The Roosevelt Roads Redevelopment Authority opened Thursday a Request for Proposals process for small entrepreneurs and merchants located mostly in the eastern region of Puerto Rico seeking to launch eco-tourism services, nature related tourism projects, recreational and/or complementary activities.
To get the ball rolling, the Authority posted information on its website for developers and investors with proposals for the 8,720-acre former Naval Station Roosevelt Roads in Ceiba, which closed in 2004 and was transferred to the local government in stages in 2012 and 2013. A Zoning Plan and Master Infrastructure Plan were completed and approved, respectively, in 2011 and 2012 prior to the handover.
The zone’s redevelopment has been in the works since then, when former Gov. Luis Fortuño unveiled a lofty mixed-use project comprising residential and commercial elements — mostly tourism-related — to pump life back into the once thriving area.
Now, under Gov. Alejandro García-Padilla, the plan calls for “attracting private investments, creating jobs and spurring economic growth in the towns of Ceiba and Naguabo, the eastern region, including Vieques and Culebra, and Puerto Rico. This is one of Puerto Rico’s foremost economic development initiatives,” the agency said.
“The government of Puerto Rico views the 2004 closure of Naval Station Roosevelt Roads as a unique opportunity to maximize the assets of this facility, its lush natural environment and to promote its conservation in a manner that will drive a robust economic development in the region and to enhance Puerto Rico as a premier tourism, entertainment, commercial, services and recreational destination in the Caribbean,” the agency further noted.
To get it done, the Redevelopment Authority expects to work several government agencies — the Department of Economic Development and Commerce, the Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company and the Puerto Rico Tourism Company — to come up with incentives to make the sprawling northeastern zone “an ideal site for doing business in Puerto Rico.”