New South Shore resort now expected to open in March 2023
A hotel created from a failed housing development is expected to open for business next year, the House of Assembly heard yesterday.
MPs were told the Bermudiana Beach Resort at the former Grand Atlantic apartment complex on South Shore in Warwick was expected to be operational next March.
David Burt, the Premier and tourism minister, said changes to the design of the resort, backed by the international Hilton franchise, had led to the Bermudiana Development Company Limited “parting ways” with some of its partners.
Architects and project managers are to meet Hilton Hotels today to discuss the new opening date and design for the branded condo hotel.
If the new plans for the resort are agreed, they will go to the Department of Planning before the end of the month.
The opening date is the latest in a string stretching back to 2020.
The Royal Gazettereported in July last year that a delay in getting financing for work on the site had put back its opening to this spring.
Lieutenant-Colonel David Burch, the public works minister, said at a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the site in July 2019 that the resort would open in July 2020.
Mr Burt reminded the House that contractor BCM had started work on the resort after the approval in June 2021 of a loan backed by a $10 million government guarantee
But BDCL dropped its development partners MacLellan & Associates, CBE Holdings and Bermuda Realty in September 2021.
Mr Burt said the parting of the ways had been “amicable”.
He said the pace of development at the site had not reflected the “urgent need”.
Mr Burt added: “We needed to move faster and more decisively than the relationship allowed.”
He said the resort developer had taken on two other firms to tackle “issues that arose during the implementation of the construction”.
BDCL hired engineering firm Brunel Limited, a Bermuda company involved in several prominent hotel projects, and Miami-based RAD Architecture, a hotel specialist.
An “alternative plan” for the Bermudiana Beach was developed to deal with the positioning of an infinity pool at the cliff’s edge of the property.
The plan also involved a review of beach access and of the cost to change one of the former apartment blocks into a reception area, restaurant and bar.
Mr Burt said the new look for the resort would also enhance its spa, gym and members’ club.
He added: “BCM, Brunel and various contractors have assessed the infrastructure on-site and the plans to upgrade them to meet to the needs of the property once the conversion is completed.
“These assessments have been completed, designs have been agreed, and items have been ordered or are in the process of being sourced.”
Construction has continued at the site, despite the design changes.
MPs heard there were 25 workers at the site - 21 Bermudians, two spouses of Bermudians and two non-Bermudian staff.
Mr Burt said numbers stood to rise “substantially” next month as more buildings were worked on.
He added that the anticipated March 2023 opening took into account potential supply chain problems.
BDCL advertised jobs fo a full-time real estate sales director and part-time real estate administrator for the resort and the applications deadline passed at the end of last month.
The positions are expected to be filled by March 1.
Mr Burt said a marketing team for Bermudiana Beach would reveal its plans for the resort by the end of March this year.