Bermudiana Beach Resort plan moving forward
Plans to turn the Grand Atlantic housing project into the Bermudiana Beach Resort have been resurrected.
The Bermuda Housing Corporation has announced that it has completed its selection process and selected MacLellan and Associates again to move forward with the project, according to a spokeswoman for the Ministry of Public Works.
The Caribbean-based hospitality developer had previously signed a memorandum of understanding for the project. However, the sale of the property fell through due to difficulty securing financing.
A fresh request for proposal was published last May.
The spokeswoman said: “The decision to select the Bermudiana Beach Resort team, led by resort specialist Robert MacLellan of MacLellan & Associates, was made following the due diligence period as the proposed condominium hotel development was seen to provide the best value for money and was most closely aligned with the Government's goals for increasing tourism accommodations.
“MacLellan & Associates' business plan has been modified to produce a greater financial benefit for the Bermuda Housing Corporation in a joint venture and allows for more cost-efficient project financing.
“The developer has received a commitment to source conversion funding from the same finance house which offered funding for the Bermudiana project on the joint venture structured basis in early 2016.”
The new RFP specified that development of the site would only begin after September 1 so it would not disrupt the property's use during the America's Cup.
Developer Robert MacLellan said: “The opportunity to create an economically sustainable new tourism model, which can attract external investment, is exciting because the physical structure of the buildings already exists and Bermuda urgently needs new mid-market hotel inventory.”
The proposed Bermudiana Beach Resort would be a condo hotel, which is described as a condominium complex that is operated as a hotel. The property would offer nightly rentals with a front desk and resort leisure facilities, but the condominiums would also be sold as vacation homes with a maximum of 90 nights per year owner occupancy.
When owners are not in residence, the design allows the units to be rented as hotel suites and rooms and owners benefit from that income stream. The day-to-day operation of the resort's restaurants, bars and spa will be undertaken by local management with several support services, including laundry, outsourced to local companies.
The Public Works spokeswoman said: “The resort operation and marketing will be supported by an international boutique hotel brand. Final negotiations are ongoing with two interested companies and a final selection will be made this month.
“This arrangement will enable the Bermudiana Beach Resort to benefit from an international reservations system and a strong brand loyalty programme. The brand affiliation also facilitates the resort being marketed by sales offices and via over 5,000 group hotels around the world. “
Currently architectural firm OBMI and realtor Coldwell Banker Bermuda Realty have been appointed as team stakeholders, with the spokeswoman stating that other local companies and service providers will be appointed in due course.