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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Design begins on marine business research center at Roosevelt Roads

By The Star Staff


The Roosevelt Roads Local Redevelopment Authority (LRA) has begun designing the first Marine Business Research and Innovation Center (MBRIC) at the onetime U.S. Coast Guard dock on the grounds of the former naval base at Roosevelt Roads in Ceiba.


LRA director Joel A. Pizá Batiz provided the information on Tuesday.


The U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA) is investing $12.8 million in the project, and $3.2 million is coming from the LRA, for a total investment of $16 million.


The MBRIC structure, which will occupy some 2.93 acres of land, will be designed by Puerto Rican firm Adorno Arquitectos with the aim of ensuring a modern and functional space that encourages creativity and innovation.


The design represents a vision inspired by the well-known Indian Stone, a petroglyph of Taíno origin located on the coast in the old naval base, and is intended to create an atmosphere of harmony with nature. In keeping with that vision, the new structure will reflect how the Indians fished, and made pens to catch the fish. The LRA and the Puerto Rico government aim through the project to reaffirm their commitment to strengthening the infrastructure on the land of the former naval base as a vehicle to position the Roosevelt Road community as an ideal destination to promote the blue economy.


The design, whose contract has the endorsement of the EDA, must be completed within eight months.


The MBRIC’s purpose is to establish itself as a hub of sustainable and scientific development with advanced technology, connecting high-impact marine-related businesses with investment opportunities in order to promote the future of the blue economy in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. The broader vision is to drive the progress of the municipalities of Ceiba, Naguabo and the eastern region as a whole, supporting the strengthening of the workforce, and creating direct and indirect jobs.


The MBRIC “represents a fundamental pillar in our commitment to revitalizing the lands of the former Roosevelt Roads naval base, which will undoubtedly result in the engine of economic and tourism growth in the region, promoting the blue economy and in turn positioning Puerto Rico as a leader in marine innovation and sustainability,” Pizá Batiz said.

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