BELIIZE CITY, Fri. June 14, 2019– The empty land at the foot of the Belize City Swing Bridge, on the northside, where the landmark Paslow Building once stood, is being reclaimed as part of the Downtown Rejuvenation Project and will now be the location of a Tourist Welcome Center, the Ministry of Tourism announced this week.
The once famous Paslow Building, which got its name from one of Belize’s slave owners, which history has recorded as having been a cruel man, was destroyed by fire in 2002. A government employee who worked at the Magistrate’s Court, which was located on the third floor, was charged with arson in connection with the fire which destroyed the building. The employee, however, was acquitted.
The Paslow Building was the home for several government offices, including the General Post Office, on its ground floor; the Lands and Survey Departments on the second floor; and certain sections of the Income Tax Department.
The Paslow Building was built in the 1920s.
After the destruction of the Paslow Building, the site has been used as a parking lot and an open space for food vendors and various charity organizations.
All of those activities will cease, as the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation has signed a contract with Eric Martinez and Son Construction and Design Ltd. for the construction of a ferroconcrete, two-storey building.
The new building will primarily serve as a Tourist Welcome Center, with vending booths on its first floor. The second floor will house a café and offices.
Construction is scheduled to start this month and has been projected to be completed by the end of the year. There was no estimate for the cost of the building in the Ministry of Tourism’s announcement.
The project is being funded by the Government of Belize and the Taiwan International Cooperation Fund (ICDF), and is being coordinated through the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation, and the Belize House of Culture and the Downtown Rejuvenation Project.