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 contracts except for architectural drawings and demolition.
Cost of SCR450 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.
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.
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.
Invitation to tender for piling of the foundation has not been issued yet.
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 amongst 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.
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 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.