Luxury hotel gets go-ahead after clean-up
The completion of the Morgan's Point clean-up operation is something that all of Bermuda should take pride in, according to Craig Christensen.
Mr Christensen, president and CEO of Morgan's Point Ltd, said it was noteworthy that local workers had been responsible for the major three-year remediation programme of the former United States military base.
The project has involved the removal of container loads of asbestos and old oil tanks as well as the demolition of abandoned, dilapidated and vandalised buildings on the property.
“Bermuda should be proud of what we have done in taking a brown field site and bringing it back to life to the appropriate high standards of cleanliness,” Mr Christensen told The Royal Gazette.
“This is a final tick in the box for us to move forward with this development. We anticipate making further positive announcements very shortly.”
The completion of the remediation work, which was conducted by the Ministry of Public Works and several contractors, paves the way for construction of a new luxury hotel to start this month.
The project will be a phased development and will start with the building of 157 waterfront residences, a 79 room ultra-luxury branded hotel and amenities that include restaurants, a spa and a marina that can host 77 boats along with 21 mega-yachts.
“We are extremely pleased that this stage has now been completed,” Mr Christensen said.
“We never imagined that it could create a potential impediment for financing when it was being remediated, even though Government had agreed to complete it. But it was an issue.
“It has been a long process and now it is done that impediment is cleared and that is a big relief.”
Morgan's Point Ltd obtained the land in 2008 as part of a land-swap agreement under the condition that the Bermuda Government remediate the former baselands to residential standards.
Work on the clean-up project began in 2013 with a number of companies hired to carry out the work. The land has been remediated to New Jersey standards with international consulting firm Langan Engineering and Environmental Services overseeing the project.
Craig Cannonier, Minister of Public Works, said: “This is a monumental step in bringing the proposed development into fruition — a development that will equate to more jobs for Bermudians and a first-class tourism product for Bermuda.”
Vince Yarina, vice-president of Langan Engineering and Environmental Services, said the New Jersey remediation standards were very stringent.
He added: “Using New Jersey standards in Bermuda was unique, but Langan's knowledge and extensive experience working with these standards was successfully applied to ensure the safe clean-up of the site for the future benefit of the residents and tourists.”