Despite efforts to get official word on the current status of the multi-million dollar Morgan’s Point development project at Caroline Bay, the Government remains silent after work at the former US Naval Annex in Southampton was shut down.
Bermuda Real was contacted by a number of sub-contractors left out of pocket for work completed at the site, which they have yet to be paid for.
Workers at the site were given notice that work at the site will wind up at the end of May. Sources also confirmed that most of the employees contracted to work here on work permits have left the island.
That was three weeks ago.
A formal request for an official comment by the Premier, David Burt, the Minister of Tourism Zane DeSilva, or the Minister for the Cabinet Office, Walton Brown, over a week ago.
The Department of Communications representative sent word on Friday that a formal response would be forthcoming last Friday. To date there has been no official response, with no word on when an official comment would be forthcoming.
The first phase of the development at Caroline Bay, led by DCK Worldwide includes a Ritz-Carlton Reserve brand facility with 35 high-end residential units and a 79-room boutique hotel.
According to the company’s website: “This $160 million hospitality construction project is the first phase of the total $300 million project, which DCK Worldwide will build over a five-year period. We are excited to be working on the Ritz-Carlton Caroline Bay project.”
The global commercial construction company has built on various sites in 125 countries around the world for more than 90 years with regional offices in Hawaii, Arizona, Florida, the Philippines and several other regions.
The company website also states: “Our ability to offer a total building solutions package – from development to financing, pre-construction services and construction to management – removes risk and uncertainty for our clients, and results in a smooth, successful build every time.
“As an indispensable partner, our team works with clients to develop extraordinary structures.”
Construction on the hotel phase of the project was stopped in March 2018 that saw 150 construction workers affected, while work on the residential units continued.
A spokesman for George’s Bay Ltd, of Morgan’s Point Ltd, said: “First-phase construction activity at Caroline Bay has been reduced … due to construction costs outpacing the existing financing of the project.”
The project also carries a $165 million loan guarantee by the Government.
George’s Bay Ltd board members Craig Christensen and Nelson Hunt also resigned in March 2018 and were replaced by Andy Burrows, then chief investment officer of the Bermuda Tourism Authority, and Nancy Duperreault, wife of board chairman Brian Duperreault.
Premier David Burt, who was also the Minister of Finance at the time, said Mr Burrows’ appointment would “ensure the Government’s interests are safeguarded during this critical phase”.
You will also recall that this project was moved from Southlands to Caroline Bay at the former US Naval Annex in Southampton, where work has been halted with no word on what’s to become of the new development.
As it stands now, the 79-room hotel with 35 upscale residences by the marina near completion, with no word yet from the Government on what’s to become of the unfinished multi-million dollar development.
The vision for Caroline Bay was to make it a first class resort for future generations of Bermudians to have career in hospitality.
What’s to become of that vision – remains to be seen.
When the last tier of funding did not come through work at the site came to a standstill for several months.
What will happen this time around – time will tell.