With the launch of JT Allum and Company's $500 million C3 Centre at Corinth, a major construction boom is under way in south Trinidad. The project, set for completion in 2015, is in addition to the ongoing construction of the $7.5 billion San Fernando to Point Fortin highway extension and the soon-to-begin San Fernando Waterfront project.
On Thursday, Planning and Sustainable Development Minister Dr Bhoendradatt Tewarie joined JT Allum executives, including managing director Christopher Mack, to turn the sod for the multi-million-dollar project. He commended the JT Allum company for its investment in the shopping and entertainment complex.
"This contribution here by the Mack family is appreciated. The local content, the boost in labour in construction, as well as permanent jobs and the enlightened green practices are much appreciated," Tewarie said.He said JT Allum and Company, which celebrates its 70th anniversary this year, "has been synonymous with strong business ethics and has generated successful operations in the supermarket and real estate industries over the years."
The company, incorporated in 1943, was founded by Humming Bird Gold recipient Carlton Mack, an immigrant from China. It is now managed by second and third generation members of the San Fernando family.Tewarie said the fact that the $500m investment was coming from the local private sector demonstrates confidence in the strength of the economy.
Mack, speaking at the sod-turning ceremony, said the C3 Centre will be anchored by main tenants JTA Supermarket and MovieTowne Cineplex, and is expected to be completed by 2015.He said the facility will feature environmentally-friendly initiatives such as extensive water-retention ponds to recycle rain water, use of natural gas, solar panels and expansive skylights to save energy.
"It has been three years in the making. We are very, very happy that we have gotten to this stage. We are excited that this development is under way. I think it is a game changer for the south," Mack said.He said MovieTowne will open an eight-screen cineplex and the new JTA Supermarket, which is owned by the Mack family. This will be the fifth branch for the local supermarket chain.
"With almost 600,000 square feet of building space on over 20 acres of land, C3 Centre will deliver a unique shopping and entertainment experience to the southland that will be the envy of the other malls in the country," Mack said.He said the C3 Centre will also offer other forms of entertainment, including a branch of US fast-food chain, Chuck-E-Cheese's which he described as a new and exciting childrens' entertainment destination for pre-teens.
There will also be a Galactica outlet providing entertainment for older children, as well as a wide array of shopping in a fully air-conditioned retail mall with a selection of casual dining restaurants.Mack said the location will be convenient as it is just metres from the Sir Solomon Hochoy Highway and the highway extension to Point Fortin.