Transforming the Wheat Loft Into Commercial Site

The wheat loft and its vicinity might soon be transformed into a commercial site. A project thereof has been presented by a foreign consortium.


A group of companies including businessmen from South Africa, China and the United Arab Emirates expressed their interest in turning the wheat loft near Caudan waterfront into a site buzzing with commercial activities while keeping its historical side intact with the aim of boosting the tourist industry.

Several millions of rupees will be invested to fuel the project which is currently being discussed between the representatives of the consortium and the authorities.

The project will be set up as per the conditions imposed by the Aapravasi Ghat Trust, says the Lord-Mayor, Oumar Kholeegan.

The ancient military hospital near Aapravasi Ghat might also be included in the project. The building could be turned into a museum, as suggested by Xavier-Luc Duval.

1 comment

  • It would be very good to see this iconic building – one of the few, and probably the biggest, built of brick in Mauritius – put to good use. There are some wonderful photographs of its construction in the UK’s National Archives. Maybe it could be named after HCM Austen, the port and railway manager in the 1930s who (1) saved the railways from being closed down in the Thirties, (2) developed Quay D, the first deepwater quay in Port Louis, (3) managed the construction of the grain warehouse (wheat loft); (4) started interest in underwater archaeology in Mauritius; (5) wrote the first and best book on Mauritius’ naval history (Sea Fights and Corsairs of the Indian Ocean); and (6) brought together many of the exhibits that are now in the Mahebourg museum. He was a far-sighted and energetic man, by all accounts, who did a lot during his time in Mauritius and is overdue for some recognition.

    Given its location, it would make a good location for the maritime museum that Archimede Lecordier of CHCL envisaged. It would be a good ‘draw’ for tourists. Certainly, more and better museums are needed if Port Louis is to be transformed from an administrative centre to a leisure/retail/residential city. The port is the single most important piece of infrastructure in Mauritius – 95% of all goods come in through the port, not the airport – and it has been, and will remain, critical to the development of Port Louis and the country, so it really deserves a world-class maritime museum.

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