SUNBIZ

Flagstaff Plaza Aiming for Easter

All it took was a Sunday walk and a glimpse of the Marist Brothers High School ground for Satish Parshotam to visualise Flagstaff Plaza. It was a challenge putting the
16 Jan 2018 16:36
Flagstaff Plaza  Aiming for Easter
From left: Fineland Investments general manager Kowtil Jogia, directors Subhas Parshotam and Satish Parshotam. Photo: Maraia Vula

All it took was a Sunday walk and a glimpse of the Marist Brothers High School ground for Satish Parshotam to visualise Flagstaff Plaza.

It was a challenge putting the plan together and meeting key stakeholders to convince them that having a commercial property at the prime spot would be a viable project.

 

How it all started:

Mr Parshotam, a lawyer by profession, is one of the directors of Fineland Investments Limited, the developers of the Flagstaff Plaza in a venture with the Fiji Marist Brothers Trust Board.

“I was walking on a Sunday with one of my fellow directors on Bau Street sometime in November of 2014, I stopped right in front of Marist,” he recalled yesterday.

“I looked at the wasted land with all the rubbish lying around.

“I thought we could build something there which we would benefit the community and also help a perpetual funding for the school and Marist Brothers who have been doing a great job in Fiji.

“It took about nine months to do the negotiations with the Brothers with 20 to 25 people involved in the consultation process at that level, supported by the bank they could see it was a viable project. We are here regardless of the objections.

“At the very end with the help of the regulators and the various Government departments they saw the wisdom in the development proceeding.”

Investment

He said at this stage they are not at liberty to disclose the cost of the project because of the nature of the agreements.  But it is understood to be a multimillion dollar investment.

“In due cause we will release the figure.”

He said 90 per cent of the Plaza is rented out.

“There were some alterations to the original plan due to concepts and to meet tenants’ requirement and it came with escalated the costs.

“Overseas you can rent off properties with plans.

“Here you have to build first. When the people see it then they come and express their interests.

“We have to listen to the tenants requirements.We have a very large premium supermarket coming in, butcher, liquor shop, bakery, very large up market foodcourt, clothing shop, fish shop, and barber shop, professional offices, Police Post and other outlets.”

He noted that the project is behind schedule, because of the weather.

“And then there was acute shortage of cement at one stage.

“Mobilising a construction site is not like a stop and start button when things wind down then you have to wind it up again.

“But we are hoping around Easter time that we would be able to have practical completion.

“It has to be before June and we have to do it properly and not do a rush job.”

He shared they always look at venture opportunities as they come. Fineland Investments also developed MidCity in the heart of Suva.

“This is our second project in Suva and we look at other ventures that make sense.

“We are only taking the risks if it’s a well calculated one. We are open to opportunities and joint ventures.”

About the Flagstaff Plaza property:

The significant investment is being carried out by locally-owned Fineland Investments Limited on the land owned by the Fiji Marist Brothers Trust Board Inc fronting Bau Street, Flagstaff.

The land involved is being leased at a commercial rent and, together with the Plaza buildings, will revert to Marist Trust when the lease expires.

Two of the principals and directors of Fineland are proud old boys of Marist Brothers Schools and completely support the Marist Brothers educational aims and ethos.

Apart from providing an attractive modern shopping environment in the Plaza there will be security provided as well as safe car parking facilities off site and in the Plaza itself.

The new Plaza will also provide and accommodate a new fully-furnished modern designed Flagstaff Police Post.

Fineland Investments will construct this free of charge as a contribution to the Flagstaff Community.

Feedback:  maraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj

 



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