Megastore rebuild starts

Thursday February 14, 2019 Written by Published in Local
Initial work has started at Raromart Megastore in Teotue, Tutakimoa. The store was destroyed in a fire last year. 19021308 Initial work has started at Raromart Megastore in Teotue, Tutakimoa. The store was destroyed in a fire last year. 19021308

Work proper will start next month on rebuilding Raromart Megastore that was destroyed in a fire last July.

Owner Don Carlaw said they plan to start the construction by March 18.

A local company has been contracted to deliver the project, which will cost about $1 million.

Carlaw said laying of the foundation and other ancillary work had already started.

“It’s going to be bigger than the last one. It should take only about a month to complete and another two weeks to shift in, so we are looking at the end of April or early May to open it to public,” Carlaw said.

The blaze at Raromart Megastore was one of the biggest fires the Rarotonga Fire Service experienced.

About 20 firefighters were at the scene after receiving a call at 12.20am. They battled the blaze until 3.30am when they were able to bring the fire under control.

While the Megastore was completely destroyed, the firefighters managed to avoid the fire from spreading to nearby buildings.

Carlaw said they have managed to receive insurance money, but it was not enough to cover the replacement cost. “It goes a long way in getting us back in business but it’s a bit short.” 

Carlaw said their immediate challenge was persuading their landlords (the Napa family), who own the building where Raromart is currently located, to give them an extension until the new building was ready.

“We are negotiating with the landlords, who want the building back, and are seeking an extension until the new building is ready to shift in to. Otherwise we will have a lot of disruption mainly with our staff who will be left without any work for at least a month.” 

“We are hopeful that we can reach an agreement soon. It took us a lot of time and effort to shift things to our current shop which was used as a storage site. 

“It will be a huge and costly exercise if we have to shift immediately with no place to go to until the new building is ready.”

About 15 people are employed by Raromart Megastore.

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