Basseterre, St. Kitts, (SKNIS) –“Development Tours,” an initiative designed to give citizens a first person look at the various ongoing developments that have been approved or adopted by the Government was launched by the Ministry of Information through the St Kitts and Nevis Information Service (SKNIS) on Thursday, October 10 with visits to two ongoing projects.
“We are providing an opportunity for our residents to visit the developments during their progress phases, and hear from the developers first hand, about the scale, scope, and other information about that particular development,” said Grell Browne, Director of Communications. “How will it benefit the surrounding communities, its current and future economic impact, how will it benefit our citizens and the nation as a whole, all of this is what we want to share with the public.”
The Golden Rock Commercial Park, a mixed use development in the vicinity of the Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport and the Imperial Bay Beach and Golf Residences in Half Moon were the sites selected for the first Development Tour.
Giving an overview of the Golden Rock Commercial Park, project manager, Errol Douglas, said, phase one of the five phase project is well on its way, with the steel frame for a 4 story building that will provide 153,000 square feet of retail and commercial space already erected and fitting out will commence shortly. Mr. Douglas stated that the ground level will boast a modern supermarket, upscale shopping and other retail spaces and a food court. The second and third floors will see a mixture of retail and commercial spaces with the fourth floor available for commercial corporate tenants.
He also emphasized that opportunities for local retailers would be available at the Golden Rock Commercial Park. According to Mr. Douglas, elevators and escalators are also essential elements of the facility to ensure vertical integration and accessibility for persons with disabilities.
Groundbreaking for the Golden Rock Commercial Park was held in February 2013 and the first phase has a projected completion date of October 2014. Other phases will include a 64 room international brand business hotel, an office park, and a health spa with fitness facility. Green technology has also been incorporated into the design of this project, and a significant amount of the energy used would be harnessed from renewable resources, to enable cost reductions for tenants, said Mr. Douglas. He stated that investor interest has been high, and that has helped to bring this project to fruition. According to Mr. Douglas, Golden Rock Commercial Park will employ some 350 nationals.
The Imperial Bay Beach and Golf Residences has also progressed on pace.
“We broke ground in May 2013, and have five of six buildings in various stages of completion, in this 86 unit condominium development,” said Faron Lawrence, Project Manager, speaking about his SKN Homes, managed project in Half Moon. “Investor confidence in St. Kitts and Nevis has been a major contributor to our impressive presale activities and that has allowed this project to move at the pace it has moved. We have been on site for 16 weeks, and we are on track to meet our completion date.”
Mr. Lawrence also stated that many other locations courted the developers of Imperial Bay, and he said that in the Caribbean, “Sun is sun, sand is sand” therefore it must take more to attract investors. He revealed and said that the decision by the investors to develop in St. Kitts was as a result of the continued efforts by the Prime Minister in attracting investors to our shores and expressed gratitude on helping him to get this project here.
According to Mr. Lawrence, the Imperial Bay Beach and Golf Residences and the KIO Resort project, directly adjacent, will transform the Half Moon Valley. He said the transformation started a few years ago with the construction of the Half Moon Courtyard Housing Development.
“It’s going to be an impressive place to visit once both Imperial Bay and Koi Resort are completed,” he said. “Imperial Bay Beach and Golf Residences employs 42 construction workers in all areas of general construction, and has a payroll of approximately EC $200,000.00 monthly, which directly goes into our economy. In addition, we are a major purchaser of construction supplies from local businesses.”
The next “Development Tour” will be conducted later this year and will be open to individuals and groups. Information on how the general public can register to visit the sites will be provided in an announcement from the St. Kitts and Nevis Information Service (SKNIS).