If the concepts of businessmen Derek Chin and Jerry Joseph turn into reality, then Invaders Bay on the outskirts of Port of Spain could be transformed into the entertainment and economic capital of the Caribbean.
Earlier this month Planning Minister Dr Bhoe Tewarie announced at a post-Cabinet news conference at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann's that Cabinet agreed to give the green light to D Chin Commercial Development Ltd and Invaders Bay Marina Ltd to pursue the possibility of developing a section of Invaders Bay just behind Chin's MovieTowne cineplex and entertainment centre.
Chin and Joseph made separate presentations to the Cabinet and elaborated on their plans which they argued will boost the local economy and will become a driving force for the country's tourism product.
The Business Express spoke to both businessmen who shared their ideas last week.
Chin's proposal seeks to create what he describes as the entertainment mecca of the Caribbean.
The estimated cost of his "Streets of the World" project is $2 billion.
Chin showed the Business Express a DVD video of the designs for Streets of the World during an interview at his Telecom Security Woodbrook office last week.
Some of the features of the planned entertainment centre include construction of a bowling alley and an ice skating rink.
The way Chin imagines the concept is that people will be able to step out of the blistering midday heat and into an ice skating rink.
Chin said the country's rich culture and heritage were greatly reflected in the designs of the project.
Streets of the World will be constructed between the Gulf of Paria and the MovieTowne cineplex on 35 acres of land.
The video features streets which showcase the country's cosmopolitan makeup with the cultures of India, Africa, Syria and China.
The plan for the India street has buildings intricately designed showing the temple-domed arches adorned with huge elephant statues outside.
Chin said he approached a number of Indian businessmen and made them an offer to set up their businesses from cuisine to commercial spaces on the India street and create a bazaar-type atmosphere.
The same concept applies for the streets of China, Africa and Syria.
There is also a main street that will feature designs from when the English, Spanish and French governed the country.
Carnival Street is expected to include a Berkeley Plaza designed by the late mas designer Wayne Berkeley.
Mas designer Brian MacFarlane's presence is also present on the designs for Carnival Street.
Chin said there will be a Carnival museum where the history of Carnival and the pan can be observed.
He said a patron will be able to enter the museum and enjoy a two-hour walk though the nation's history as it relates to Carnival culture.
"I am not a Carnival person but every year up to 2011 they still building a Grand Stand and people complain that it is a shed. Where's the vision? Why has someone not sat down and planned for this country on how to embrace Carnival and showcase it to the world? There are many opportunities as to how Carnival can drive this economy," said Chin.
"Where in this county can you go and see and learn what Lord Kitchener is about or Sparrow? All this will be part of the Carnival museum," he added.
The children are not forgotten in Chin's masterplan.
There will be a Children's street- a place for learning.
Chin said international corporation Disney has expressed an interest in the project and will be partnering with him.
World famous Madame Tussaud's (wax museum) and Ripley's Believe It or Not have also shown interest in the plans.
All the streets will be linked to a contemporary interactive sporting area where activities on offer will include ice skating, bowling, swimming and racquetball
"What about Brian Lara and Ato Boldon? Where's the history of their achievements? Where can people go and see what we are about, our legacy?" asked Chin.
Part of the sporting area designs also include a wellness centre for both physical and psychological well being.
Chin said another major attraction will be a Caribbean aquarium where exotic aquatic fish will be on display.
"If you go abroad, every city in this world has an aquarium. People know of bake and shark in this country- they can go to that aquarium and actually see the sharks," said Chin.
The designs also include a cultural district with a local film theatre for local filmmakers and artistes to show their work.
A luxury housing development is also part of the plan.
Chin dismissed his detractors and critics, saying: "What is it you are criticising? Everything is always negative, they say I am putting up condominiums, they don't even know what the plan is but they are criticising. I am so confident when I drop this there people will be bowled over."
"I want people to know that it's not the government giving me anything, the government is asking for ideas to develop the land, it's me who have to put the money into this," said Chin.
He recalled when he had the vision to create MovieTowne he faced challenges.
This year, MovieTowne will be celebrating its tenth year anniversary in business.
"We started MovieTowne on lands that were very raw, we developed it into the place that it is today," said Chin.
He disclosed that as part of MovieTowne's tenth anniversary celebrations there will be giveaways- including a car and the main theatre area will be redecorated and transformed into a Jurassic Park theme.
"I had a bad experience going to one of the local theatres to see Titanic and after that I started thinking of how I could offer something better to Trinidad and Tobago,'' Chin remembered.
Now, MovieTowne has expanded to Chaguanas and Tobago and Chin says "the biggest and the best" will be coming to San Fernando soon, with another cineplex in the works in Guyana.
The other developer whose project Cabinet has approved for the possibility of development is Jerry Joseph's Invaders Bay Marina Ltd project.
In a phone interview with the Business Express last week, Joseph said his family had deep roots in Trinidad having established businesses like Rossi Sports, clothing retailer Bluegrass as well as investments in real estate.
Joseph stressed that negotiations were still underway with the government but he disclosed that his $1 billion plan for Invaders Bay was impressive.
"First of all I want to thank the government for accepting my proposal...this will be very beneficial for the country, pre-construction and post-construction, a lot of employment will be generated in terms of labour and I give the assurance everything will be local from constriction workers to engineers. We are a family-owned company and it's 100 per cent locally owned," said Joseph.
His proposal is to create a place where cruise ships, yachts, small boats and other vessels can come to - the sea hub of the Caribbean with first class marina facilities.
The construction of a cruise ship complex in partnership with the government is on the table as well.
The complex will allow visitors to come into a portal where they can shop duty free, purchase local art and handicraft and indulge in activities laced with Caribbean flavour.
In addition, part of the plan involves the construction of a mega-yacht facility where huge vessels from 80 to over 100 feet can come to Trinidad.
"Right now yachts of these sizes cannot come to Trinidad because there is nowhere to house them. When they come here they will be bringing revenue to the country and experiencing all that Trinidad has to offer," said Joseph.
He said once an agreement is finalised, construction of the marina will be on the front burner.
High rise apartments, a convention centre and commercial duty free shops are all part of the proposal.
"I can guarantee you this will be something to make Trinidad and Tobago proud," he said.
He proposes to develop some 14 acres of land which will include a 100-room boutique hotel as well as restaurants.
"This project will be of benefit to the entire country. Every person involved in tourism and hospitality will benefit- from tour operators to artistes...Countries live off of tourism such as Barbados, St Kitts, St Maarten, even Antigua depend on tourism and this is the direction we must go," said Joseph.