The Damodar Group, which has their investments mainly in property development, is now looking at integration in their new development models.
This means integrating retail shopping with hotels, offices and entertainment in its new multi-million-dollar Raiwaqa development.
Damodar Group chief executive, Div Damodar, explained: “So I guess you could say we are creating a ‘Denarau’ in Suva.”
Mr Damodar was referring to the development of their recently-acquired 21 acres land along Grantham Road in Raiwaqa.
And in order to meet customer expectations, Mr Damodar is also calling on ideas from the general public in terms of the services and the outlets they want in the new development.
Mr Damodar confirmed they are still sorting out regulatory issues for the project but hope these will be finalised before the end of the year.
“We will be looking at doing a Brand & Project launching in November and starting construction next year,” he highlighted.
The magnitude of the project is quite large given the land area is 21 acres whereas in comparison, Damodar City development sits only on three acres of land and is only a small fraction.
The Fiji Sun was the first media to visit the Raiwaqa project site yesterday had the chance to see what the plans are by the Damodar Group.
The Damodar Group acquired the land from Chinese company, Gold Century Group (Fiji) Limited, which had plans for a $500 million investment.
Despite the slowdown predicted in our economic growth after the effects of Cyclone Winston, Mr Damodar said they remain positive about Fiji’s growth in coming years.
“Thus, our plans have not changed. In fact, we have planned even more developments for our Group,” he said.
“Our investment is based around three main factors. Firstly Government stability and this is what the country now has.
“Secondly is ‘supply and demand’ which for our business is very positive i.e. there is growing demand for the services that our group supplies such as shopping centres, entertainment etc.
“Thirdly is to do with regulatory processes. This is the area where review needs to be done otherwise we could be faced with a frustrated private sector. But I’m happy to see that Government is addressing this seriously.”
In addition, the Damodar Group is also undertaking refurbishment works for its Townhouse Hotel.
“We are taking our accommodation experience to another level now with more upmarket rooms,” he said.
“This will allow our guests to experience 3 – 4 star type benefits in terms of room comfort.”
Mr Damodar also confirmed they are looking at starting their Labasa shopping centre as soon as they complete the remaining regulatory studies.
This article first appeared in the Fiji Sun on June 9, 2016.