Tue | Jul 17, 2018

Inconvenience and opportunity for Hi-Lo Barbican amid road upgrade

Published:Friday | October 6, 2017 | 12:00 AMAvia Collinder
A man exits the Hi-Lo complex through a walk-way created for customers as road work in Barbican, St Andrew continued on Wednesday, October 4, 2017. The front section of the supermarket's complex was incorporated into the road work, forcing a reconfiguration of its parking space and entry points.

Ongoing roadworks for a new traffic system in Barbican is causing some discomfort for clients of the Hi-Lo Food Stores supermarket, a store for which a multimillion-dollar overhaul was not long completed.

But the head of the chain, Managing Director Renee Nathan, says once the government project is completed, the property will be even more attractive with additional parking and more accessible entry points than before.

The US$4.4-million Barbican Road Improvement Project started in August and is expected to end before Christmas.

The four-month project is expected to involve major improvements along the stretch between the intersections at Jacks Hill Road and the roadway leading to Russell Heights, as well as East Kings House Road to the Barbican Centre complex, which will be widened to a four-lane carriageway.

Already, Hi-Lo supermarket has relocated the entry point for vehicles and opened up a gateway for walk-in customers, necessitated by the land reclamation by the State to widen the roadway at Barbican Square.

Years ago, autos traded by Fidelity Motors were sometimes displayed at the Hi-Lo complex in the spot now being used for parking, but that ended after GraceKennedy sold its minority interest in the dealership to majority partner Goddard Enterprises back in 2009.

Hi-Lo is a tenant of the Loshusans, who have been owners of the property sometime around 2010, but Nathan said the chain is seizing the opportunity to expand parking space at its own expense. She did not disclose the cost nor the additional parking spots to be created, but said the complex would have 100 slots overall at project completion.

"The dislocation has impacted the availability of parking for our customers, but plans are in place to address this in short order," Nathan said on Wednesday.

The land was leased from the Loshusans and the total area will be close to the original size, she said.

Hi-Lo and other commercial operators in the area expect the new system to ease traffic flow for persons doing business in Barbican.

At the Hi-Lo complex, the wall and entryway at the front of the supermarket has been moved back closer to the building as a result of the road project.

"The new front entrance is now close to the intersection of Barbican Road and Birdsucker Lane, however, customers will have to use the existing entryway to access the new one until the roadworks are completed. The back entrance to the location, on East Kings House Road, remains unchanged. Customers will continue to be able to use both entrances going forward," Nathan said.

Hi-Lo has traded groceries in Barbican since 2000.

avia.collinder@gleanerjm.com