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'Rent to buy' plan for new arbitration centre

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The old Hamilton Police Station comes down to make way for an arbitration centre, to named after ex-union leader and former MP Ottiwell Simmons (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

An arbitration centre planned for the site of the old Hamilton Police Station will be paid for with a “rent to buy” scheme, the public works minister said yesterday.

Lieutenant-Colonel David Burch added the Government would generate income with charges for the use of the centre.

Colonel Burch was speaking as he outlined the public-private partnership planned for the new Parliament Street, Hamilton building.

He declined to reveal the price tag for the Ottiwell Simmons International Arbitration Centre, named after a former president of the Bermuda Industrial Union and former Progressive Labour Party MP.

He added the proposal from the Government’s Chicago-based partner, Milhouse Engineering and Construction, is awaited approval from Curtis Dickinson, the finance minister.

Colonel Burch said: “The current offer that’s on the table, being reviewed by Finance, is for a rent to buy.

“The developer will pay and build the building and the Government will rent it back over a number of years in order for them to get their money back.”

He said people who used the centre for mediation, which has an international as well as on-island demand, would pay the Government a fee.

Colonel Burch added a “detailed analysis of costs has not been done”.

He said the centre would be used to settle “minor disputes that do not warrant going to court”.

Colonel Burch said he was hopeful the proposal would be reviewed as the Budget had been completed.

He added: “I ask the minister weekly for status because we are chomping at the bit in terms of getting construction under way and creating some more jobs.”

Colonel Burch said the cost of the project would be revealed after an agreement was struck.

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Published March 03, 2021 at 8:00 am (Updated March 02, 2021 at 10:07 pm)

'Rent to buy' plan for new arbitration centre

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