Barbadians will find jobs in another two weeks as construction gets going on the US$175 million Hyatt Ziva Hotel Resort on Bay Street, The City.
The announcement was made this afternoon by Prime Minister Mia Mottley who along with Minister of Tourism Kerrie Symmonds and Attorney General Dale Marshall were led on a tour of the site by the developers where demolition of old buildings is making way for the commercial centre’s first major hotel.
Prime Minister Mottley said after demolition of the former MG Tucker property and the adjoining Liquidation Centre is complete, the enabling works and foundation will begin.
“I am told the buildings are two weeks of demolition and then we move to the stage of what they call enabling works and foundation and that should last for another eight weeks and should have about 150 people on site during that eight-week period. And then I am told we start to bring the buildings out which should be another 500 jobs,” she told reporters.
She disclosed that that latter process should last for about six months after which construction will begin to ramp up resulting in the creation of some 2,000 jobs in a year.
Developer Mark Maloney said the Town Planning requirements for the building of the resort are very stringent and include the establishment of the Urban Transformation Fund for the people of Bridgetown with an initial seed investment of $2 million.
“We have to invest money into a fund. It is $5 million in all. And then during construction and operation the additional $3 million. Along this alley we have to put vending stalls; of course there will be a nicer name for it because we want to enhance the ability for our local vendors to be able to operate out of those stations,” Maloney said.
He also disclosed that the public of Barbados will be afforded the opportunity to invest in the hotel project.
“Twenty per cent of the project will be open for investment from the public and we are working through the details of that now. A portion of that will be open during the process right now so that people can come in earlier for less; and when the project is finished and the risk side is out of it and the construction is up then they will come in for more at that stage. The mechanics and details are being worked out right now,” Maloney added.
He sought to dispel any notion that the Hyatt project was “just a show”.
He said he and his business partner are committed to the venture so much so that they have already invested some $20 million of their own money to ensure the hotel becomes a reality.
“We are committed now more so than ever. The whole world has been through and will go through very difficult periods and adversity, but we believe there are more opportunities for us…We are excited now so more than ever because there are not many projects like this that are in the Caribbean that are ready to go,” he contended.
“Projects that are further back in the pipeline are going to be a little more difficult because people are putting their resources to stabilizing their businesses. This will be ready at the perfect time. Two years from now we are going to have an amazing project for Barbados,” the developer told reporters.
Maloney disclosed that the Hyatt will have all of the technologies that are available to treating to COVID-type situations.
He said that earlier this week he and his partner were meeting with their mechanical and electrical team and to discuss the touch list systems.
“We are excited because we are going to be the innovative ones that will be coming out of the box right away and being able to adapt to the changes. It is phenomenal. We are pushing full steam ahead,” Maloney stated.
He also assured Barbadians that the heritage of the area will be preserved and interwoven into the design including the old Harbour Police Station wall and aspects of the Liquidation Centre.
Maloney also dismissed any suggestion that Barbadians will be barred from parts of the beach. In fact, he stressed that the beach area next to the hotel would be increased for the pleasure all Barbadians.
Prime Minister Mottley also made it clear that the “beach belong to we,” and there will be no private beaches in Barbados.