Long neglected and under-developed, the parish of St. Thomas is rich in cultural heritage and exciting tourism potential. The parish has been plagued by a sub-standard road network and generally inadequate physical and social infrastructure. With the South Coast Highway Improvement Project (SCHIP), currently in progress, St. Thomas is poised for unprecedented development. The Harbour View to Port Antonio leg, in particular, opens up an untapped suburban housing opportunity east of the island’s capital which, before now, has been handicapped by poor road network connecting to the capital.
The SCHIP opens up the parish of St. Thomas for significant commercial and residential development with convenient access now being afforded to the KSA metropolitan region as well as the idyllic, unexploited recreational haven that the parishes of St. Thomas and Portland offer.
More than just a road improvement project, the SCHIP is major component of a more comprehensive St. Thomas Tourism Destination Development and Management Plan which includes relocation of the parish capital, introduction of luxury resorts and villas, and unprecedented infrastructural development for the parish and region.
St. Thomas and the wider south-east corridor, in general, likely has the highest untapped potential for tourism and wider socio-economic development on the island. In fact, the Government of Jamaica (GoJ) has recognized this potential as the “NEW FRONTIER” and has already tapped into this opportunity by the development of a cruise ship terminal in Port Royal and the commencement of the South Coast Highway Improvement Project (SCHIP) which includes a four-lane non-toll highway from Harbour View through St. Thomas and onwards to Portland.
It is, therefore, quite understandable why there is growing appreciation amongst real estate experts that property values along the St. Thomas corridor are poised for significant growth in the short to medium term. In fact, it has already begun! Some would say if you’re not already eyeing St. Thomas for real estate investment, you’re almost too late!