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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 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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