to the city.”

Other councillors agreed with him, stressing that, “They are a clear and present danger” and should be removed forthwith.

Councillor Richard Vernon, in whose division some of the derelict structures are to be found, expressed the view that, “Oftentimes, we do try to get things done (but), we try through the wrong channels; we are backed by many Acts that give us the authority to carry out certain activities, so in this case, we don’t need any lawyer.”


  1. As a proud Montegonian I will say that the downtown core is a damn dump. Even some of the new buildings with their garish paintings are an eyesore. Too many buildings not enough green spaces and is like the UDC on a long vacation weh dem have no intention of coming off of. At the end of the day the city is grossly overpopulated. The entire downtown core is a dump and does not look like a thriving city, nor does it look like a nice seaside Caribbean town. I don’t even feel any nostalgia walking around, all I feel is my flight instinct telling me to get the hell out of there.

    I support any cause to clean up the city and tear down the eyesores both old and new. Stricter building codes to be enforced and heritage preservation for historic buildings and zones should be a part of the rule. I wish them all the best cause wi dun know push back is coming even when a stray hogs and dogs calling these abandoned buildings home.

    1. Not a capture land business. The issue is about unsafe buildings that pose a threat to the public and that are unsightly. If the building tumble down and kill ppl is the same city council the ppl will blame for not protecting them. The land will always be the owner’s so long as they continue to pay their property taxes. The city has no power legally to take the land as long as the taxes are still being paid on it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top