by Marlon Madden
The swanky, multi-million dollar Limegrove Lifestyle Centre in Holetown, St James is in for continued development, according to developer Sir Paul Altman.
Making the disclosure recently during an online forum organised by the Barbados Town Planning Society to discuss the revitalisation of Bridgetown, Sir Paul said the idea was to enhance the retail experience there.
The Limegrove Lifestyle Centre, which is Barbados’ first mixed lifestyle centre, was completed at the end of 2011 and boasts several brand name shops. It carried a price tag of about $100 million. There is also a residences component.
Sir Paul said the planned enhancements would provide more of an experience for individuals, adding that this was the direction in which retail spaces were heading.
“What you will see happening and is happening already as we speak at Limegrove, is that we are changing the direction of what the experience will be,” he said.
“The experience will be just that – an experience – people will go in there and they will be able to see things, and I am not talking about merchandise like clothing, I am talking about other things that people need to go and enjoy including bars, restaurants, shopping for food, and so on. There are new things coming,”
As it relates specifically to Bridgetown, Sir Paul put forward several projects he said were put on pause over the years.
He singled out an idea of a driverless transportation pod system, saying this was first raised some 15 years ago when the plan to develop the pierhead in The City was put on the table.
This type of transportation, he said, would help ease vehicular traffic and allow for more foot traffic areas in Bridgetown.
“The full discussion [included] how we would remove the choke points coming along Bay Street, and coming in from the west and every side into Bridgetown, how we would get traffic to move,” said Sir Paul.
Pointing to the personal transportation pods at the Heathrow Airport as an example of the model, Sir Paul said: “We did a full exercise on that for Barbados, using the route through the old Constitution River going up to the ABC Highway.”
“The full cost at that time, and this may be 15 years ago, was something like £60 million,” he said, adding that “it was justified as an easily achievable spend because people would come in and out of Town.”
“That corridor along the Constitution River would wake up with shops and villages would grow, and there would be stops along the way. And these stops where people get on and off the pods would be like service stations where people have food,” he added.
Sir Paul told the seminar, which was held under the theme Heritage: A Doorway to Regeneration, that the plan was for the solar powered personal rapid transit to be a loop and it would require a control room.
“It then went through Warrens and came down to the University of the West Indies and down by the harbour and you link back up to Fairchild Street. That was for the £60 million spend. Imagine we even figured out how many pods . . . heritage and success needs solutions such as that. Think outside of the box,” he said.