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Norman Centre gets complete makeover

Marlon Madden

Norman Centre gets complete makeover

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THE POPULAR NORMAN CENTRE mall in The City is expected to be fully occupied by retailers in February next year when refurbishment is completed.
And Stephen Edghill, director of Norman Finance Development Limited, told BARBADOS BUSINESS AUTHORITY that he was not yet aware of the total cost of renovations, it was “in the millions, for sure”.
“We have not yet added up all the costs because we ended up doing a lot more than we had planned to do initially. It definitely ran into the millions [but] we haven’t really added up yet,” Edghill said.
Construction on the mall started around April 2011 after 26 tenants that provided jobs for over 130 people were given notice in November 2010 to vacate the premises due to the need for major electrical upgrades and refurbishment, including construction of a new four-storey car park at the rear of the building.
At the time, Edghill did not reveal the anticipated cost of remodelling and new construction, but had said electrical work alone on the mall would cost almost $1 million.
When completed, the renovated 34-year-old Bridgetown facility is expected to have two escalators, new elevators and new washroom facilities.
“All of the shop fronts inside the mall have been changed completely – new floor and new ceiling, new tiles – it is a new mall. And it has a complete electrical upgrade,” said Edghill.
Jan Brown, Terra Caribbean’s director of property management, said that on completion, the mall would have the same number of shop spaces as before and accommodate new tenants as well as some former tenants.
“We are hoping for work to be completed at the end of January – if not, around the middle of February,” she said.
The company has taken down the hoarding, and popular shoe retailer Payless Shoe Source has already outfitted one half of the bottom floor with shelves indicating their readiness to operate from that location. They are expected to be ready just in time for Christmas.
Brown explained that “the mall is not yet ready but Payless is able to go in because they have access from Broad Street so people don’t have to go through the mall to get to them”.
“So they are able to operate despite the mall not being completed.”
She said work would still be undertaken throughout this month, but full renovation activities would resume in January 2013 when hoarding would go back up at some sections.
“It has to go back up in January for us to complete the remainder of the work that is to be done externally. When we put it back up we will not be blocking off Payless because we finished [most] of the work that has to be done there.
“But there is still some work to be done on the mall that will require some boarding in the new year,” Brown said, opting not to go into detail.
“The mall will be a very upmarket mall when it is completed. It will probably be the most upmarket mall in Bridgetown.”