It has taken three years to get to this stage but work on the much anticipated US$100 million Hyatt Centric Resort is finally set to get under way within the next two months.
The agreement to begin the project was signed earlier Tuesday at the Regus headquarters in Welches St Thomas by developers Mark Maloney and James Edgehill and Hyatt’s Senior Vice President and Head of Corporate Development and Construction Pat McCudden, in the presence of Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy, Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler and representatives from the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) and the Barbados Tourism Inc.
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.
Following the signing of the paperwork today, Maloney said the project was a long time in coming.
“It’s a historic occasion for us. It is about three years since we were hoping to get to this stage. So we would like to thank the relevant agencies that would have given us tremendous support in making this possible,” Maloney said.
Maloney said the Hyatt Centric Resort brand 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 lifestyle brand which will have 332 keys, 30 condominiums, lots of other amenities, restaurants and beach and conference facilities. We are really looking forward to it and we think it 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.
“We are tremendously proud to be associated with Hyatt, which is a world renowned brand and their faith in us and the country and to invest their resources and this is going to be tremendous. We believe this was one of the best-suited brands for what we were trying to achieve in a historic part of Barbados,” he added.
The multimillion-dollar hotel is expected to create over 300 jobs for locals during the construction phase, with opportunities given to local architects, engineers and designers, the local developer said.
“A lot of the arts and crafts and design that goes into the interior design side of it is going to be inspired locally from a cultural side of it. The exterior will be blended with historic Garrison and Bridgetown,” Maloney revealed.
Meanwhile, Sealy said the introduction of international hotel brands here was a sign of things to come.
The minister also pointed to work being done on other hotels to support his contention that the sector was growing.
“Right now, the tourism industry is in a good place. We see investment coming from international brands, but at the same time we see Sandy Beach coming back; Sea Breeze Hotel, major work planned there – they are also investing and taking advantage of what the Government is trying to create [which is] creating a tourism sector that functions as an export sector . . . . This signing today is yet an example of what is happening sector-wise and this augurs well for Barbados, as our economy is highly dependent on tourism,” Sealy said.