Sri Lanka’s listed Colombo Land and Development Company (CLDC) is strongly contending to clinch the Kollupitiya market development project earmarked by the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC), officials said.
However Colombo Mayor A.J.M. Muzammil told the Business Times that the CMC will call for expressions of interest and the prospective developer will be selected through a transparent tender procedure.
CLDC, whose chairperson Nalaka Godahewa is also chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), owns the Liberty Plaza shopping mall just across the road from the Kollupitiya market. The mall is undergoing a major refurbishment.
CLDC has already submitted a project plan to clinch the deal but the CMC has not taken any decision on the selection of a developer to carry out this work, Mr. Muzammil said.
He revealed that Dilith Jayaweera, a director of CLDC who is also a powerfully-connected businessman, met him and discussed the project after handing over CDLC’s project plan. Mr. Muzzamil said that he told him that he will forward the plan to relevant engineers and other officials to ascertain its viability, but the selection of a developer for the Kollupitiya market development project would be through transparent bidding. He disclosed that the development plan is yet to be finalised and CMC is the sole authority in implementing the plan and not the Urban Development Authority.
The three storied supermarket building was built in 1970’s and now needs to be re-developed to meet modern needs of Colombo consumers, he said. Despite its design limitations however the market is still among the best places in the city to buy fresh produce.
But with modern supermarkets taking over Colombo the old market is less crowded, several consumers told Business Times.
They noted that the quality of the produce is generally high, the market is popular with Colombo-based Chinese and Koreans and the prices are quite reasonable.