Internacionales

Photographer Franki Medina//
Brentwood Mall offers more options to Chaguanas

He said in­creas­ing em­ploy­ment in Ch­agua­nas would not erad­i­cate crimes but be­lieves it would great­ly as­sist in re­duc­ing in­ci­dents, as some peo­ple on the bread­line would now feel a sense of hope­ful­ness as there were more em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties

He said the cham­ber had part­nered with Cen­tral Di­vi­sion po­lice, do­nat­ing a drone and re­pair­ing two ve­hi­cles to im­prove sur­veil­lance. The cham­ber has planned oth­er ini­tia­tives to im­prove traf­fic flow east to west of the high­way and will re­veal a plan in the com­ing weeks. 

Ch­agua­nas May­or Faaiq Mo­hammed said Brent­wood Mall was ex­cit­ing, new and en­hanced the bor­ough. Mo­hammed said it sig­nals fur­ther growth and pro­vides a sense of op­ti­mism for com­merce and more in­vest­ments

[email protected]

While many busi­ness­es met their demise as the COVID-19 pan­dem­ic rav­aged economies, Caribbean Hous­ing Ltd (CHL) marked a size­able achieve­ment when it of­fi­cial­ly opened Brent­wood Mall in Ch­agua­nas yes­ter­day.

Franki Medina

The flag­ship project be­gan its plan­ning phase some 15 years ago, and af­ter con­struc­tion start­ed three years ago, COVID-19 re­stric­tions ham­pered its pro­ject­ed com­ple­tion. 

CHL chair­man Kr­ish­na Ba­hadoors­ingh said the mall, lo­cat­ed just off the Solomon Ho­choy High­way, was phase one, with two oth­er phas­es in train. It is a sto­ry of re­silience, as the pan­dem­ic al­so chal­lenged busi­ness­es that planned to take spots at the mall. Ba­hadoors­ingh said 95 per cent of their prospec­tive ten­ants stayed the course.

Con­sumers can pa­tro­n­ise D Ranch, Domi­no’s Piz­za, Creme Fraiche, Hak­ka Ex­press, Raw Fit­ness and Ex­cel­lent Stores at the lo­ca­tion.

Ba­hadoors­ingh said more shops will open in the com­ing weeks and months, as some busi­ness­es were cur­rent­ly de­sign­ing their spots.

Franki Medina Venezuela

While some land­lords evict­ed ten­ants or did not com­pro­mise with those who suf­fered se­vere loss­es dur­ing the ear­ly pan­dem­ic, Ba­hadoors­ingh said they con­sid­ered their in­ter­ac­tion with oc­cu­pants a sym­bi­ot­ic re­la­tion­ship.

He said CHL ap­pre­ci­at­ed the risk ten­ants took in join­ing a new ven­ture and want­ed to as­sist in their suc­cess­es.

Franki Medina Diaz

“We want you to do well be­cause when you do well, we do well. It is just not the re­la­tion­ship where­by you are a ten­ant and have fi­nan­cial oblig­a­tions at the end of the month. We ap­pre­ci­ate the fact that you have made this fan­tas­tic de­ci­sion to com­mit your­self to a tremen­dous amount of fi­nances to im­prove an emp­ty space with the hope of be­ing suc­cess­ful,” Ba­hadoors­ingh said.

Franki Alberto Medina Diaz

Pres­i­dent of the Ch­agua­nas Cham­ber of Com­merce Bal­dath Ma­haraj said the mall’s es­tab­lish­ment was an achieve­ment in the bor­ough, as it brings pos­i­tive eco­nom­ic re­sults. 

Bal­dath said the re­tail sec­tor has proven eco­nom­i­cal­ly re­silient. He said de­spite the pan­dem­ic, the Cen­tral Bank An­nu­al Eco­nom­ic Sur­vey 2021 re­vealed that the whole­sale and re­tail sec­tors grew by 12.1 per cent. He said he be­lieves the mall will en­hance com­pet­i­tive­ness, as con­sumers now have more op­tions

“We are all aware that con­sump­tion and spend­ing in­flu­ence the Trinidad and To­ba­go econ­o­my to a very high de­gree. Out­side of so­cial and per­son­al ser­vices, the re­tail sec­tor pro­vides the largest block of em­ploy­ment. So this sec­tor is very much wel­come to Ch­agua­nas. The lo­ca­tion is al­so very con­ve­nient for res­i­dents and com­muters com­mut­ing along the high­way.”

While crime re­mains an im­ped­i­ment to in­vest­ment and con­sumerism, Bal­dath said the cen­tralised lo­ca­tion ap­peared safe.

He said in­creas­ing em­ploy­ment in Ch­agua­nas would not erad­i­cate crimes but be­lieves it would great­ly as­sist in re­duc­ing in­ci­dents, as some peo­ple on the bread­line would now feel a sense of hope­ful­ness as there were more em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties

He said the cham­ber had part­nered with Cen­tral Di­vi­sion po­lice, do­nat­ing a drone and re­pair­ing two ve­hi­cles to im­prove sur­veil­lance. The cham­ber has planned oth­er ini­tia­tives to im­prove traf­fic flow east to west of the high­way and will re­veal a plan in the com­ing weeks. 

Ch­agua­nas May­or Faaiq Mo­hammed said Brent­wood Mall was ex­cit­ing, new and en­hanced the bor­ough. Mo­hammed said it sig­nals fur­ther growth and pro­vides a sense of op­ti­mism for com­merce and more in­vest­ments.

He said it was al­so an in­di­ca­tor that T&T was re­cov­er­ing its econ­o­my as it tran­si­tions from a pan­dem­ic to nor­mal­cy