If you listen to the naysayers, they will tell you: “Nutten Naw Gwaan”. And they are right because it’s all about perspectives. Whilst nothing is going on at the micro-level, there’s a lot going on at the Macro-level, and that includes a residential building boom, that is transforming the face of Kingston, from a derelict City, trapped in a time warp, to a bustling metropolis, spouting high-rise condos and apartments almost everywhere., excepting in the Old City. The raw truth is; If you are a visitor to Kingston, who last visited say around 7-years ago, save and except some familiar iconic landmarks such as 3-Mile, Trees, Kings House; Etc., visiting now and trying to navigate the City, particularly its residential neighbourhoods, would present a challenge to most anyone trying this. As the City is in the throes of a building boom and it is important to acknowledge this, as well as the fact that this boom, comes with its downsides, one of which was addressed in a town hall meeting recently, by Justice Minister Delroy Chuck, who cautioned that some of these buildings may be new ways to launder the illicit proceeds of crime. That is indeed a noted concern, But when Used Cars Dealerships began springing up all over the Island, a few years ago, many speculated that, that too, was a major money-laundering project; And recently when mini-boards began popping up all over, saying “We Pay Cash For Houses”, Many again pointed the finger at supposed Money-Launderers. Not that any of the assertions were baseless and or pious posturing. But the fact is, Our Government and Our Security Forces, Ministries and Ministers failed to order the appropriate Investigations to determine if we were indeed being overrun by drug dealers who were finding more and more creative methods, of Laundering their Money, for legal assimilation. So, basically, until this is established, we put up or STFU, and simply make sure that these new developers put in the necessary infrastructure, to support their new developments. Practically, there’s no gainsaying the construction of new housing development to cater to the growing population; Returning residents; and or Young Professionals are now able to afford a home commensurate with their newfound financial status. What we should be more concerned about is the fact that the new Developers, have all targeted upper and middle-income earners with their housing solutions, and have totally ignored the working class, the undocumented entrepreneurial classes; targeting the cash-rich aspirational crowd, whose dream homes are to be found in the traditional uptown bedroom communities. The problem is, those coveted uptown residential communities, have but so much space to accommodate the demand. And with the developers seeking to satisfy the market, they are in essence, over-saturating the market, and transforming those once pristine single-family-homes communities, to Concrete ghettos, starved of proper infrastructure, to maintain the residential look, that was the first attraction of the aspirational buyers. Cases in point, on Sunday the 9th, took a drive through the community of New Kingston; Trafalgar Park; then up to the general Argyle Road Community; across to Paddington, then over to Millsborough, unto Tavis-Tock and back down to Dewsbury, unto lower Jack Hills, unto Barbican road and up through Arcadia and unto Roseberry, Drive up Short wood to Stony Hill. What was clear was the decimation of these once beautiful communities, most now going through various stages of transformation,, as most of the single family homes, have disappeared, giving way to Multi-storied buildings, destroyed roadways (destroyed by the heavy Equipment brought into the communities, to help in clearing properties for constructions, and then heavy haulage vehicles who later transport materials for the construction. The truth is, some of the new multi-storied buildings are aesthetically, an upgrade, some boasting some rather fanciful, aspirational names. On the other hand, some have brought the neighbourhoods in which they are located, under severe distress. Take for example the Millsborough community. Very many years ago, when the first set of Condos, were introduced to the Community, under the brand of Millsborough Pines, these were unobtrusive, neighbourly Condos. The Developers took time and care to avoid being disruptive,, resulting in the development, being looked upon as a Model. Today Millsborough is a mere ghost of its former self. There was uncollected garbage after 3;00pm on a Sunday, unsightly reminders of intrusive Development. And general discord everywhere. There’s the Garbage nuisance; the dust nuisance; noise pollution, and the arrival of Crime in the communities, stretching across to Jacks Hill, with the itinerant workers hired as Day-worker for the various competing construction sites, suspected of being the main culprits behind the many reports of home-invasions; purse-snatching by marauding bikers, particularly on Friday afternoons, who seek to target Helpers and Gardeners. Plus general petty theft, Indeed, it seems as if the developments whilst welcomed and provides employment for many skilled and unskilled labourers, have created their own eco-system of Crime and Violence;, Civic dysfunctionality, and a complete horror story, for those families, who have remained in their generational homes, between the multi-storied buildings. As they have become the new eyesores of the Communities; viewed as standing in the way of progress, with their obstinacy. As it is on Millsborough, so it is on Tavistock; Dillsbury; Roseberry Drive, and creeping up to Earls Court, the new Concrete Monsters gobbling up all the land and displacing family homes that boasted lawns, gardens fruit trees, swimming pools, and communal spaces that promoted harmony and community, swopping that instead for the cold indifference of the North American Living experience. It was with a tinge of sadness that I drove from East Kings House Road, over to Roseberry Drive, having to drive by what was once the family home of legendary Jazz Musician Sonny Bradshaw, and is now an imposing highrise of dubious distinction, as one had to wonder where the inhabitants of this building park, and whats the status of their water supply? This feeling of nostalgia was again repeated on Roseberry Drive, when I drove past what was once the family home of distinguished Educator Wesley Hawthorn, to see a high rise struggling to emerge, from behind an unsightly Zinc fence. Makes you wonder if any in Government knows the value of the concept of Eminent Domains, where the former residences of historical figures are acquired by the state and maintained in perpetuity, as properties of the State, from a historical perspective, as tourist attractions. This was a bittersweet drive around the City of Kingston, as one could see the disappearance of the old city, and the emergence of the New, and whilst hope springs eternal, there was indeed a pungent sense of sadness to it all, as indeed, on traveling on Trafalgar Road, one recalled the Courtleigh Hotel, now gone, its inhouse Night Club, named Mingles in front of what was the Old Winston Lee Golden Dragon Restaurant; and Linda’s Flower Shop, now replaced by the NCB’s Atrium, and A Magnificent Structure too; And then there was Burgher Man, at the corner of Trafalgar Road and Haughton Avenue. Now an Empty Lot beside the Pulse Complex; around the corner and up the Road, Haughton Avenue was a residential community that runs into Garelli Avenue, has become a business hub, once grand residences demolished, to make way for commercial buildings; And further up the road was the Spanish Court, a charming boutique mall, boasting The Epiphany Night Club; Curved Space (Avant Garde Furnishing); MIke’s Restaurant; and Hi-Qo Gallery; plus several other businesses. Truth is, the Spanish Court Boutique mall, was transformed into the Spanish Court Hotel by visionary entrepreneur Christopher Issa, and this was an Improvement, adding beauty, style, opportunities, and a lift to the community. Now Issa seems to have upped his A-game, recognizing, that with all these new residential buildings springing up, they would need somewhere to shop, dine, and or even unwind, and so, following on his introduction of the Spanish Court Hotel, he has now, with one stroke of genius, introduced the S-Supermarket and Deli. And we are talking about A Game-Changer Here, as the S-Supermarket, is a treat, in that it is Clean, well laid-out, and welcoming, with even a drive-thru, optio; not to mention adequate and protected parking for customers, the place is truly a gem. And, according to some of its more ardent clients, boasts the best prices in the City. We accept that change is inevitable, and for the most part, we welcome them. What we dare to hope for is organized change, that subscribes to an overarching developmental strategy, The haphazard path we have embarked on, where suddenly every cobbla, is a real-estate developer, is untenable. The current trajectory, which sees high-rises spurting everywhere, including the once revered Cholera Cholera cemetery now desecrated to make way for another ugly building, is unacceptable. We simply cannot continue on this path, where friends of those elected to Govern, build with impunity, without rhyme and or purpose, save and except to hustle and in the process disfigure the landscape, erase historical landmarks; to be lauded with a national honour as Contributors to the Nation’s development, when the contrary, is the truth, as these are rapacious interlopers seeking to rape and plunder, not develop and empower. They are, bent on feeding their greed, not nation-building, and at the expense of environmental stability, as they act contrarian to the best and stated interests of the Country, and if we allow this to continue, then we are the Generation that Failed, irrespective of how much personal wealth, we amassed in the name of our families and friends. Unless, those charged with the business of enforcing Town-planning, zoning, and order, take their jobs more seriously than they regard their petty greed, the constant denuding of the land in and around the City, to facilitate unplanned housing developments, can only lead to a major environmental catastrophe, in the very near future.