Home Centre’s new Super Store is expected to open this spring on West Atlantic Drive and is being built to withstand up to category 5 hurricane strength winds.
H & F Babak Construction Company are the building contractors of this $6 million investment. Hannes Babak, owner of the construction company and major shareholder of Freeport Concrete Company, the parent company of The Home Centre, is no stranger to Grand Bahama. The Babak family first visited Grand Bahama over thirty years ago with Hannes residing here for the past 12 years. Babak built the high-end Ocean View Condominium located on Lucaya Beach, as well as, the prestigious First Commercial Centre building, located On-the-Mall. His grandfather was in the construction business in Austria since the 1920’s and he now continues his family’s legacy.
“I wish to thank the Board and Directors of Freeport Concrete Company who shares the vision for creating a Super Store here in Freeport”, says Babak. The dynamic team is headed by Babak who is the Chairman of the Board. He is joined by – Ray Simpson, the Chief Executive Officer, Darvin Russell the Chief Financial Officer and Directors – Jerome Fitzgerald, Peter Andrews, Fred Munnings and Felix Stubbs.
This team of respected and accomplished businessmen have diverse careers ranging from – banking, finance, law, human resources, wholesale, technology and more, ranks high in the Bahamian business sector.On the 28th September, 2005 following a Board meeting on Grand Bahama Island, the Board members and Directors took time out for a site meeting. “We are extremely pleased with the progress being made”, says Peter Andrews. “The construction method not only surpasses building code standards, but is amazingly cost efficient by using the concrete panel forms.”
Chief Executive Officer, Ray Simpson states “this 80,000 square foot store is going to be a landmark building on Grand Bahama Island. It will house a large selection of building materials, plumbing fixtures and supplies, paint, electrical items, a whole range of appliances and much, much more! The façade of the building entrance with a big radius roof, will feature hurricane proof aluminum sheeting creating a wave-like effect. For the convenience of our customers, there will be over 100 parking spaces and beautiful landscaping as an enhancer.”
“But beauty meets strength”, adds Wolfgang Geiger, an Architect and the Project Manager at H & F Babak Construction Company. He explains, “Not only will this be an extremely attractive store where customers will be comfortable and enjoy their shopping experience, but the building with pre-cast and pre-stressed concrete forms and steel cabling, will be the strongest building on the Island able to withstand over 150 mph winds.”
Once construction is completed, this process will be available to local contractors for the building of homes and commercial properties. The stressing equipment is used in accordance to the recommendation of Structural Engineers who use specialized computer programs to calculate specifications in order to determine the correct pre-stressed force to be added to the concrete slab. Outside insulation is also a new feature which will ensure efficient air conditioning use. This monolithic construction method which is being used in the United States, Europe, Caribbean and Mexico, now adds a whole new dimension to building construction here in The Bahamas!