The Barbados economy is getting a needed $30 million boost as real estate developer Caribbean Consultants Limited embarks on the construction of a six-storey building – One Republic Place – in Warrens, St Michael.
The structure, adjacent to the Warrens Office Complex and opposite the CGI Tower, is scheduled to open in July 2018, and will have former owners of the 50,000 square feet of land, Republic Bank (Barbados) Limited, as its anchor tenant.
The building will take up about 48,000 square feet of land space. When completed Republic Bank will occupy the ground and first floors with is retail and premium banking centre, making that office its flagship location.
Addressing a gathering at the location Monday afternoon to officially mark the start of construction, Director of Caribbean Consultants Ltd James Edghill said the modern building would employ the latest in energy efficient technologies, meeting or exceeding international criteria.
He also said about 250 jobs would be created during the construction phase.
“We have assembled the best local team of consultants and managers and will work assiduously to ensure that this project is safe, on budget and on time opening in July 2018,” Edghill said.
Caribbean Consultants Ltd edged out three other local developers for the land on a sale and lease basis from the bank.
Edghill said there had been interest from prospective tenants, who first wanted to see a structure going up before they commit.
“We are going to look to further our discussions with those tenants and try to get people on board,” he said.
Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Republic Bank Ian De Souza said the new development was “long in coming”.
Republic Bank has been in Warrens since 2004, and with the development of the Warrens area the bank has witnessed favourable growth in customer base, assets and loans, prompting officials to upgrade from a sub-branch to full branch status.
“Business has continued to grow in retail banking, corporate commercial banking and most importantly in the premium banking segment. That particular segment has been growing quite nicely out of our Warrens operations. So in terms of our banking business we are very happy with this new project and we are very excited about it,” De Souza said.
The bank’s executive explained that after exploring a number of possibilities for the use of the land, the bank decided invite bids for a sale and lease agreement, which would help the struggling economy.
“This project will . . . in its own way provide impetus into the construction sector and by extension the economy of Barbados. We know that the more projects of this nature Barbados has, especially at a time like this, the more likely we are to find our way out of some of the difficulties that we have been having,” De Souza said.
The bank official told Barbados TODAY while there would be no immediate need for an increase in employment when the bank moved into the new location, there were plans to open additional branches in Barbados. However, he would not give details.