Developers not chasing China cash for Morgan's Point
The Morgan's Point resort project hasn't courted investment from China, beyond translating the hospitality site's business plans into Mandarin, according to developer Craig Christensen.
Finance Minister Bob Richards has been repeatedly questioned by Opposition MPs in the House of Assembly over possible investment in the $2 billion Southampton project from China-based groups, or even the Republic of China itself.
Mr Richards has maintained he doesn't know — but has issued a “letter of comfort” to Morgan's Point Limited, aimed at reassuring potential lenders leery of investing in a property in need of environmental remediation.
Mr Christensen told The Royal Gazette that the offer of credit enhancement from Government, made last month, had proved “significant” in supporting tourism and Morgan's Point.
“There has been significant interest since the issuance of the letter of comfort,” he added.
“It is critical to show potential investors that Bermuda can demonstrate a sustainable hospitality project and has the support of the Bermuda Government. Their support is necessary to assist in the financing process. We are currently reviewing our best financing options.”
Government's backing was intended to cover phase one of the development, which Mr Christensen said would include an 84-room boutique hotel — along with marina and equestrian facilities, residences, and infrastructure at the former US Naval Annex.
“The phase one development represents just under ten percent of the total development planned for Morgan's Point,” Mr Christensen said. “It is critical to get phase one underway first. We have had some preliminary discussions regarding future phases, but in order to have the major hotel, marina and residences, we need outreach to major development partners.”
The developers “have not had any significant discussions with China”, he said, adding: “However, opportunities do exist, in collaboration with the Government of Bermuda.”