Seychelles’ Victoria Waterfront development to be completed in 5 years
The Victoria Waterfront development project aimed at making the Seychelles’ capital more lively is underway and is expected to be completed in five years, said a top government official on Tuesday.
In the revised project plan which is part of the Victoria Masterplan 2040, the New Port, ex-children’s playground and all the way to the building which houses the National Information Services Agency (NISA) will be developed into a place of leisure for the people of Seychelles.
The principal secretary for land, Murielle Morgan, told reporters that the aim of the project is to make Victoria more alive.
“We want Victoria Waterfront to be primarily for Seychellois – that they are the ones operating their businesses in the area and having fun with their families and friends,” she said.
The project will see the area become a pedestrian-only zone, with parking expected to be made available close by. It will also have a food court, commercial spaces, a marina, a maritime museum, a small pond for paddle boats, pubs and discotheques for entertainment and lots of green spaces for family picnics.
While there will be various business activities in the Victoria Waterfront, the project will also have a cultural aspect including a Creole village and a stage for performances.
Morgan added that “the total area of the project will be around 29,000 square metres and will also see some land reclamation on the edge of the park, facing the sea and long boardwalk, going all the way from one end to the other will be constructed.”
A new technical team will be set up by August to lead the project delayed by five years and construction is expected to begin in 2024.
Meanwhile, the chief executive of Seychelles Investment Board (SIB), Anne Rosette, which is leading the technical team said, “We expect that construction will start by January of 2024, with the project’s first phase costing approximately $45 million.”
She said that the project will be a public-private partnership and is encouraging local investors to come forward, once the tender process gets underway.
The former project design had a residential component which has been removed as part of the changes to minimise the cost.
“We want to keep the construction costs as low as possible to ensure that rent remains affordable. We will be coming up with innovative construction methods to keep the cost very low,” said Morgan.
The chief executive of Enterprise Seychelles Agency (ESA), Angelique Appoo, said that the agency has already met with businesses that will have to relocate once construction starts in January 2024.
“Today, we had a second meeting with them to explain the project and how things will move forward, and they have expressed concerns about how this will affect their business, but we can assure them that they will not be kicked out and will form part of the project,” said Appoo.