The previously seen renderings of the revamping of the iconic Castries Market have now become a reality in Saint Lucia’s capital city. The Market Redevelopment Project which commenced in May 2019 have just seen a partial completion of Phase 1 and it has already added an aesthetic appeal to the facility.
Ranked the number three “Best Food Market” in a listing of the “Top Ten Food Markets in the World” by The National Geographic Magazine and known as one of Saint Lucia’s must-do experiences, the Castries Market and Vendor’s Arcade is the largest open-air market in the country. Located in the center of the capital, the facility is home to over 300 vendors and 100 or more local sellers on market days.
Constructed in 1891 by building engineers Bruce & Still Ltd., of Liverpool, the century old building called for a much needed upgrade. The new facility is outfitted with 100 stalls that will accommodate all organic produce vendors. In addition, the existing comfort station was spruced-up and refurbished to contribute to the overall ambience.
Speaking on the Castries Market Redevelopment Project, Saint Lucia’s Tourism Minister – Honourable Dominic Fedee said; “Not only will this create a nexus between authentic Saint Lucian products and the export market, but visitors to our shores would be able to be a part of this experience. The Castries Market bears so much rich history and will become an even greater staple in the city’s center, once complete.”
During the next component of Phase 1, the project will see the construction of a Container Box Park creating an avenue for micro enterprising cosmetic shops, cafés, pubs and eateries. Thereafter, the remaining component of Phase 1 will include modifications to the entrance of the market adjacent to the Castries harbour, construction of a state of the art food court, high-end air conditioned restaurants, a refurbished craft market, entertainment area and meat and fish depots.
Castries Mayor – His Worship, Peterson Francis said; “This reopening will provide many opportunities for growth among traders and an opportunity for vendors to make it truly their own. It is also more than a market, it is a tourism product and a one stop center for business needs. In addition, the project will assist in ensuring that the products sold are authentically Saint Lucian. ”
Phase 2 of the project will entail the construction of a viewing tower and duty free shopping boutiques.
With November 2021 as the estimated project completion date, it is also projected that the EC$32 Million redeveloped Castries Market will be able to withstand a category 5 hurricane. In addition, when complete the Iconic Castries Market would further enhance the aesthetic appeal for visitors, citizens and vendors as well as increase overall functionality.