Works commenced yesterday, July 16, 2012.
Photo Credit: Clifton Skelton/BVI Platinum News
Works have commenced at the Crafts Alive Village as part of Government's revitalization efforts in the area, ahead of the next tourist season.
The project will also bring an end to the long-standing issue with the area referred to as 'tent city', where vendors occupy the empty lot of land adjacent to the Road Town cruise ship dock. These vendors will now also occupy the village, along with the current vendors.
The village is closed temporarily from July 16 to October 15 to facilitate the renovations being done on site, including the expansion of existing buildings and construction of new buildings.
It is Government's intention to turn the village into a central vending market.
The project includes five new additional buildings and 39 more vending spaces. Currently, Crafts Alive has 14 buildings, 23 vendor spaces and restroom facilities.
Avaline Potter of A R Potter & Associates Ltd, the Architect on the project has stated that when Crafts Alive is developed, it will be well polished and not the kind of untidiness that currently exists.
Potter, during a public meeting with vendors in April, said they are proposing 5 new buildings, 39 new vendor spaces, additional restrooms, amphitheatre with stage, exhibition area for traditional BVI fishing paraphernalia and noted that existing buildings will receive additional space.
In relation to the site design focus, they will provide a pleasant pedestrian shopping environment; make provisions for transitory and gathering spaces in order to facilitate reasonable crowd control; and provide an outdoor amphitheatre to facilitate band performances and other cultural presentations.
Vendors were told that there will be architectural aesthetic to reflect BVI traditional architecture; wood siding; high roofs to help with keeping spaces cooler; many openings for doors and windows to help with cross-ventilation of the spaces; all windows will be carried down to the floor level to improve ventilation as well as encourage more natural light; and vendor spaces furnished with basic slatwall display wall panels for functionality.
They were also told that some of the main objectives of the development are for improved vendor/tourist encounter, improved aesthetics of the area, providing prominent pedestrian access to Main Street and better integrate craft market with Waterfront Drive.
Government is hoping to have all the vendors occupy Crafts Alive by November.