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Ariel Sands redevelopment gets go-ahead

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The Ariel Sands Resort property. (Photograph by Rego Sotheby's International Realty)

Plans to build a new Ariel Sands Resort have officially been given the green light by the Development Applications Board.

According to the minutes of the DAB’s May 4 meeting, plans for the South Shore, Devonshire site were approved after a recommendation by a technical officer.

The issue of on-site parking at the property was broached during the meeting by a board member, however the technical officer said that it was up to the board to decide if the layout and quantity of parking spaces was appropriate for the site.

Ariel Sands artist's impression

The minutes said: “There is no minimum or maximum parking standard for tourism development.

“The design and layout of the parking areas was determined by the amount of anticipated traffic generated from the restaurant, spa and hotel staff, as detailed in the environmental impact statement.

“The technical officer noted none of the units – condominium or villas – would be granted assessment numbers and would therefore not be required to have their own reserved parking spaces.”

The original Ariel Sands Resort – co-owned by film star Michael Douglas – shut its doors in 2008 and all but a single cottage was demolished in 2015.

Plans to build a new hotel development on the site were approved that same year but work on the project did not move forward.

New plans for the site were submitted last year after Mr Douglas announced that he had joined forces with JTRE, a Slovakian real estate developer, to redevelop the 13.8-acre site as a five-star resort.

Vance Campbell, the Minister of Tourism, said yesterday that the approval of the redevelopment plans was “more good news for tourism in Bermuda”.

He added: “The addition of another accommodation option for visitors is a welcomed development.

“The proposed mix of hotel rooms, villas and condominium units has the potential to encourage longer stays and increased economic activity for Bermuda.

“As yesterday’s S&P Ratings Report indicated, ‘We expect growth over the next several years will continue to benefit from the expansion in the international financial sector and a pick-up in tourism.’

“Today’s news is another positive signal to investors in Bermuda.”

The developers have said the project was expected to create between 60 and 80 construction jobs, with about 40 people employed at the resort once it was up and running.

A four-storey, 33-room hotel building is planned for the south-eastern side of the property with amenities including a 100-seat restaurant, bar area, lounge and gym, all overlooking South Shore.

The site would also have 21 villas, including 18 two-bedroom units and three four-bedroom units.

The project also includes a five storey, 30-condominium building containing eight one-bedroom units, 14 two-bedroom units and eight three-bedroom units.

This building will also house back-of-house activities, including a service area, laundry facility and staff headquarters.

Construction at the site is expected to take about two years, with an anticipated completion date of late 2024 or early 2025.

David Burt, the Premier, said when the plans were announced the redevelopment was “excellent news” while Charles Jeffers II, the CEO of the Bermuda Tourism Authority, said the project would add “much needed” beds to the island’s inventory.

• UPDATE: This story has been updated to include a comment from the Minister of Tourism.

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Published May 12, 2022 at 7:54 am (Updated May 12, 2022 at 8:59 am)

Ariel Sands redevelopment gets go-ahead

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