SJDC admits more booths needed

The chairman of the St. John’s Development Corporation has admitted additional booths are needed to accommodate all the tenants who occupied a space at the Heritage Quay Vendors mall before last year’s renovation.

Bernard Percival’s comments yesterday came after one vendor called into OBSERVER Radio’s Voice of the People to vent her frustration after having to wait more than six months to get a spot in the renovated mall.

Percival said the contractor from the United States is expected to arrive in Antigua this week and a plan should be forthcoming on how the SJDC will address the shortfall.

“Undoubtedly, we need additional space,” Percival said. “We have vendors that are located behind areas they cannot function. I have one lady crying every day because nobody can see her behind the column. Then, there was a cry for a corridor which was built, but, in my view, it is too wide some of it could have been used for booth space, but, it’s not that simple, all the electrical wires have to be taken into account.”

On Friday, a female vendor and mother of two children said she is being unfairly treated by the St. John’s Development Corporation regarding her booth.

The woman said prior to the renovation she occupied one of the larger booths, however, some of the vendors had to settle for smaller spaces.

The vendor said she only agreed to take a small spot since she was promised that she only needed to wait one month, January 2018, before she would have been allotted a bigger location. It has been six months and the vendor of over a decade said that she was overlooked when a spot recently became available.

Percival said there are still some kinks that have to be ironed out in addition to more booths.

“There were some concerns about the ventilation, it gets a bit warm at times and the lighting is not as strong as we want it to be and we will be looking at all these things. The contractor will be here shortly so we can look at some of the deficiencies the vendors are facing,” Percival said.

He agreed that all the vendors were not “fully facilitated” in the new facilities but this would not persist indefinitely.

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