Government acquires the Stanford building outside the Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport

The Stanford building outside the Robert Bradshaw International Airport recently used as a call center. (Photo by Erasmus Williams)

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, NOVEMBER 15TH 2012 (CUOPM) – The St. Kitts and Nevis National Assembly has approved the acquisition of the Allan Stanford’s building that was constructed to house the headquarters for the defunct Caribbean Star Airlines, just outside the Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport.

Land inside the airport was earlier repossessed for non-performance and the private jet terminal is being constructed on it.

Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas in introducing the motion to acquire what has become known as the ‘Stanford building at the airport,’ informed the lawmaking body that “the Cabinet had met and has given its full support for the action that is to result from the resolution that is being put before the federal parliament, the National Assembly of Saint Christopher and Nevis.”

Seconding the motion, Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Sen. the Hon. Richard Skerritt said it was a “very very important and very timely, as the government seeks to bring that very important property into a more productive use going forward and acquire an asset that will become increasingly valuable over the coming years.”

Sen. Skerritt told fellow parliamentarians and the Nation that the Stanford Agreement goes back to February 28th 2003 and provided for the transfer of that particular land which the government is now acquiring back, to the Stanford Company, based on the exchange in a promise to facilitate Stanford’s relocation of a major corporation to St. Kitts and which did not in fact transpire, resulting in the agreement being terminated for non-performance.”

Noting that his colleague senator, the Hon. Nigel Carty had mentioned they were both celebrating their 8th anniversary as Cabinet Ministers, Minister Skerritt pointed out that it was shortly after he joined the Cabinet that he was “one of those who agitated quite vigorously to bring that agreement to termination because of non-performance.”

“Mr. Speaker, this Government is a very patient and a very understanding Government and the Government took a great deal of deliberation, a great deal of time before declaring that Agreement null and void, but by doing so, it saved the Government from delivering on six acres of land inside of the Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport which today, is being developed practically the very same piece of land that we took back from the Stanford Company back then,” said Minister Skerritt.

“You don’t hear much about that Mr. Speaker. You only hear about the land that we are now acquiring, you hear about that, and some alleged very low price, that the Government has sold it for and that the Government also took back. The Government did not give title to the land inside, because of non-performance. So that the very land inside, which technically had been sold, today is being developed by SCASPA in partnership with a private investor in what will become one of the top private jet terminals in the western world by the time it opens around the end of the first quarter next year,” the tourism and international transport minister said.

He said it was a very good property to acquire.

“It is very valuable to this country and I think in credit to Mr. Stanford, he really produced an outstanding, aesthetically pleasing, and significantly valuable building on the site which as of now Mr Speaker, becomes the property of this government,” Sen. Skerritt concluded.

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