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Parkade offices set to open in June
Occupation of office and retail spaces at the Government Campus Plaza Parkade in Port-of-Spain, part of a multi-billion dollar construction project which has been plagued by cost over runs and delays for close to a decade, is set to begin in June. However, work continues on the main sections of the Campus Plaza which will house the Customs and Excise Department, Board of Inland Revue, Ministry of Legal Affairs and the Attorney General’s office.
The Urban Development Corporation of T&T (Udecott), in full-page advertisements published this week, is inviting expressions of interest in the leasing of office and retail spaces in the Campus Plaza Parkade located at the corner of Edward, Queen and Richmond Streets. t present only the Parkade, which opened in September 2007, is in operation. It is the largest multi-storey parking facility in the country, offering 800 spaces at hourly and daily rates.
Udecott’s comminications specialist Roxanne Stapleton-Whym said finishing works were currently being done on the Parkade retail and offices spaces and they would be fully operational well before the government offices where construction is still in progress. She said Udecott has issued public tenders for the fit-out of the Customs and Excise Building and the Ministry of Legal Affairs Tower.
Awards of those contracts are imminent and fit-out of the Customs & Excise Building is expected to begin by the end March with completion and commissioning expected to take 12 months.
Fit-out of the Ministry of Legal Affairs Tower will begin in the second quarter of this year with a schedule to completion of 12 months. Base-building construction works on PK 9, the building earmarked for the Ministry of National Security, stands at 97 per cent and will be completed on March 31. Fit-out of that building will then proceed.
Stapleton-Whyms said base-building construction works on the Board of Inland Revenue Tower currently stands at 86 per cent.
The initial cost of the Government Campus Plaza, which began in 2004, was $2.6 billion. In January 2011, then Minister of Public Administration Rudrawatee Nan Ramgoolam ceremonially handed over keys to Minister of Legal Affairs Prakash Ramhadar and said the space would be occupied within six months. However, by November of that year government officials were reporting that an additional $1.2 billion would have to be spent to complete the plaza.
Base construction and interior fitting of the buildings were originally due for completion in 2008, but work was stopped for more than a year during a police probe into allegations linking former executive chairman of Udecott Calder Hart to a director at Sunway. Hart has repeatedly denied knowledge of any links.
Many of the time and cost overruns on the project were blamed on problems at the Custom and Excise Building where work was delayed from about March 2003 to January 2004 because of procedural wrangles over the initial round of tender evaluations, followed by the eventual decision to abort the process and re-tender.
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