Some of the most highly-anticipated tourism projects of the last decade are expected to either begin or be completed during the next financial year, Leader of Government Business in the Senate and Foreign Minister Senator Jerome Walcott has revealed,
As the Senate took up the 2021-2022 Appropriations Bill on Wednesday, Senator Walcott said the long-awaited redevelopment of the Sam Lord’s Castle hotel in St. Philip, should be finished by year-end.
Speaking on the project being undertaken by the Barbados Tourism Investment Inc. he told the Senate: “It is my understanding that 308 of the 450 rooms at that property have already been completed. A US$170 million [$34 million] loan from a Chinese firm is financing this project, which will be part of the Wyndham Hotels international chain. When it is finished later this year, it will have 1,000 employees and eventually, it will be sold to the private sector.”
Senator Walcott also gave an update on capital projects aimed at renewing the Lower Bay Street and Pierhead areas of Bridgetown, which he said were put on hold in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He noted that work on the controversial Hyatt Ziva project, with its 370 rooms, 26 residences and two towers should begin on Bay Street later this year, but the developers were still seeking planning permission for the over-water villas that form part of it.
He said: “In the Pierhead and Cavans Lane area, where Massy’s Pierhead store is presently located, there is a US$120 million [$240 million] project, also scheduled for later this year, which will see a 250-room hotel, condominiums, as well as retail space, and a similar development is planned for Bridge House, which will be more focused on condominiums and entertainment facilities.”
Across the Careenage, Carlisle House awaits development, according to Senator Walcott.
He told senators that Jamaican investors who had expressed an interest in developing the property had planned to come into the island last month to discuss the project further but had to postpone it owing to the lockdown. He said it was his understanding that they were seeking some more land for the venture.
At Rockley, the Blue Horizon hotel’s expansion project, which is expected to take up part of Rockley Beach is currently awaiting Town and Country Planning department approval.
Regarding environmental projects, the Leader of Government Business said: “The Speightstown Flood Mitigation project should be finished by February 2022, while Phase Three of the similar project at the Constitution River in Bridgetown should end in March next year. Also, the Golden Square Freedom Park honouring Clement Payne and our other National Heroes will be completed in the second quarter of the upcoming fiscal year at the cost of $8 million.” (DH)