WITH construction completed, the Loshusan family is almost ready to open their new Barbican Road shopping centre.
"It's up to the tenants, we are just waiting on them," said Michelle Loshusan, director at the family-run Sovereign Supermarket.
The new complex at 29 Barbican Road, on the grounds of the former Chasers Nightclub in Kingston, will be branded Sovereign North. It will consist of 17 commercial spaces, almost all of which have already been leased, Loshusan said.
She refused to reveal the identities of the tenants, but noted that "there will be a few well-known names" and a lot of food stores.
The construction project was completed in just over a year, after government Bureaucracy allegedly delayed the development for years.
Based on environmental permit applications submitted to the National Environment and Planning Agency, the submission for "outline planning application for the construction of a shopping complex" was made in February 2008. Only in December 2010 was Vincent Loshusan and Sons Limited — the company under which the application was made — granted an environmental permit "with stipulated conditions". Up until at least January 2011, the family was still awaiting final approval by the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation.
"The approval process is now worse than ever. We are regressing," Clifton Yap, the project's chief architect, said at the time.
The Loshusans operate supermarkets in the general vicinity of the new shopping centre, including Sovereign Supermarket and Loshushan Supermarket. They are part of Progressive Grocers, a consortium of nearly 30 members that operate large supermarkets including Shoppers Fair, Super Value, Sovereign, John R Wong, Loshusan and Brooklyn supermarkets.
The family also plans to build a major shopping complex on almost six acres of land in Braeton Parkway, St Catherine.