A blot on the landscape
I would like to respond to the opinion piece from Sir John Swan on April 19, 2023. Some of the points he raises are valid, but the scale and location of this residential development is not the way to resolve those issues.
The 2009 plan was for 130 units. Why has this figure doubled? No one has explained that.
Sir John says this redevelopment is nothing new to Bermuda. A development on this scale on such a pristine site is absolutely new to Bermuda.
He says residential and commercial space is now at a premium and represents the single biggest obstacle in attracting new business.
There are a number of developments in progress or planned for the City of Hamilton to provide both — and at present quite a lot of empty office space. They will be completed a lot faster than the 20-year phasing of the Southampton site. A building site for 20 years!
Bermuda can become a world-class destination without this. It will detract from our appeal.
High-rise residential development should be limited to the City.
Why will the hotel fall into disarray without residential units? Other stand-alone hotels survive very well.
Employment for the hotel will happen without the residential component. It will also need construction and maintenance people.
As Sir John says, we need more hotel beds. The renovated hotel will provide those. And we now have the St Regis, the Loren and Azura.
Will the residential units be purchased by foreigners and stand empty for most of the year? Who will benefit from that beside Gencom?
I would encourage people to express their opinion on the proposed development. To me, it would be a blot on the landscape.
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