Pirates Arms building to make way for new complex

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Pirates Arms building to make way for new complex

Post  Sirop14 on Wed Feb 10, 2016 7:24 pm

Pirates Arms building to make way for new complex

10-February-2016

The Seychelles Pension Fund (SPF) is about to embark on a project to redevelop the Pirates Arms Building as announced a few years ago.
After a series of consultations with various stakeholders, the final plans have been submitted to the Planning Authority, the SPF said in a communiqué yesterday. “The decision to redevelop the Pirates Arms building was taken several years ago on account of the age of the building and the need for continuous repair that was becoming untenable and very costly. It was thus decided that a redevelopment was the only way forward and Cabinet approved the concept in 2014,” says the communiqué.
The redevelopment is estimated to cost R450 million and will include ground floor for shops and restaurants plus four floors for offices and other business ventures, with a multi-storey car park at the back of the building.
Demolition work will start at the beginning of March and it is anticipated that the construction of the new building will start around August 2016. It is expected to take three years to complete.
According to the SPF communiqué all tenants of the Pirates Arms were informed of the intention to redevelop the premises in 2012. In November 2014 all tenants were given until November 2015 to vacate the premises. This was later extended to February 29, 2016 based on requests from the tenants who noted that November was too close to the festive season.
The SPF says that priority will be given to the current tenants when tendered out upon completion of the building.

http://www.nation.sc/article.html?id=248362


Pirates Arms


Restaurant forcibly closed down
The order shutting down the Pirates Arms restaurant ahead of schedule came yesterday from the Health authorities. The building that houses the restaurant as well as other businesses is due to be pulled down at the end of the month.
By Russel Vidot
Health authorities yesterday unexpectedly forced the closure of one of the most iconic institutions in Victoria, the Pirates Arms restaurant.
The Pirates casino however is being allowed to continue its business for the time being. No reason was given for that decision.
The complex that houses the restaurant and numerous other businesses is due to be pulled down at the end of this month. However, the restaurant’s manageress, Marylene Eder said that the Health authorities informed her last Thursday that they intended to carry out an urgent inspection following reports of a sewage leakage between the restaurant and Barclays Bank.
“I called the proprietor of the complex, the Seychelles Pension Fund, and they were clearly not interested to fix the problem” said Mrs. Eder. She added that she was subsequently informed that the CEO of the Pension Fund had given directives that "nothing should be touched.” However, she said that after much insistence on her part and in the presence of sanitary inspectors, the Pension Fund finally sent along maintenance workers who repaired the leakage.

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Demolition work on Pirates Arms building to start March 1

Post  Sirop14 on Sat Feb 27, 2016 8:32 pm

Demolition work on Pirates Arms building to start March 1
27-February-2016

Demolition work on one of Seychelles’ landmarks – the Pirates Arms building – will start on Tuesday March 1, according to the Seychelles Pension Fund.
People who work in the vicinity of the building are being asked to take extra precaution to avoid any injuries.
It is expected that the demolition work will end early April and this will give way to a modern complex, on which construction work will start in August. It is expected to take three years to compete the new building.
Once completed, the US $30.8 million project will accommodate shops and restaurants on the ground floor, with offices and other businesses on the four other floors with a multi-storey car park at the back.
“The decision to redevelop the Pirates Arms building was taken several years ago on account of the age of the building and the need for continuous repair that was becoming untenable and very costly. It was thus decided that a redevelopment was the only way forward and Cabinet approved the concept in 2014,” said the Seychelles Pension Fund (SPF) in a recent communiqué.
According to the SPF, tenants of the Pirates Arms building are aware of the plans for redevelopment and have been given until Monday February 29 to vacate the premises.
They were informed of the intention to redevelop the premises in 2012 and in November 2014 all tenants were given until November 2015 to vacate the premises. This was later extended to February 29, 2016 based on requests from the tenants who noted that November was too close to the festive season.
The SPF says that priority will be given to the current tenants when tendered out upon completion of the building.

http://www.nation.sc/article.html?id=248561

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Re: Pirates Arms building to make way for new complex

Post  Sirop14 on Mon Feb 29, 2016 11:27 am

Today in Seychelles
Victoria, Seychelles ·
Pirates Arms Building Iconic building to rise again

As announced a few years back by the Seychelles Pension Fund (SPF), the iconic building housing the Pirates Arms is to be demolished to make way for another. The demolition work will start at the beginning of March and it is anticipated that the construction of the new building will start around August this year. It is anticipated that the new building will take three years to complete.
According to the SPF, “the decision to redevelop the Pirates Arms building was taken several years ago due to its age and the need for continuous repair that was becoming untenable and very costly”. It was thus decided that a redevelopment was the only way forward and the Cabinet subsequently approved the concept in 2014”.

Consultations were held with various stakeholders and the final plans submitted to the Planning Authority for approval.
It is estimated that the redevelopment will cost the SPF SCR450 million and will include a ground floor for shops and restaurants and an additional four floors for offices and other business ventures, with a multi-storey car park at the back of the building.
The existing tenants were first informed of the intention to redevelop the premises in 2012 but it wasn’t until November 2014 that the tenants leant that the premises ought to be vacated by November 2015. This was later extended to Monday 29 February, upon the tenants’ request, due to the festive season. Upon reconstruction, the current tenants will have priority when space is tendered out.

INSET 1
Why the demolition
Early 2015, the tenants of the Pirates Arms building decided to petition the President because they felt that the building was part of the country’s national heritage that ought to be preserved and not destroyed. Instead, they proposed that the building be completely renovated. However, the SPF said that they had no other choice given that the building could not be renovated without causing irreparable damage to its foundations. The SPF said at the time that they “certainly would not be demolishing the building if we didn’t have to,” as they explained that demolition and reconstruction would be a “headache” for the SPF.

“The building is definitely costly to maintain and the return on investment is falling drastically. Therefore the complete redevelopment of the Pirates Arms building is long overdue. The decision came about after exhausting all other avenues, and this is a last resort for SPF due to the costly nature of construction nowadays. The redevelopment will adopt many aspects from the original Pirates Arms building and be integrated alongside modern elements in order to maintain the identity of this national icon”, SPF has said.

The ownership of the complex has changed hands a few times, with SACOS and the ministry of Land Use and Habitat among the past landlords. The SPF acquired the building in 2006 and conducted extensive renovations to make it safe enough for rental.
“There was another renovation in 2009. This was due to the building structure being in a very bad state; it was falling apart and there are cracks in several places. The building has three floors and it poses a lot of risks to the public and tenants. Moreover, the property has sewage problems and the manhole and sewer line have to be unblocked every week. The electricity system and plumbing network are old and can no longer meet established standards”, SPF added.

The SPF also had to patch up the roof to withstand the North West monsoon in 2010 but with heavy rainfall, “the building continued to leak badly and the tenants complained bitterly”. Moreover, the SPF incurred substantial expenses every year to keep the building in a rentable condition. Some rooms even had to be decommissioned for rental in view that they were no longer safe.
In many places, the structure of the building is the same as when it was first built but the walls had been cladded to shelter the corridors from the elements. Extensions have also been gradually made to the building but the sewage lines can no longer cope with the extensive sewage flow due to its age.

INSET 2
How the Pirates Arms came about
The build of the current Pirates Arms was completed in 1971. The Empire Hotel, which had stood on the property since 1938, was demolished in 1969 to make way for the Pirates Arms Hotel.

In 1960 Ken Roberts and his wife chose Seychelles as the country where they wanted to have a holiday home. The two came here and bought land at Belombre, settled down and had their child Gemma Roberts. Originally a financier, Mr Roberts wanted to go into development projects and when the site where the Pirates Arms building is, became vacant, he sought financial backing for a project to build a hotel there. He entered into partnership with Mr. Oswald, bought the site and set about launching the project.
They secured the services of a chartered architect Peter Wells who designed the building and as engineer, they enlisted Roy Garden, who in his own account of the construction, admits to not having much experience. Mr Garden arrived in Seychelles in April 1969 on the SS Karanja from Mombasa in Kenya.

“I was a 24 year old engineer seeking adventure, work and a holiday. I had left my job as a junior site engineer on a railway construction project through the bush in Malawi, my home country,” Garden writes in his documentary of the Pirates Arms project. He said he was looking for a job and had advertised his services when he was “quite unexpectedly contacted by KP Roberts representing Oswald and Roberts who had outlined plans for rebuilding a town hotel at the Pirates Arms site in Victoria”.

According to the late Mr Garden’s account, the initial concept included public and accommodation areas spread over ground plus two floors.
“The upper public areas were intended for functions, administrations and toilets. These two public levels were designed with large floor to ceiling heights, whereas the bedroom block had the total height divided into three: ground level was for linen stores, housekeeping, office and maybe rental offices, with the upper two levels being bedroom units,” he wrote.

Mr Garden further recorded that when the construction was in an advanced stage, a second stage was included which was in the form of another three level wing.
At the time that construction works started, the Barclays Bank was already present in the same location it occupies today with the same small lane way reserve separating it from the Pirates Arms building site. To the southeast of the site, where today the Capital City building stands, there was the sea, with the road to the Long Pier to the north. At that time, whatever land there was in Victoria was mostly reclaimed from the sea and comprised of lumps of coral and soil topping, which meant that the ground structure was full of voids between the old coral lumps with the voids flooding and draining with each tidal movement.

Since 44 years ago, most of the technology which is now taken for granted in construction barely existed and most certainly had not reached the country, such a terrain presented many problems and there was also hardly any experience in multi-storey construction and no construction company was available locally. Seychelles being so far from everywhere, meant that the provision of building materials was erratic as it relied purely on maritime transport in view of the fact that the airport was only then being built.

Getting past these problems took some imagination and careful planning. It also resulted in a lot of pioneering in terms of construction practices in Seychelles. For example, the Pirates Arms building was the first to be constructed here using the pre-cast concrete slabs, which technologically had hitherto been unheard of in these islands. Even then, the traditional method of casting the concrete slabs had to be adapted as the frames used elsewhere were unavailable here.
“This project did not have ownership of or hire facilities for large slab formwork and scaffolding, nor did it have the capability for big concrete pours at elevated levels. Hence the adoption of concrete ‘planks’ about 600mm wide, 150 mm thick, formed and poured on polished concrete base slabs at ground level and later lifted into place at the required level,” wrote Mr Garden.

According to the carefully kept records of Roy Garden, the construction site was also the first local one that had workers wearing the brightly coloured safety helmets to safeguard against accidents caused from falling objects, although as he put it himself: “…and after the novelty had worn off and so were the hats! Other uses became evident – carrying water, storing nails, mixing rice etc...”
The project also provided a great training opportunity for Seychellois construction workers and the site foreman was Seychellois Marcel Sinon. The workforce was trained in areas like pre-casting concrete slabs, which was previously unknown in Seychelles. They learned to operate a manual bar bending machine and bar fixing, as well as operating and maintaining a concrete mixer, all of which were new techniques in local construction at the time.

Cognizant of the threat of sea water contamination, the project developers had to ensure that as much as possible, they used washed sand and took other preventive measures. According to Mr Garden’s records among the biggest difficulties the project encountered, was the roofing.

“The final structural elements were the roofs – a cantilevering canopy extending over the sidewalk at the main entrance and the main roof involving a series of scissor trusses which proved very difficult to waterproof.” Apparently it later proved to be necessary to change the roof completely.

The Pirates Arms took around two years to build under quite difficult circumstances and using the limited technology available at the time. Still the hotel proved to be popular and to this day the Pirates Arms is indelibly a part of Seychelles history.

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The most popular meeting place in Seychelles, Pirates Arms is no more.

Post  Sirop14 on Sat Mar 19, 2016 10:32 pm

The end of an era.
The most popular meeting place in Seychelles, Pirates Arms is no more.
The building which housed a restaurant, bar and casino was pulled down today to make space for a modern building according to the property owner, the Seychelles Pension Fund.
The Pirates Arm complex is more than half a century old.

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Rebuilding the Pirates Arms Complex

Post  Sirop14 on Thu Mar 31, 2016 8:56 am

Seychelles Pension Fund
Rebuilding the Pirates Arms Complex
In response to the article which appeared in ‘Today in Seychelles’ on Monday 28 March 2016 entitled ‘Is the new Pirates Arms building overpriced by SCR143m?’ the Seychelles Pension Fund (SPF) would like to assure its members and the public in general that the article is erroneous and that SPF refutes entirely all the claims and thinly-veiled allegations made in the article.
The SPF would like to point out that at the outset, the article failed to inform readers that the total area of the project is 21,190 m² and comprises of two buildings, and not 13,000 m² The new Pirates Arms will have a main building plus a multistory car park building at the back. The SPF’s internal estimate for the cost of the project is SCR450 million which works out at a rate of SCR21, 236 per m². These are just in-house estimates and no works have yet been contracted out.
The article compared the Pirates Arms project to a 2,500 m² building built five years ago at a cost of SCR53 million which is SCR21,200 per m². The Pirates Arms project will be 8.5 times bigger in size and the rate used today after five years is SCR 21, 236 per m²!
The article is based on miscalculations and errors and does not seem to give any consideration to the many costs associated with such a project of this size. SPF’s internal estimate takes into consideration a whole host of expenses, amongst others:
-demolition and excavation of the foundation;
-architect’s and structural engineer’s fees;
-piling using the latest technique to avoid causing damages to surrounding buildings and infrastructures;
-basement car park in addition to the multi-storey car park at the back;
-MEP costs (mechanical, electrical, plumbing);
-the list goes on….
In addition, experience has shown that projects of this magnitude always come with additional works and are sometimes delayed. SPF has experienced all these in the past and it would be remiss of the SPF not to include them in its internal estimates.
As responsible custodians of your pension fund, SPF has taken the decision to use the best quality material for its projects which in turn will ensure minimum maintenance. We all know the old adage ‘Bon marse i kout ser’ and SPF wants to give its members something that will last and bring the maximum investment returns in the shortest possible time.
Would it have been better to keep the old, fast-deteriorating Pirates Arms building, maintain it at a high cost, get minimum returns and eventually have to pull it down in five years and rebuild at a much higher cost or pull it down, rebuild and recover the costs and get returns flowing quicker?
The SPF always works in the best interests of its members and the sustainability of the SPF is its prime concern. Investments are inextricably linked to sustainability. This is one of SPF’s mandate and we will not be detracted in ensuring that we generate and secure the funds to provide you with the best pension possible when the time comes. We continue to remain committed and loyal to our members. They are our raison d’être!
We hope that the above helps to clarify the negative and misleading article published.
INSET
Editor’s note: The Seychelles Pension Fund is referring to the article submitted by Ahmed Afif in Monday’s newspaper.

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Travay demolisyon lo Pirates Arms Complex

Post  Sirop14 on Mon Apr 04, 2016 11:35 am

Travay demolisyon lo Pirates Arms Complex

04-April-2016
Baraz proteksyon i ganny en vizaz pli atiran


Anviron 50 zenn, manm Seychelles Pension Fund (SPF), manm Konsey Nasyonal pour Lazenes, ek bann artis profesyonnel ti’n ralye lo Laveni Lendepandans Sanmdi bomaten pour penn sa baraz kot Pirates Arms complex.
Sa aktivite ti en linisyativ SPF an kolaborasyon avek Konsey Nasyonal pour Lar (Nac).
SPF marketing manager Darrel Bristol ti dir: «Nou’n ganny nou en bon group dimoun ki’n vini e sa i fantastik, e bi ki nou pe fer sa i akoz sa demolisyon i dan milye lavil e sa baraz pou la pour enpe letan. Dabor nou’n deside pour beautify sa landrwa e donn li enpe personalite ziska ki konstriksyon i fini.»
I ti azoute ki sa i osi en letan ki bann travayer SPF i kapab pase andeor lofis pour fer team building.

http://www.nation.sc/article.html?id=248958

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Redevelopment of the Pirates Arms building

Post  Sirop14 on Fri Apr 15, 2016 3:37 pm

Redevelopment of the Pirates Arms building

15-April-2016
The Seychelles Pension Fund (SPF) in the public interest would like to provide information with regards to the redevelopment of Pirates Arms. The SPF have to-date not awarded any contractsexcept for architectural drawings and demolition.

Cost of R450 million
The SPF appreciates that the internal cost estimate for the project has rendered it a topic of interest to many parties. However, the SPF wishes to assure its members that it is following rigorous procedures for this project, like for all past projects. The estimated costs are only internal estimates and is an indication as to how much funds the SPF needs to set aside for such a project. The Quantity Surveyor (QS) is yet to be appointed and a more accurate estimate will be worked out once this is done. Pirates Arms redevelopment will consist of two different buildings; one being 12,750 metres square on the current site, whilst the second building of 8440 metres square, which will comprise of the multi-storey car park and some offices, that will be situated on an adjoining plot. The Pirates Arms project will be 21,190 metres square in total and both buildings will be ground plus four floors, with a basement car park for the main building. The estimated cost includes all expenses related to the project such as professional fees, demolition, piling, construction, utilities and contingency. It also takes into consideration lessons learnt from previous projects. Actual costs of the various phases can be obtained once the tenders have been awarded.

Plans
The plans for the new Pirates Arms building have been drawn by a Seychellois architect, after a tender process was followed two years ago. In a bid to respect the wishes of its members, the SPF has kept as much as possible the authenticity of the original design of the building. Of course, as expected in a society that is fast moving with the times, more state-of-the-art facilities like energy saving systems, underground parking, lifts, etc have been incorporated to accommodate modern expectations.

Demolition
The second tender process after the architectural drawings, were for the demolition of the old building and the contract was awarded to the most competitive bidder last month. The site is now cleared with no reported damages to neighbouring buildings, vehicles or to individuals and the hoarding is beautifully painted by young people who are SPF’s future members.

Excavation of the foundation
The SPF is yet to award the contract for the excavation of the foundation of the old building. Bids have been received and are actually being reviewed by the Evaluation Committee.

Piling
Invitation to tender for piling of the foundation has not been issued yet.

Construction
To-date no building contractor has been appointed for the construction phase. The SPF has already asked for expression of interests in daily newspapers last month, from suitably experienced and licensed contractors, in order to invite the eligible ones to tender for the construction of the building. As with other construction projects, the SPF will follow a rigorous tender process. Bids will be evaluated by the independent Evaluation Committee of the SPF (which consists of only representatives from the private sector) in line with strict established procurement guidelines. The Board of Trustees is the final authority to approve and award the contract, upon the recommendation of the Evaluation Committee and unsuccessful contractors have the right of appeal.
.
Return on Investment
The SPF is happy to inform its members that the Pirates Arms project is being implemented only after it was assessed as a viable project by the SPF Board’s Investment Committee, which is made up of professionals from the business sector among others. The assessment indicated that the project, once completed, is expected to give a 10% annual rate of return. This figure is in line with our performance in real estate for the past few years, whereby SPF has been receiving an average annual return of 10% on all its existing real estate investments in Victoria.

Integrity
One of the SPF’s core values is integrity. ‘The integrity of the Seychelles Pension Fund is based on reliability, trust, credibility, accuracy, accountability and ethical conduct at all times.’ The SPF can confidently assure its members that the Board of Trustees and the management are committed to ensure that their funds are invested in the most prudent manner and that investments give the maximum returns.
The Seychelles Pension Fund will as and when the situation warrants, provide additional information on the progress of the project, in the public interest. It takes seriously its investment mandate which requires a cautious and well calculated approach to asset development, which are in the best interests of its members. The members’ dignity in their old age or times of need is the SPF’s prime concern.

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Seychelles Nation

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Re: Pirates Arms building to make way for new complex

Post  Sirop14 on Thu Jun 08, 2017 9:11 pm

The Seychelles Pension Fund, owner of the Pirates Arms, says the building, built in 1938 was then called the Empire Hotel and that there have been gradual extensions over the years, until it grew to its current size. Yet, this newspaper has received evidence from the daughter of one of the persons who built the edifice attesting to the fact that the 1938 structure was pulled down in 1969 and a new one was built: the Pirates Arms hotel.

http://seychellesweekly.com/February%2023,%202015/soc2_pirates_arms.html

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