US$5M ‘West Central Mall’ to be constructed in Leonora
By Isanella Patoir
A sod-turning ceremony was held on Wednesday at Leonora, West Coast Demerara to mark the start of construction for the first of its kind shopping and entertainment complex in Region Three (Essequibo Islands- West Demerara).
The West Central Mall is an US$5M investment and is set to be completed in two years. The facility will include a business and conference centre; fine dining restaurant and bar, supermarket and shopping centre, movie theaters, food court and arcade along with secure parking in a family oriented environment.
Upon completion, the mall is expected to generate 325 direct and indirect jobs.
The developer, Hemraj Albert has been a businessman for 38 years and upon acquiring the land, he pondered on ideas on how he can contribute to business development in the Region. And so the idea of the West Central Mall was birthed.
“I am looking forward to the support of the region and government agencies and most importantly, the people of this region. I am sure this mall will bring some comfort as we will ensure high quality service,” Albert said during brief remarks at the ceremony.
President of the Region Three Chamber of Commerce, Haleem Khan, lauded the project, noting that it marks an important milestone in the history of the region.
Khan said the hamber will always support projects like these as it would bring numerous benefits to the region.
Also present at the ceremony was Chief Executive Officer of the Guyana Office for Investment, (GoInvest), Peter Ramsaroop, who noted that the investment is huge for the region and by extension the country. Ramsaroop also highlighted that prior to its completion, the design and construction stage will create a number of employment opportunities.
Delivering the feature remarks was President of Guyana, Dr Irfaan Ali, who assured the Albert family of the government’s support.
“This is the government’s mandate to ensure jobs and wealth can be generated.
“Today I am happy in the village I grew up to see such an investment,” the President said.
Meanwhile, President Ali said the region is set for massive development and expansion in the housing and business sector. As such, projects like the West Central Mall are critical and essential.
The government will also be facilitating the transformation of infrastructure in the region which will support the expansion of agriculture and industrial estates.
The President mentioned that investors have also signaled their interest to invest in shore base facilities in Region Three. This, the President said, will create hundreds of jobs.
An agro processing facility and the expansion of the banking sector are also set to be installed in the region.
“Very soon, we will be laying in the Parliament a special legislation for the Wales Development Authority that would oversee not only the investment and planning but also the management of great opportunities that will be coming the way of Region Three,” the President.
During final remarks, the President encouraged the rest of the private sector to be aggressive and seek out opportunities that will fast track the country’s development.