Once decorated and furnished the new lolos on the Marigot waterfront will open in November.
(Robert Luckock photo)
MARIGOT–The familiar building adjacent to the taxi stand on the Marigot waterfront that served as the backdrop for the popular “lolos” and souvenir shops is to be completely demolished and rebuilt as part of the new development plan for the waterfront, the first phase of which is to start in 2020, according to the Collectivité.
The old building was heavily damaged during Hurricane Irma. Lolo operators hit hardest such as Enoch’s Place relocated while a few with less damage remained and continued to run their businesses.
Now the Collectivité has made it possible for the businesses to continue operating by moving them into the market area, as an extension to the already existing food and fish market stalls, away from the demolition and reconstruction project.
The temporary lolo complex consists of 22 modified containers on the waterfront. These equipped containers, 14 square metres (m2) in area, have all the necessary utility connections. They are built on 1.50-metre foundations and can withstand winds of 210 kilometres per hour (km/h), according to the manufacturer’s estimates.
Each restaurant has a 40m2 terrace that can be converted with its own furniture and kitchen equipment. The entire platform includes 18 containers divided into 14 restaurants, five bars and public toilets, all installed on a large, open wooden deck on the seafront. Additionally, the Collectivité has set up six shops and a control office.
The Collectivité chose a neutral colour for the containers: grey and wood. Operators will be able to start their installation in October and will have the opportunity to choose the colour of their furniture (tables, chairs and parasols) to give colour.
Director of the Collectivité’s Engineering Department, Isabelle Gorizia said: “Even if they are temporary structures, the Collectivité has made a point of making the project an exemplary and sustainable construction. The platform has been built in compliance with current building standards, using innovative materials.”
This was the wish of President Daniel Gibbs and Vice-President Steven Patrick, who wanted the operators to be able to work in a pleasant, functional environment while complying with regulations.
Demolition and reconstruction of the old building will take several months, beginning with asbestos removal. It was essential for the Collectivité that lolo-operators could operate in good conditions for the duration of this work.
The construction of these containers, equipped and decorated with wooden cladding and hurricane-proof, was carried out by the company Mobile Construction, based on a design from Architectural Studio. The total cost of this public contract was 972,000 euros. The Collectivité has also planned to beautify the deck with green plants before the start of the new tourist season.
The opening of this new tourist “village” is scheduled for November. St. Martin residents and visitors will have at their disposal a particularly well-stocked market composed of traditional restaurants, bars, shops and as an extension of this new complex, a food market (meat, fish, fruit and vegetables) and the craft market on the other side.