UNICOMER building state-of-the art plaza in Guyana

Last Updated on Saturday, 25 May 2024, 7:18 by Writer

The El Salvador-headquartered UNICOMER, which owns the chain of COURTS stores in Guyana and elsewhere, is building a US$33 million retail centre at Farm East Bank Demerara and plans to construct a hotel, officials said Friday.

UNICOMER’s Sub-Regional Managing Director (Guyana and the Caribbean), Vincent Gordon said the construction of the 55,000 square-foot River Place commercial plaza on land owned by Caribbean Container Inc (CCI) would last about 18 months. “Nothing like that has been in seen in Guyana up to now,” he said.

The “state-of-the-art retail facility”, which was being planned for the past four years, is being funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), according to Chairman of UNICOMER’s Board of Directors, Mario Siman. IDB Country Representative, Lorena Solorzano said the agreement was signed in April to “support this innovative development”. “It is a transformative project that will shape the future of the East Bank Demerara corridor,” she said.

Mr Gordon said the plaza would include restaurants and a gym as well as the new COURTS Mega Store, Ashley Home Store and COURTS Optical Store. “Today’s events cement that we will become even more entrenched in the Guyana community and it marks the beginning of the construction of one of the single largest retail investments to date in Guyana’s history,” he said.

He said final designs for a hotel were being made, but the cost was not immediately available.

Vice President of UNICOMER Caribbean, Error Le Blanc told the sod turning ceremony that the River Place plaza would cater for people at more than one level of the economic ladder. “This facility that we are building here is going to be a modern, first world facility that is taking it to a different level and, also in addition to targeting the ordinary person, we’ll also be targeting the more aspirational and upper middle class customer,” he said. He praised government for its prudent management of the economy, resulting in more disposable income. “We appreciate the support in terms of the approvals and so forth that we’ve gotten but also in terms of steering the economy in such a way that the working man can earn good wages and be able to shop and improve his standard of living,” he said.

Apart from the plaza, Mr Siman said four additional branches would be opened in Guyana over the next 12 months to bring the total to 29.
He said UNICOMER’s “largest logistics park” of 110,000 square feet was being built at Houston, East Bank Demerara. “We need it urgently because right now, we are renting six warehouses and in order to serve better the community, we need to speed it up,” he said.

Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, Oneidge Walrond, in particular, said soon there would be no need for ministerial interventions to process permits. “You won’t always need the intervention of a minister. Thankfully, it’s reducing. We have the Single Window that is about to go live in another month or so,” she said.