The 45 vendors at the Salvatori Building site, who were served notices to vacate the premises this week, have been given an extension to ply their trade until January 2, 2015.
Dr Roodal Moonilal, Minister of Housing and Urban Development, made the announcement yesterday at a press conference held at his ministry’s South Quay location in Port of Spain.
“Having heard the plight and concern of the vendors; and with the strong case they made to us, we have decided to allow them to remain on site,” Dr Moonilal said.
Earlier in the day, vendors were keeping their fingers crossed that this would be the outcome of the meeting.
“With Christmas coming, I am hoping that they just leave us here until the end of the year in order to get ourselves together,” one DVD vendor said.
Yesterday’s press conference was attended by Urban Development Corporation of Trinidad and Tobago Limited (UDeCOTT) chairman and managing director of the Housing Development Corporation (HDC) Jearlean John, and vendors Denise Thomas, Gail Sayers and Steve Fletcher.
Moonilal added that the extension was made possible since UDeCOTT was not ready to take possession of the site. He said the company will continue its design and office work in the meantime but that after January 2, 2015, the Corporation and UDeCOTT will not be entertaining any requests for more extensions.
The Salvatori Building site has been identified for the erection of a massive infrastructural project that will include an energy tower.
Moonilal said the energy tower will be a central focal point for both the private and public energy agencies in Trinidad and Tobago. The project, he said, is also tied to a commercial space and will be part of a wider programme for the redevelopment of Port of Spain.
On behalf of the vendors, Sayers thanked Moonilal, John, Port of Spain Mayor Raymond Tim Kee and Port of Spain South MP Marlene McDonald, for their help in making the extension possible.