Stuart’s blessing

PM gives greenlight to Hyatt

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart all but revealed today he would give the controversial 15-storey Hyatt Centric Resort on Lower Bay Street his blessing, with construction expected to begin sometime during the first half of this year.

“I should like to say here today that in my capacity as Minister responsible for Town Planning matters, within the next seven days I expect to be in a position to give planning permission for the downtown Hyatt project, by which time all of the outstanding preconditions would have been satisfied,” Stuart this afternoon told the first Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry luncheon for 2017 at the Hilton Barbados Resort.

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart reviewing the latest copy of Business Barbados, as private sector representatives Lisa Gale (left) and Anne Reid (centre) look on.

The project has been mired in controversy since an agreement was signed in late July by developers Mark Maloney and James Edgehill and Hyatt’s Senior Vice President and Head of Corporate Development and Construction Pat McCudden.

Back then the various parties had promised that construction of the US$100 million property would begin within two months.

However, social activist David Comissiong had objected on environmental grounds, and he was joined by the National Trust, which contended the project was likely to cost Barbados its UNESCO World Heritage designation.

Just last week Comissiong reiterated his call for a comprehensive environmental impact assessment to include wide public participation, telling Barbados TODAY he would proceed with plans for legal action if no such study was held.

However, though not stating if an environmental impact assessment had been done, or if there would be town hall meetings, Stuart assured the private sector that “this permission will be subject to all the necessary conditions” to protect the interests of the wider Barbadian community.

“I fully expect, therefore, that this project will commence sometime in the first half of 2017,” he said.

Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy first announced in October 2014 while moving the second reading of the Tourism Development (Amendment) Bill 2014 that work would begin on the two 12-storey high rise Hyatt towers on the site of the old Harbour Police Station and Detco Motors during the first quarter of 2015.

Supporters of the project, including Maloney, have long contended that it would bring more life to Bridgetown and the surrounding areas and would become a “springboard” for more projects of its kind.

“The Hyatt Centric Resort . . . is going to be a platform for a lot of other developments in the hotel sector and for Carlisle Bay, which is one of the most beautiful beaches in Barbados and will be the springboard for many more projects on the beach,” Maloney said soon after signing the agreement last July.

Stuart today said it was but one of the many tourism development schemes that have been in the pipeline that are expected to rake in just over US$1 billion and add to the island’s hotel room inventory.

Stuart said the Hyatt, along with other planned tourism related investments, would add another 2,300 rooms to the hotel stock while providing a further 14,000 direct and indirect jobs.

An upbeat Stuart said some of the other developments included The Sands, which has a completion date of May; the second phase of the Sandals Casuarina, expected to be completed at the end of November this year and the Wyndham Sam Lord’s Castle which was “on track for construction commencement in March 2017”.

The Prime Minister added that work on the Pierhead Marina was expected to commence either later this year or early next year and Sandals Beaches would likely begin later this year, while the Sugar Point project was “still being looked at and a decision is pending”.

He also pointed to other developments, including the $30 million One Republic Place in Warrens, St Michael, as well as the Ridge Middle Income Housing Development for 750 houses, stating that those projects would “bring much needed foreign and domestic investment into Barbados”.

“These along with Government’s public sector capital works programme for projects in water and sanitation upgrade, nursery schools expansion through the Maria Holder Memorial Trust, the resurfacing and upgrade of the Grantley Adams International Airport runway and the CAF [Spanish acronym for the Development Bank of Latin America] and IDB [Inter-American Development Bank] road upgrade projects, should add a definite and strong injection of foreign project financing into the local economy,” Stuart added.

10 Responses to Stuart’s blessing

  1. The Negrocrat January 26, 2017 at 7:55 am

    The Bajan Donald Trump.

  2. Peter January 26, 2017 at 8:11 am

    AT LAST! Thank you Fruendel. I understand the Radisson Hotel formerly Holiday Inn then Grand Barbados, is to be gutted to make way for a spanking new 40 story hotel to match the one in Port of Spain. No obstruction to the environment because a high rise hotel would have been on that very same spot. Yes I can see it. Knock down the old, tired Treasury Building, replkace it with an ultra modern building to house the New Barbados Financial Center. That building will also house the Barbados Stock Exchange, BRA, a couple commercial banks and some off shore entities. All to stimulate business activity in Bridgetown. Talk about life back in town.

    • Gearbox1964 January 26, 2017 at 9:08 am

      Why the need to go so high in the air?? Nonsense…we don’t need to look like Trinidad in any shape, form, or fashion. The Holiday Inn\Grand Barbados was not even 10 stories, so I don’t know what nonsense you talking about “high rise” Peter. The Hyatt should be limited to less than 10 stories as well…and I would much rather they put it in St. Lucy.

    • Richard Johnston January 26, 2017 at 6:49 pm

      Utter fantasy.

  3. Ann Thomas January 26, 2017 at 12:05 pm

    Gearbox 1964, agree with you completely.

    By the time this lot finishes with Carlisle Bay and all the proposed development, there will be no windows to the sea, for us Bajans who have more right to enjoy Barbados than the almighty tourist that this lot is bowing and scraping to.

    The model of beachfront hotel development is changing. We should be building on the landside and leaving the beaches free of any concrete encumbrances. There is more than one tourist destination that already pursue such a policy. Given the much touted sea level rise and beach erosion by none other than the Minister of Environment, one would have thought that his Cabinet colleagues would have factored that into the decision making.

    I would like to know specifically:

    (a) Where is the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)?
    (b) When and where will the EIA be made publicly available?
    (c) When will the required public consultations be held?
    (d) Have the questions raised by the technical people, as reported by the Sunday Sun last year, been answered satisfactorily?

    This Government continues to demonstrate that it cares little for the people of this country – selling BNTCL to SOL so that they now become a retailer and wholesaler and now Hyatt. It is shameful that money continues to be thrown at people who do not need it, while those that do need are being taxed and robbed mercilessly.
    And the DLP claims to be the party of the “poor black man”. Weill this generation of DLP politicians has killed him and are now dancing on his grave!

  4. Donild Trimp January 26, 2017 at 12:11 pm

    Finally a common sense decision.

    Hope there are more developments coming to Lower Broad Street.

    All those eye-sore dilapidated houses and buildings needs bulldozing and transported to the garbage dump.

    Next in line, restoration work on the old Empire theater building.

  5. Peter January 26, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    Gearbox 1964 and Ann Thomas, There ae r three kinds of people. Those that MAKE things happen, those that WATCH things happen, and those that WONDER what happen. I can clearly see what category you all fall into. Proverbs tells us that where there is no vision, a nation perish. Look at the developed cities around the world, NYC, Miami. Atlanta Chicago, Washington, London, Birmingham, Manchester, Paris, Sydney, Singapore, ALL All have high rise developed areas. It’s a Trinidadian Hotel owner that is planning this. Don’t worry Trinidad and Guyana will end up owning and running this two by four country whether you like it or not. You may be dead and gone. So be it written, so shall it be done. Listen to your radio Hear how much Bajans are sounding like Trinis. Look Rihanna never once went to Jamaica and she sang Work just like a Jamaican. Even the VOB announcers sound like Canadians after just a one week visit. The Bajan Beach vendors sound like North Americans and Brits AND THEY NEVER LEFT THE COUNTRY.

  6. Gearbox1964 January 26, 2017 at 2:21 pm

    Peter, you have a lot of fancy quotes and clichés in you mout, but I have enough vision and understanding to know that people who leave big cities and come to tiny islands like Barbados on vacation don’t want to see more tall buildings. They come for natural island beauty and the cultural experience. Too many tall buildings will destroy the island character that attracts people to Barbados in the first place.

  7. Kevin January 26, 2017 at 3:55 pm

    Good, get rid of those old dilapidated buildings too that line the area!

  8. Peter January 26, 2017 at 10:04 pm

    Gearbox 1964. You want nature, go to Guyana, Dominica, Costa Rica Indonesia, and even Brazil All of whom have tall modern structures except Dominica, who relies on donations every time it rains heavily. Guyana is now developing beach front hotels in zspecial waterways. That’s right Even returning nationals criticize Barbados’ slow movement. Richard, It is visions, fantasies and dreams that makes the progressive countries what they are. Not narcotics that makes you hallucinate. Bottom line here is…. Get real.


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