SSI to redevelop Bazar Labrin site, relocate vendors, Seychellois official says
SSI purchased four parcels of land, amounting to 34,000 square metres, where the Bazar Labrin and annual Regatta sites are located. (Salifa Karapetyan, Seychelles News Agency)
(Seychelles News Agency) - The redevelopment of a popular leisure and cultural site in the northern district of Mahe, Beau Vallon, has been reassigned to the Société Seychelloise d'Investissement (SSI), a top official said on Tuesday.
Last June, SSI purchased four parcels of land, amounting to 34,000 square metres, where the Bazar Labrin and annual Regatta sites are located.
Bazar Labrin, a weekly fare held on Wednesdays at Beau Vallon where local products and food are for sale, was being managed by the Enterprise Seychelles Agency (ESA).
SSI -- the investment vehicle of the Seychelles' government -- currently manages the property where the Seychelles Trading Company (STC) hypermarket is located and the children's playground in Victoria.
The company's chief executive, Rupert Simeon, told a news conference that the decision for his team to manage the site was taken as it was previously unclear to the public who was responsible for the management of the area.
"Two different organisations had to pay two different agencies to clean the area and make sure that security is in place. ESA was responsible for the Bazar Labrin on Wednesdays and was present on other days. The move will be better for coordination of things," said Simeon.
SSI is now in the process of launching requests for proposals and bids from local architects to design comprehensive, synergetic and holistic plans for the site. The site's redevelopment will improve the quality of hygiene and the facilities used to enhance the standard of activities held there.
"When SSI comes with its development it will build kiosks to relocate the current vendors. There will be four categories of stalls – food, artisanal, alcoholic beverages and non-alcoholic beverages," said Simeon.
The chief executive of ESA, Angelique Appoo, said there are currently 36 vendors operating on the site. Vendors will be informed about the new arrangements in a timely manner.
Appoo said it will now be SSI's responsibility to assign kiosks to vendors once the redevelopment is complete.
"Vendors who have been operating on the site will have the priority to be allocated a kiosk. We are entering an agreement with SSI to make sure that rental costs are maintained at a reasonable price so that the vendors can afford them and continue their businesses on the site," she added.
Simeon said that for now, it is not clear how much it will cost a vendor to rent a kiosk.
The current area where the Bazar Labrin and Regatta takes place will be turned into a green park with minimal development but the land dedicated to events will not be affected.
Development on the area is expected to be completed in time for this year's Regatta.
Simeon said that structures expected to be built will be located behind the tree line. The facilities will include a children's playground, a café, a multipurpose court and cultural-heritage building which will house a museum and other amenities.
Talking about funding that had been given to ESA for the development of the site, Appoo said that the money will be diverted into other projects.
"ESA will be allocated other sites by the government which we will be developing and managing for our entrepreneurs. There will be a redevelopment of the beach park at Anse Royale and we are looking to see how ESA can contribute, then there is the ex-playground, where we are looking to see what can be done in the meantime before the waterfront projects kick-off," she said.
Late last year ESA received a donation of over $200,000 from the Chinese government for the improvement of the Bazar Labrin site.