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Friday, October 14, 2011

Merricks Finally Matriculates

"Harlequin Hotels & Resorts and Harlequin Developments have commenced construction of the initial phase of The Merricks Resort — the $900 million luxury resort in St. Philip that will cover 70.4 acres. Speaking during his visit to the island this week, Chairman Mr. Dave Ames said: “We are very excited to have started work on this initial phase of The Merricks Resort Show Village, the $10 million precursor to our multi-million dollar resort investment in St. Philip. “This first stage of the project will provide a great boost to the country’s economy, creating work and employment for many local businesses and hundreds of people in St. Philip and Barbados.” Construction of The Merricks Resort Show Village was originally planned for completion at the beginning of January 2012, but has now been pushed back because the developers are still awaiting approval from the Government for investment concessions. Harlequin also recently acquired the former Allamanda Hotel on the South Coast. That property will be re-opened in 2012 as the “H Barbados”, the first in Harlequin’s newly created luxury boutique hotel collection. The company has moved quickly and has already completed the initial strip out of the existing building. The construction and refurbishment is now ready to commence on what will transform the former 47-room hotel into a 77-room property. Earlier reports had indicated this was a smaller project but with the benefit of existing planning permission, the Harlequin group is committed to increasing their investment in this project to an estimated $36 million, almost doubling the size of the original property. Speaking from Harlequin’s office at Hythe House in Maxwell, Christ Church, Garrett Ronan, Vice President of Hotel and Resort Development, stated: “Since receiving final planning permission in May for The Merricks Resort Show Village we have progressed things very quickly. “However, we are currently waiting for approval of concessions for both The Merricks Resort Show Village and separately under the TDA for our new boutique hotel, H Barbados. “The Government has worked very closely with us for the past few months and had promised to ensure an efficient approval process. We have provided all requested information to date but, unfortunately, the planned completion dates for both projects have already started to slip due to continued delays with the approvals.” He added: “This is proving to be very disappointing for our investors and the many local contractors and businesses that are now in a holding pattern awaiting these official approvals. Following a meeting last week with senior Government officials we are hopeful that approvals can be granted this week. This will allow us to continue quickly with construction at both locations.” The Merricks Resort Show Village will comprise a landscaped formal entrance leading to a two bedroom and a four bedroom Harlequin signature villa, spectacular cliff top boardwalk with public access designed by Kevin Talma of Talma Mills Studio, a showcase gazebo, a lagoon pool and a services building with car parking. All villas are designed with an expansive outdoor deck providing amazing panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean and will feature a private plunge pool and spacious en suite bedrooms centred on an 800 square foot open plan “Caribbean style” living room. Development Director for Harlequin Developments, David Campion, described the villa designs as “a contemporary interpretation of local Barbados architectural style that takes an environmentally responsible approach in delivering an upscale luxury experience”. “To achieve this we are using the latest in environmental and construction technology with a strong focus on energy and water conservation,” he added."

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  1. Update:

    "THIRTEEN WORKERS contracted by Simmons Electrical to complete the electrical work on the Merricks Resort Development and the Allamanda Beach Hotel are now out of work.

    Managing director Allan Simmons said they were contracted by Harlequin Hotels and Resorts, but he was informed yesterday that work on the two projects had to be shut down immediately due to Government’s failure to provide concessions related to the project.

    He said he understood Government had offered Harlequin concessions but to date they had not received them, so the development company had to shut the projects down until the concessions became available.

    Simmons said the closure not only meant that the workers would have to be severed, but it also meant the company would lose out on several million dollars."


    See also: The Government Of Barbados Distances Itself From The Merricks


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