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MP Charlie Swan grills Govt on the start of work at the old Club Med

Developers on the old Club Med site have missed their deadline to start work on a new hotel, Opposition MP Charlie Swan claimed.

Mr Swan said a copy of the lease signed by developer Carl Bazarian, made available in response to his Parliamentary Questions, shows an agreement was made that construction should have begun by now. “There were stipulations in the lease of a time frame by which the developer was to start,” said Mr Swan, who was elected as a United Bermuda Party MP, during the House of Assembly’s Motion to Adjourn on Friday night.

“I believe the time frame has lapsed. What are Government’s intentions now at the fact that the developer is breaching the terms?”

Club Med was last used as a hotel 25 years ago. Its heavily publicised implosion in 2008 paved the way for Bazarian International to sign a lease to build a Park Hyatt hotel on the land.

The company has planning permission in principle for a $294 million project featuring a main hotel, condos, fractional units and golf course, which it pledged to complete by 2012.

Deputy Premier Derrick Burgess responded to Mr Swan’s comments by urging him to keep quiet on the subject to avoid jeopardising negotiations.

“We all know building a hotel, getting money for a hotel, is not easy,” said Mr Burgess.

“Let’s not make it uncomfortable for people to come into this Country and invest money. We all know St George’s needs a hotel more than anything. I would ask members of this Honourable House to just leave that alone for the time being, as the Government and the investor are trying to get that going.”

St George’s West MP Kim Swan, who was elected as a UBP MP, argued he was duty bound to do the opposite of what Mr Burgess was requesting.

“Why? Because had we not asked the question of the Government, we would not have known that the lease specified that the developers had 48 months to complete the project. “With that, we have to ask the question if Government is inclined to give the developers an extension?”

Mr Swan said Government must have known a year ago that development was a long way behind schedule.

Tourism Minister Wayne Furbert said: “We have had some discussions down there. When the time comes to disclose what’s going on there, we will come to this House and let you know.”

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Published March 17, 2012 at 2:00 am (Updated March 17, 2012 at 8:18 am)

MP Charlie Swan grills Govt on the start of work at the old Club Med

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