Businessman hopes to reincarnate Warwick hotel plan
Bermudian entrepreneur Nelson Hunt hopes to resurrect plans for a ten-story staff housing complex in Warwick as a hybrid residential and tourism project.
Mr Hunt said the proposal would create a lower cost option for visitors who want to see the island, but are turned off by the high prices of hotel stays.
“I believe that the hotel rooms here are too expensive,” he said. “This will help boost our tourism.
“This is a way of establishing our second industry. We have tried to build a hotel in Southlands. We tried in Morgan’s Point, but I would rather do this myself.
“This is my passion, and it’s getting late. I have to do something, and I think this is my next project. Most of it is done. It’s all there.”
Mr Hunt said the proposal had in the past been intended to be used for staff housing for the Southlands Hotel project.
However the project went on the back burner after he and the other developers behind the Southlands Hotel agreed on a land-swap, giving up the Southlands property for land at Morgan’s Point.
According to plans, which received in-principal planning approval in 2005, the two lower floors of the building would house warehouse space, with the higher floors made up of a mix of one and two bedroom units.
The building would be built at a former quarry located near Hunts Foods and Supplies Ltd, which would reduce the visual impact of the structure.
While it would not have ocean views, Mr Hayward noted that it would be a short distance from the South Shore beaches.
“Not all hotels have to be on South Shore,” he said. “Now that there’s Airbnb you can see people will flock to something like this. It has all the amenities, even some that the hotels don’t have.
“I think we have outpriced ourselves in the hospitality field. Some of the rooms you see are small and the prices are outrageous. People would be glad to have one of these rooms for the right price.”
Mr Hunt said the proposal would be ideal for athletes and visiting sports teams, many of whom have in the past stayed at Warwick Camp because of the cost of hotels.
“If you have a group of runners or gymnasts down here, this is a place where we could house them, and it would be affordable,” he said.
Mr Hunt added that the residential component would be a benefit for the wider community given the high cost of accommodations across the island and a possible increase in guest workers sparked by new hotel projects.
“With the hotels coming back on board, they are going to have to bring staff in if they don’t have staff housing,” he said.
“On South Shore they talk about building this and building that, but they never mention staff housing. It’s supply and demand. If they are bringing people in, the locals are going to suffer.
“People are sleeping in cars with children, and I don’t think that is right. I think Bermuda is really for the very rich, and it shouldn’t be. This will help out.”
He also noted the project would create jobs and help to inject money into the Warwick community.
Mr Hunt added that he was confident that the project would receive financing and that he was eager to get shovels in the ground as soon as possible, but he wanted to see what the public reaction would be.
“We have in-principle approval from planning. An environmental impact study has already been done,” he said.
“What I want to do is put this out there and see what kind of feedback I get from the public.”
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