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St Regis hotel earns approval from public

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St Regis hotel development: the new hotel is just one of a number of projects in the pipeline to rejuvenate the area around St George’s (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Residents of St George’s are happy with the progress being made on the St Regis hotel — and at being able to reach the beach.

Quinell Francis, the Mayor of St George, said that despite early concerns, the public had embraced the project.

She said: “Access to the beach, which was a primary concern, has been clearly identified and people are quite happy they can still reach the beach even with the construction going on.

“Everyone is positive, everyone is anticipating a great project and we are looking forward to the summer to see how the parking works when people come to utilise the beach.”

She added the Corporation of St George has been in talks with the Government about ensuring quality public facilities at St Catherine’s Beach.

Ms Francis said: “Ideally, the facilities there will be an upgrade from the porta-potties. If you have a five-star hotel, you should have some good public facilities as well.

“They have assured us they will be working on that as well. I’m hopeful that happens sooner rather than later.”

The hotel is not the only construction project taking place in the East End.

Ms Francis said the Corporation of St George is working on several projects and a comprehensive town plan to improve the municipality.

She said: “We are still improving the infrastructure of the ferry terminal at Hunters Wharf. We are just putting in a few parking bays for private cars as well as a drop-off for the buses and taxis down there.

“We didn’t complete it last year due to the construction of the seawall running over.

“We are also moving the stocks to Ordnance Island. The idea is we will make Ordnance Island more of a recreational spot and draw more people over there, with the Deliverance being at centre stage.”

As part of the plan, she said the corporation is looking to pedestrianise Ordnance Island.

Traffic flow in the town could be further altered next year, with vehicles diverted farther from King’s Square.

Ms Francis said: “A longer-term plan we are considering is the pedestrianisation of King’s Square.

“We are hoping to have that done for next season and we are doing a traffic assessment looking into how we can move our taxes and minibuses through.

“We like the idea of people coming down Water Street and flowing into a pedestrian area rather than a highway. If we move the stocks, we can create a roadway coming right over on to Bridge Street.”

The mayor said the corporation also planned to revitalise Somers Gardens to make it more “vibrant”.

She said the corporation is in discussions with the Ministry of Public Works to modernise the wastewater system.

Ms Francis said: “The recommendations have come in from the overseas company contracted to do the study and we are waiting for Cabinet papers so we can move forward.

“The whole waste water plan involves utilising BLDC [Bermuda Land Development Company], with their system expanded, so the entire island of St George’s can be added to that.

St Regis hotel update (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
St Regis hotel update (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
St Regis hotel update (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
St Regis hotel update (Photograph by Akil Simmons)