Developer expects opening Haappy City towards the end of 2014 – French hyper market project creates 700 jobs

POSTED: 03/4/13 12:47 PM

MARIGOT, St. Martin – Retailers in Marigot and with them businesses on the Dutch side will get serious competition from a project that will be constructed in La Savanne on the French side – near the fire station along the Route Nationale 7. This Haappy City project is scheduled to open by the end of next year. In the latest issue of L’Echomag developer Jean-Marie Meyer says that the project will created 400 direct and 300 indirect jobs.
The magazine reports that the Collectivité d’Outre Mer de Saint Martin consulted the Chamber of Commerce last year about the project. The Chamber expressed its reservations: the center could deal a fatal blow to commercial activities in Marigot where already plenty of commercial space is empty.

Meyers says in the article that the investors deliberately opted for a location on the French side of the island. “Creating such a center on the Dutch side would have a devastating effect on the French side and lead to an economic imbalance with all the social effects it represents.”
Haappy City will, according to promoter Meyer consist of a hyper market from the French chain Hyper U, an “intelligent” mall, a recreation area and several restaurants.
Haappy City will become “the essential commercial center of the island,” Meyer predicts.
Hyper U, the projected hyper market, is part of the French Système U group with 1,400 outlets in France and the overseas territories. During the past twelve years the group has strengthened its presence in the Caribbean.
L’Echomag reports that Système U has already 18 super and hyper markets in the region – from Martinique and Guadeloupe to Guyana and St. Barths.

Meyers says that the company has an ultra-modern logistic system and that it is capable of delivering a unique choice of products all year round.
Meyers adds that the four product lines Hyper U offers are a huge asset.”They will increase the purchasing power of the people in Saint Martin with attractive products and prices that offer something for all budgets.”
Meyers says that he has developed many other commercial projects in the past and that he is aware of all the pitfalls. His plan is to maximize the success of the companies he has chosen to surround the hyper market. The concept of the project ensures that visitors to the hyper market pass by all other businesses as well.

Meyers stresses in the article that he does not want to create something that already exists on the island. All boutiques in the project will be complementary and not competing with each other. They will offer American as well as European products in the average and above average segment like personal apparel, household items, beauty and health products, sport and recreation equipment and decoration. Services will also be part of the concept.
The developer envisions a center that is more than a place to go shopping. It will become a center of life, he says. Therefore the complex will at the entrance have a dozen restaurants and a recreation area thoughtfully dubbed Haappyland where parents are able to leave their children behind while they go through the shopping experience.
Meyer does not see the proximity of the industrial and craft center in Hope Estate as a problem. On the contrary, he foresees that the two projects will complement each other and thereby create “an attractive and powerful economic zone that is modern and sustainable. It should trigger the desire with other investors to establish themselves on the French side.”

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