Sir John hopes to make Point with new waterfront flyer
Former premier and developer Sir John Swan is not giving up on his vision for the redevelopment of the Hamilton waterfront.
Sir John along with Linberg & Simmons and Bermuda Renderings are behind a colour flyer inserted in all the recently mailed out new telephone directories, showing their proposal for a promenade, marina, hotel and casino.
“We do not believe in building new extensive developments into the harbour which would change forever the unique quality and charm that makes Hamilton a special experience,” they said in the flyer.
Sir John said yesterday he had received “excellent feedback” on the flyer from the public.
The flyer says the HSBC Albuoy's Point building would be converted into a casino, though Sir John said that was just the vision for now, and HSBC said the building “is currently not on the market”.
A Bank spokeswoman added: “This building is an important part of our operations and any offer to buy the building would have to be considered based on these circumstances.”
The Hamilton waterfront project is embroiled in controversy after a 262-year lease of the waterfront property was agreed with developer Allied Development Partners.
Headed by construction boss Michael MacLean, ADP submitted a $1.7 billion proposal to win out over other respondents to a City RFP seeking a partner for the redevelopment of the waterfront.
Government has expressed concern about the length of the lease.
And Sir John said the public should have been consulted before an RFP was issued, and he has launched a campaign showcasing an alternative view of how the waterfront could be developed.
Meanwhile, Hamilton Mayor, Graeme Outerbridge and Deputy Mayor Donal Smith are facing contempt proceedings in relation to an investigation into City Hall launched by Ombudsman, Arlene Brock.
She announced in March that her office will be conducting an own motion investigation into the operation of the Corporation with a particular focus on the waterfront project amid concerns about lack of transparency.
City Hall initially welcomed the investigation, with the Deputy Mayor Smith saying that all council members and staff had been told to fully cooperate.
Asked where the project now stands, Mr MacLean said yesterday he would decline to comment.
Sir John said yesterday his hope behind the phone book flyer was: “We should not let the waterfront be developed in isolation.”
One big difference between the competing proposals for the waterfront is the one by Sir John's group avoids substantial amounts of land reclamation, which is less costly and more achievable, in their view, and will enhance Front Street.
In their flyer, they say their scheme is more flexible, able to be completed in phases, with the initial phase “being no more than re-landscaping the existing areas”.
It would include a promenade, hotel and casino, market, flagpole podium ferry terminal, and an Albuoy's Point Pier.
Phase two would see more work on the promenade, a performing arts stage with seating built and cruise terminal pier for non-mega cruise ships.
Phase three would see a yacht marina, convention centre, restaurants and retail and eventual relocation of the container dock.
Mr MacLean's separate phase proposal includes: a casino hotel and marina on White's Island, business hotel on one of six piers, three commercial and residential buildings, plaza, board walk across the length of the waterfront, $30 million new cruise ship terminal, performing arts centre/theatre complex, civic plaza, marina with docking facilities for mega yachts, new ferry terminal, and the transforming of City Hall car park into a multi level and underground parking facility; plus $197 million has been allocated for relocating the cargo docks.
Useful website: www.hamiltonwaterfront.bm.