Bay Street businesses warmly welcome Hyatt
Social activist David Comissiong’s protest against the construction of a multi-million dollar Hyatt hotel on Bay Street, The City isn’t getting support from some business people in the area.
While Comissiong is warning that Barbadians will be deprived of access to the popular Browne’s Beach once the building goes up, the operators of businesses close to the site beg to differ.
The 237-room Hyatt Centric Carlisle Bay will be situated on almost three acres of waterfront, next to Liquidation Centre and opposite Bethel Methodist Church.
“I think the Hyatt hotel will be very good for the island. It will bring some needed jobs, foreign exchange . . . all in all, it will utilize the beach. I don’t think it will take away from the beach at all,” Manager of the Boatyard Sean Gill told Barbados TODAY.
“It will bring more people around and help our business and help businesses around . . . . It would be good for the island,” added Gill, whose bar and entertainment centre are next to the proposed site.
Another business owner, who preferred not to be named, agreed the resort would be good for the area.
The proprietor told Barbados TODAY that an international brand like Hyatt would enhance the physical surroundings and aesthetics of Bay Street, where there are unsightly, old buildings and others in need of a facelift. He said even the building he was renting would be forced to upgrade its looks.
“There are negatives and positives to everything we do. Whatever negatives there may be, would be outweighed by the positives,” he pointed out.
Water sports operators who ply their trade at Carlisle Bay also weighed in on the possible impact of the facility on their businesses, and on Barbadians generally.
One of them, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said once black people could use the hotel facilities and citizens were not restricted from accessing the beach, he had no problem with the hotel.
Chairman of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) Roseanne Myers said the Hyatt property would add to the island’s business sector marketability.
Hyatt Centric Carlisle Bay is expected to open in 2019 and will mark the first Hyatt-branded hotel on the island. The project will be led by international firm SB Architects and the hotel’s interiors will be designed by DAS Concepts.
The hotel will feature 32 Hyatt Centric-branded residential condominium units and several world-class dining options such as a signature restaurant, pool bar and grill, and a market style café, Hyatt said in a news release on July 27 announcing its management agreement with developer Mark Maloney-led Vision Developments Inc for the construction of the property.
“Vision Developments is excited to partner with Hyatt to bring the Hyatt Centric brand to Carlisle Bay. We believe this project will serve as a catalyst for the development of many more hotel and real estate projects in the area, continuing Carlisle Bay’s transformation into a world-class resort destination,” Maloney said following the signing of the agreement.
Comissiong has written to Chief Town Planner Mark Cummins demanding that the application for Town and Country Planning permission to construct the proposed 15 story property be subjected to “a most rigorous and comprehensive” environmental impact and assessment procedure, including a social impact assessment study.
In an August 4, 2016 letter to Cummins, Comissiong also requested that the people of the neighbouring communities be consulted in town hall meetings and through relevant sociological surveys and assessments before permission is granted for the controversial project.