How to regenerate Hamilton
What is happening to our economy is readily apparent. The effects are being felt by everyone and seen all around us. When we first began this journey in October 2011, we set out to educate and inform the public on the state of the economy and provide recommendations that could perhaps stimulate the economy.
Amongst the various recommendations that were submitted were ideas for the City of Hamilton such as:
Extend the city limits
The new city limits should include the following area (see map):
n Front Street including Hamilton Harbour along Pitts Bay Road;
n Toward St John's Road to and along Langton Hill to and along the waters of North Shore;
n Up Dock Hill to Frog Lane along Montpelier Road onto Middle Road;
n Cavendish Road down Corkscrew Hill to Hamilton Harbour; and
n Along East Broadway back to Front Street including Hamilton Harbour.
Extending the city limits would allow for the redevelopment of the entire area for residential, commercial and social purposes:
4 Within the new limits, allow international companies, “key employees”, PRC Holders and employees of high net worth individuals to purchase high rise condos. Most foreigners are used to living in a city environment and this would keep the outlaying country areas available to Bermudians and their families.
4 Bermudians' property values in the area would increase due to the ability to rent and sell to non-Bermudians for residential purposes and re-zoning of areas to allow for commercial development.
4 In future the container port (dock) could be moved to the North Shore to decongest the city and would still allow for revenue collection as it would be located within the new city limits.
4 Extending the limits would also create a larger tax catchment area which would provide additional income for the City and Government.
4 A privatised mini-bus system could be incorporated to run within the new city limits. Persons could purchase a pass to use the service which would provide transportation in this area thus reduce congestion and provide an opportunity for Bermudians to become business owners.
Open up the retail sector
Within the city limits, consider allowing retail shops to be managed, financed and owned by non-Bermudians:
This would allow for more product variety to be available to visitors as well as Bermudians.
These shops would need to be staffed and this would create jobs for Bermudians.
Non-Bermudians would bring their expertise and capital while the Bermudians would retain the real estate and become landlords which would translate into rental income.
Redevelop the Waterfront
Development of the Waterfront to include:
n Retail shops
n Convention/Entertainment Center Parks
n Waterfront Market
All of these amenities would increase the vibrancy and activity level in the City.
A casino should be built which incorporates a new boutique hotel with a roof top restaurant and high end retail shopping which would encourage activity and generate revenue.
A new ferry terminal should be rebuilt in its present location and in proximity to the casino for easy access.
A large, full service marina for boats and large visiting yachts would make Hamilton Harbour an international yachting basin. The proximity of the yacht basin to the proposed casino makes this a very attractive destination for the international yachting community. A new “pay and display” marina could also be incorporated making Hamilton accessible for private boats and increase the revenue to the City and Government.
The convention/entertainment centre could generate income year round. During our low season, we could encourage US companies to continue to hold conferences here which would allow them to claim their expenses as tax free which is provided for in our US/Bermuda Tax Treaty.
4 Remove the parking lots from the waterfront and incorporate parks for people's enjoyment. These parks could be places to enjoy outdoor concerts, have a meal or a cup of coffee or just relax and enjoy the view.
4 The waterfront market could include small café style restaurants and a venue for local artists and merchants to display their goods and services similar to what currently happens at Harbour Nights except this would be year round.
You may ask the question, “How are we going to achieve this?” All of this can be done by foreign and local investment within the private sector to achieve very specific objectives.
Government and the Corporation of Hamilton could facilitate the process by way of legislative and policy changes and making property available to the private sector. This would require no financial outlay on the part of the Government or the Corporation of Hamilton.
The private sector is the only hope of generating the economic activity necessary to pull Bermuda out of this abyss. However, we must provide them with the relevant legislative, policy and incentives to do so.
These and other recommendations that could increase our national income, reduce our necessity for borrowing, revive tourism and provide jobs, rents and dividends will be examined in depth over the next series of articles. There is also a forum being held at Cathedral Hall, Church Street on Thursday, September 13, 2012 from 12pm — 2pm and again at 5pm to 7pm to allow the public to come and give their views on these and other ideas on how to stimulate Bermuda's economy and shape our future.
This continues to be a collective effort by all Bermudians and we need your support, comments and ideas. For further information or to express your comments e-mail Suzie Arruda at email@example.com or visit us on FACEBOOK — Regeneration of Bermuda's Economy.
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