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SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Nov. 7) - Carpenters Fiji Limited's new FJ$45 million [US$29 million] complex in central Suva will be completed before Christmas, managing director Daniel Whippy says.

He said the first and second floors of the new complex would start trading in the first week of December.

He said the delay in the opening of the new complex was caused by bad weather.

Mr. Whippy earlier said the first floor of the new complex would be ready by Diwali. The revised plan will see levels three and four completed before Christmas. A three-storey complex will provide the base for the second stage to develop what is planned to be the tallest building in the country.

Carpenters employs 5,500 people in Papua New Guinea, 1,800 in Fiji and 150 in Samoa. He said the complex would be a full department store mall, with a supermarket on the ground floor as well as a food court, bakery, liquor store, pharmacy, butcher and specialty shops like clothing, banking and jewelry stores.

Level Two would have a departmental store and its Homemaker division, he said.

The department store will continue onto Level Three, where there will be a high-end food court and a car park.

The group ventured into project on site of its original building that was destroyed by fire. The company spent FJ$1.6 million [US$1 million] on land for the FJ$200 million [US$131 million] project.

The company's 10-acre Suva foreshore property development will include the construction of hotels, condominiums and an entertainment centre.

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