Puerto Rico acquires site of former US Navy base

San Juan, May 8 (IANS/EFE) Puerto Rico Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla said that the island’s government has acquired the property of a former US Navy base in the eastern coastal city of Ceiba.

The 3,500 hectares (8,600 acres) of the Roosevelt Roads Naval Station will be developed to become a powerhouse of the regional economy, the governor told a press conference Tuesday.

“This transferral puts an end to the process of closing down the old base that began in 2003, to give way to a process of development that will bring economic growth, job creation and well-being to the eastern region,” Garcia Padilla said.

He said the administration will again involve the people of the area in a study of the development plan proposed in 2004 for the former base as the basis for launching a project that meets the region’s real needs.

According to current estimates, in the approximately 20 years it could take to develop the area, an estimated $2.5 billion will be invested and more than 25,000 jobs will be created.

The closing of the Roosevelt Roads Naval Station was ordered by the US Congress in 2003.

–IANS/EFE

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