Work will begin soon on Montego Bay’s first all-inclusive shopping centre, with the construction of a US$20 million (J$1.3 billion) MegaMart store at Catherine Hall.
Set to be built on eight acres of lands, sited off the Howard Cooke Boulevard and the Catherine Hall main road, the 85,000 square foot centre will house the island’s largest MegaMart and a variety of stores ranging from entertainment to fast food.
Gassan Azan, chairman and CEO of CostClub Limited, owners of MegaMart and Bascho, told The Gleaner that the start date of construction is May 1, with completion set for year end.
MegaMart Montego Bay will complement CostClub’s two similar stores in Portmore, St. Catherine and Waterloo Road, St. Andrew.
“The new store is part of our overall national development plans, we are going national, then regional,” Mr. Azan disclosed. He said he is currently eyeing countries in the eastern Caribbean and Trinidad for regional expansion.
Developing a critical mass and implementing his own agenda are the primary objectives driving Mr. Azan’s plans. “We have an agenda that is independent of the day-to-day hiccups in the economy and are looking at a long-term picture.”
This latest project will offer the facilities of a full service one-stop shopping centre, similar to the Super Walmart and Target wholesale stores now being built throughout the United States.
CostClub Limited estimates that over 500 jobs will become available during construction, while the entire complex will provide permanent employment for at least another 500 persons.
Montego Bay’s Mayor Noel Donaldson said: “It’s a welcome addition to the commercial landscape, and I am positive it will bring significant economic benefit both in terms of employment opportunities and good value for money for the consumer.”
In the last five years, the tourism capital has seen a large number of Kingston-based companies expanding to the friendly city.
MegaMart, which carries everything from clothing, haberdashery, pharmacy, food court, hardware and automotive to wines, will join the several financial institutions, hotels, information technology and multi-faceted entertainment facilities that defines Montego Bay as the ‘Gateway to the Caribbean’.