House approves Cross Island Marina project at Dockyard
Leases for the South Basin at Dockyard and a senior living facility have been approved by the House of Assembly.
The first of the leases, between the West End Development Corporation and the South Basin Development Ltd, will last 120 years and allow the construction of the Cross Island Marina.
Minister of Public Works Patricia Gordon Pamplin described the proposed marina as a “world class” facility capable of servicing visiting super yachts, and include a consolidated facility for Marine and Ports.
In addition to encouraging yacht visits to the Island, Ms Gordon Pamplin said the marina would create jobs during both its construction and operation, and provide valuable maritime training opportunities for Bermudians.
She explained that Marine and Ports would sublet a portion of the new facility, using it to house all of its ferries and tugs.
First announced in 2009 as part of a public-private partnership, the marina as originally announced included a mix of approximately 200 slips in a variety of sizes — 100 to 250 feet and possibly in excess of 300 feet long — to accommodate both mega-yachts and those smaller in size. Support and club facilities were also to be included.
The Bermuda Environmental Sustainability Taskforce (BEST) had expressed reservations about the project, warning that land reclamation as proposed for the site could have serious ecological consequences.
The second lease approved in the House concerned Dr Cann Park, a development for seniors on Sea Express Lane in Sandys.
Ms Gordon Pamplin said that while the Bermuda Housing Trust (BHT) had been given a 99-year lease for the property in 2006 so the 100-room facility could be built, that lease was never approved by the House of Assembly as required by law. As a result, the lease was void.
Despite the lack of House approval, construction on the facility began in April, 2006 and the first residents moved in around a year later.
She described the lack of House approval as an oversight by a former minister, explaining that neither the BHT nor the Bermuda Land Development Corporation (BLDC) were responsible for the mistake.
Ms Gordon Pamplin said the lease before the House would remedy the error, providing the BHT with a 90-year lease of the property.
Independent MP Terry Lister voiced his support for the lease, praising the facility as being a true success, allowing resident seniors to live in dignity.