Le Chantier Mall redevelopment project under way |13 October 2023
By Vidya Gappy
The first phase of the Le Chantier Mall redevelopment project, involving hoarding, stripping, and partial demolition, started on August 8, 2023 and will cost R6.9 million.
The project has been contracted to Wellpoint Development.
The chief executive of the Seychelles Pension Fund (SPF), Nisreen Abdul Majid, announced this development during a press conference held at Caravelle House yesterday morning.
“In the wake of the fire incident that damaged a portion of the building on October 15, 2021, SPF received an insurance payout of R30 million on October 5 the following year. Subsequently, we initiated the necessary procedures to start the refurbishment work,” specified CEO Majid.
He added the refurbishment project unfolds in two phases, namely partial demolition, hoarding, and stripping, which began on August 8, 2023 and is expected to be completed by February 2024 and the second phase, which is the actual refurbishment, will kick off mid-2024.
She further clarified that the partial demolition is limited to the area damaged in the fire, and the existing structure will be retained for the facelift. The Seychelles Pension Fund is currently processing the paperwork, and the total refurbishment cost will be determined through a tender process.
Upon completion, estimated around 2026, the Seychelles Pension Fund will extend an offer to previous tenants before seeking new occupants.
CEO Majid noted that “for sure the building will change. The building's purpose will shift to primarily a commercial space with offices, no longer accommodating a discotheque. The entire building will undergo refurbishment, with rental rates adjusted according to the market value”.
To recall, in October 2021, all tenants were asked to vacate the premises due to safety concerns. SPF assisted two tenants to relocate to another one of their properties.
The chief investment officer, Davis Laporte, acknowledged the loss as a result of the fire but shared optimism due to the successful launch of their new property, 'Dreamgate' at Providence.
“Our annual profit from Le Chantier averaged R10 million. Dreamgate is also performing well and still has available space on the top floor. The new Le Chantier building will ensure a satisfactory return on investment.”
During yesterday’s press briefing CEO Majid also gave an update on the Pirates Arms building which has long been an iconic building in Seychelles, known for its restaurant and its vibrant ambiance in the town area.
“The project is currently on the table and we initiated an initial round of tender processes at the beginning of the year. However, due to recent guidance and information, we have had to revise our business model to ensure profitability. Given the project's size, these adjustments are necessary. Our consultants are currently working on the design of the new building,” she explained.
By December of this year, the Seychelles Pension Fund plans to launch the tender for the Pirates Arms building, with construction anticipated to commence by March 2024.
As for the building's design, CEO Majid explained, the structure will consist of four and a half storeys, with a ground-level basement for parking and the ground floor housing the Pirates Arms restaurant and other previous activities.
The first and second floors will be primarily commercial spaces, while the third and fourth floors are expected to host a business hotel. A restaurant will occupy the half floor. The building will encompass approximately 15,000 square metres.
Photos: Louis Toussaint