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#repost @lifestylesoftheartisan Amid some controversy the Government of Barbados appropriated the “Carlisle Bay Liquidation Centre” in 2019. In May 2020, amid more controversy and without final agreement on price, the government ordered the start of the demolishing of the buildings. The building was on one of the top beaches in Barbados and was a terribly inappropriate use of a prime tourism location. The warehouse is an eyesore to the beach. Unfortunately Mrs. Ram, the owner, does not share that view and did not agree to the deal, saying the amount offered was not its true value. The final price is still to be established and the government has said it will pay a fair rate and will not hold up major plans to develop the area as a prime tourism resort. Hyatt Ziva Barbados plans to build 380 hotel rooms and 40 condominiums. The buildings will be 10 to 18 floors on 3 plots of land totaling 17,920 square meters of beachfront property. It is scheduled to open in 2022. Background. The project was originally announced in 2018 as the Hyatt Centric Carlisle Bay Barbados and was scheduled to open in 2019. The new $175-million Hyatt Ziva project is a major upgrade, joining other family-friendly Hyatt Ziva all-inclusive resorts including Montego Bay, Jamaica, Cap Cana, Dominican Republic, Cancun, Los Cabos and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, plus three adults-only Hyatt Zilara resorts in Montego Bay, Cancun and Cap Cana. #Barbados #hyatt #hyattZivaBarbados #Barbadoshyatt
Government Demolition Shows it Means Business
After haggling over the appropriate price and getting nowhere fast, the government finally showed it meant business by starting the demolition of the Liquidation Centre. Just one side was torn down to start. After several It’s been several weeks now and the demolition seems paused. My guess is that it was a message to the past owners that Barbados is going ahead with plans to reopen for business after COVID-19 and that it’s time to settle the score.
UPDATE – Demolition Continues in June
Clearly the intend is more that a message! The CATs have moved up to bay Street and are activilt tearing down the warehouses.
According to the Nation News: “Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley signaled her intention to breathe life back into the economy today with the start of demolition of the Liquidation Centre at Bay Street, St. Michael.”
The demolition signals the start of the Hyatt Ziva construction project, led by developer Mark Maloney. The owners of the Liquidation Centre (the Mirchandani family), which is to be torn down, are not at all happy.
Liquidation Centre Owners Speak Out
Mr. Ram Mirchandani is indignant. “My business has been taken over without paying a penny. Is that fair? Is that the new policy of the Barbados government? No government has ever done this before. They have taken my property and they’ve taken my business. They’ve closed down my business… I’ve been shut out.”
The government has said it will pay a fair price and that the property was acquired through the Compulsory Acquisition process of Parliament with the Notice to Acquire having been served on the owners back in March of 2019. The Mirchandanis were mandated to evacuate the premises by November 17, 2019.
In May 2020, the government forced the issue and remove part of the building.
A Stain on a Pristine Beach Removed for Barbados Hyatt Ziva Hotel
There can be no doubt that the Liquidation Centre was an eyesore on what is one of the best beaches anywhere. The buildings facing the beach are a sprawling mass about 200 feet long and several stories high. It is a dark imposing wall of crumbling concrete, mold and rust that has served as the backdrop to this prime beachfront property for years. An unkept decay that can no longer be ignored.
The government is right to want to do something better with the location. It is, after all, a designated World Heritage area and standards must be maintained.
New Initiative for Barbados Tourism
On May 14, Mottley announced easing various COVID-19 restrictions in order to begin reopening the economy and paving the way for new tourism initiatives. “We are committed to ensuring that even as we work to keep Barbados safe… a large part of that is making sure that our civil works projects and construction can start back at rapid pace.” – Nation News
Lead Developer, Maloney, advised that an initial investment of $2 million out of $5 million is to be made to a Transformation Fund. He also noted that “20 percent of the project is open for investment by the public, the details of which are being worked out.”
The area is strategic as a heritage and cultural area. It forms part of the Bay Street and the Garrison Savannah area. It is strategically located in a prime heritage site just steps away from the swing bridge and Bridgetown.
Just across the road is the old Empire Cinema, soon to be a theatre as part of the planned cultural landscape.
The new plans for the area include a park in the open space once occupied by the recently demolished Fire Station and the old National Insurance Building.
Barbados Hyatt Ziva Hotel Benefits
The new Hyatt Ziva is a massive development for a small island. There is no other resort of this scale in Barbados. It will occupy several blocks and run along the beach with access from Bay Street. There are many significant benefits, not the least of which is the marketing clout of Hyatt. The initiative is expected to generate $70M US to the island per annum. $175 US is budgeted for the development.
An estimated 2,000 jobs will be created in the development stage. After that the hotel will employ 1,500 people on a full-time basis on completion.
There are also improvements to be made to the sewage system, beach access and infrastructure of surrounding neighbourhoods. See Hyatt impact study summary
The Barbados Hyatt Ziva Development Debate
There once was a law stating that no building in Barbados could be higher than the tallest coconut tree. There are no trees that grow 18 stories high and a lot of people are extremely upset. They say that 18 stories is too much for this fragile ecosystem of a coral island pushed out of the ocean by subterranean volcanic activity.
As noted in the PersonaHolidays Vacation Guide, “It is the summit of a long undersea mountain range extending from Trinidad to about Puerto Rico. The Scotland District is the only location in the entire Caribbean where this mountain range is above water. The rocks here are 30 to 50 million years old folded and faulted in complex and majestic ways.”
Peter Thompson, an outspoken critic of the Hyatt initiative, says: “This development plan is optimized only for the companies who are selling concrete and pouring it. It is a remarkably selfish plan, which exploits our common national resource of one of the best beaches in Barbados for short-term gain of maximum construction profits for your companies.”
He is not alone! Many visitors and local Bajans feel the scale and density of the project is far too much for the island. Many are afraid that the nature of the island’s tourism is changing for the worst. They say, “We don’t want to be another Miami.”
One visitor added: “What we love about our trips to Barbados is the small hotels. We can go anywhere else in the Caribbean for Hyatt Ziva. Don’t change what we love about your island.”
People are split on the project with many seeing it as a positive and necessary move for tourism on the island. Others think it will fundamentally change the character of the island and be detrimental to the ecosystem and lifestyles.
Do you think the positives outweigh the negatives? Can progress be made in tandem with the ecosystem and nature of the island? Please leave your comments below.
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