Heads Up

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

No New News ...

...except perhaps this from The Advocate more than a year ago:

Major development on the cards
Web Posted - Mon Jun 04 2007
By Shawn Cumberbatch

CORPORATE giant CLICO is about to start a more than $212 million transformation of Barbados south-east corridor with the full backing of Government.

Prime Minister Owen Arthur also made it clear that no amount of political provocation would make his near 13-year-old administration engage in whimsical and other vicious relations with the company headed by Leroy Parris. The CLICO Group has interests in insurance, construction, is a major land owner in St. John and is now venturing into the tourism and hospitality sector in a big way.

Arthur announced that by September a massive $200 million restoration of Sam Lords Castle, St. Philip including a 250-room five star hotel and conference facility, plus 200 condominiums would be started by the entity.

Next door in St. John would be the $12 million Villa Nova hotel, with plans awaiting approval for the construction of a 45-unit community there, he added.

Thats not all for that rural parish, however. CLICO has also proposed a golf development along with recreational facilities and condominiums on 300 acres of Government land at Bath, to serve both Barbadians and those who will be holidaying at Villa Nova and Sam Lords.

Addressing management and staff of the Trinidad-owned company during its group awards gala 2005 and 2006 at Sherbourne Conference Centre on Saturday night, the Prime Minister said the region comprising St. John, St. Joseph and St. Philip was the new frontier of development in Barbados.

The west and south coasts were saturated, certainly in terms of the availability of new areas of expansion, he noted.

Each of these [CLICO projects[ falls squarely with Governments development plan for Barbados and particularly the south-east sector.

The regeneration and new growth that will blossom as a result of these developments will be far-reaching, providing considerable employment, new earning capacity and important structures that will service us well long into the future, he said.

Arthur, who was addressing CLICOs management and staff for only the second time in 20 years, said with its substantial landholding acquisitions of Villa Nova and Sam Lords, in addition to a slate of planned projects, CLICO was poised to play a critical role in this countrys development. He also urged other private sector capital investment to follow this future path and take hold of the vast opportunities and modernising of the south-east corridor of Barbados.

The spectacular vistas of St. John, St. Joseph, and St. Philip lend themselves to a wide variety of activities. There is also a need to bring the same level of services and infrastructure enjoyed by the rest of Barbados to these parishes, some of which, like St. Philip, already have substantial residential communities, the Minister of Finance noted.

Governments chief spokesman said the $35 million roadwork programme recently launched in St. Philip was a major signal it was committed to providing the infrastructure to facilitate investment along with the policy framework to stimulate economic activity in the south-east of Barbados. Arthur said Govern-ment would continue to provide the enabling environment allowing companies like CLICO to flourish and further develop the country.

He pledged to stick to his stance communicated at a meeting with the companys top brass following the 1994 General Election, in which he stated no intention of seeking to influence its personnel affairs, nor its operations, and that I was anxious to do everything within the power of the Prime Minister of Barbados to ensure its successful development.

No political provocation can or will cause me to deviate from this position, which has been scrupulously followed, he promised.

I want us to avoid the unfortunate circumstances of so many other better endowed nations, which have failed to realise their potential because of the prevalence and practice of unsound policies, but especially so, because of the deplorable penchant by Governments to engage in whimsical and other vicious relations with their citizens, enterprises and the institutions of the civil society, he stated.

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More Merricks Sales Spiel - No Action On Ground

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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Intertest in Pierhead

"Tourism minister Richard Sealy says he has already received several expressions of interest from serious investors about the proposed Pierhead Project.

The project will comprise a hotel, three blocks of condominiums, a retail area, restaurant complex and parking facilities.

Speaking at the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association's quarterly meeting, he added that priority should be given to local investors.

"We have to have foreign capital involved but we want the domestic capital as well. I always like to stress that when I talk about investment I do not only mean foreign investment On occasion those two seem to be interchangeable, investment means foreign investment. But investment also means local investment and we have some large enough players in Barbados who have shied away from the tourism industry that I think we can nudge and urge to get involved in something like that the Pierhead /Carlisle Bay activity.""

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Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Pierhead Exciting And Grandiose

Neal & Massey, the Trinidad conglomerate that recently bought out the largest corporation in Barbados - BS&T (Barbados Shipping & Trading), has described the long discussed government/private (BS&T) proposal for the redevelopment of the Pierhead area in Bridgetown as ?very exciting and grandiose? according to the nationnews.com. Whatever that means, one of the upshots of this recent merger could finally be the locating the cash needed to bring this long awaited project to fruition.

The hotel, marina, residential and shopping development became somewhat of a political football during the recent general elections. The then government, clearly frustrated with the slow pace of the development, was threatening to takeover the project entirely complaining that all BS&T was doing was bringing a new ?partner? to the table ever so often but nothing coming of it. The then opposition responded that when the government talks that way ?the fix was in? alluding the governments connections with possibly corrupt partners, and also complained about the message the takeover talk was sending in terms of investor confidence in Barbados. In the final analysis of the elections results this could be one of those mostly behind-the-scenes but telling issues which helped to bring about the change of government on January 15.

If Neal & Massey has the money or can get it, they better do something quickly since the window of opportunity for this sort of development in the area is rapidly closing, i.e. the competition in St. Lucia and Grenada is already eating our lunch. The big players in the growing yachting and marina segments are not exactly sitting around waiting for the Barbados government (whoever that is) and BS&T (whoever owns it) to get their acts together.

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