The mega project for the construction of two shopping plazas with two multiplexes at the sites of old Odeon and Plaza cinemas is likely to be kicked off shortly and the executing body, Rawalpindi Cantonment Board (RCB), has finalised all arrangements in this regard.
Credible sources said that the total cost of the mega project is around Rs1.5 billion. The project would be implemented at the sites of old Odeon and Plaza cinemas, as both are not screening films for quite some time.
Initially, the RCB had decided to convert the Odeon cinema into a shopping plaza with a multiplex. The scheme was prepared some two years back, however, it could not be initiated due to resistance from the owner of the cinema.
According to the old plan, the work on project was to be kicked off in March this year. However, during this period, the owner of the Plaza Cinema closed down his business after suffering losses. The owner was to auction his property to a private party, but sources said, he has changed his plan and negotiations are underway with the RCB high-ups for selling his property.
Sources said that the outcome of the negotiations and meetings are proving fruitful. In view of this situation, a shopping plaza with a multiplex will also be constructed at the site of the old Plaza Cinema.
The RCB spokesman, while confirming the report, said that two shopping plazas and two multiplexes would be constructed at the sites of the old Odeon and Plaza cinemas. These projects are in final stages. While implementing the project, the RCB would also beautify and develop the entire area starting from Plaza Cinema to the RCB Office. Parking lots would be built and work would also be carried out to make the shopping plazas and multiplexes visible from Mall Road. Besides shops, space would also be rented out for offices in these plazas.Similarly, work on the construction of a shopping plaza at the site of the old REX Cinema would also commence shortly for which Rs50 million have been earmarked in the current annual budget under the Annual Development Plan (ADP). The project would kick off after security clearance, the spokesman said.