Minister Weeks: $36M WEDCo Housing Project

May 11, 2012

Minister of Public Works Michael Weeks this morning [May 11] spoke in the House of Assembly about a project will see the expansion of infrastructure and the creation of a new residential community primarily for WEDCo tenants.

The overall cost of the total project is projected to be $36 million and will be delivered and paid for by the West End Development Corporation, with Government providing a shortfall guarantee for the project.

Minister Weeks said, “The infrastructure expansion will provide sewage collection and supply of reclaimed water from locations between Ireland Island North and Boaz Island.

“The project provides a solution to the long standing housing challenges within the West End without displacing existing tenants”

The construction for this project consists of pre-engineered concrete and foam filled panel system for both walls and roof and will be completed with all local labour, the Minister said.

The project will be delivered in 2 phases with phase 1 seeing construction of 45 units on the property adjacent to the existing Victoria Row. Upon the completion of phase 1, the current sitting tenants from both Albert and Victoria Row will have the opportunity to move into the completed units.

Phase 2 will see the demolishing of both Victoria and Albert Row and then completion of the remaining units. The development consists of a mix of 1, 2 and 3 bedrooms. Rents for these units will range between $1600 and $2,100 per month.

Minister Weeks full statement follows below:

Good afternoon.

This morning I provided Members of the House of Assembly with an update on a project which is being delivered by the West End Development Corporation, (WEDCo), during the coming months.

This project will see the expansion of infrastructure from Ireland Ireland North to Boaz Island and the creation of a new residential community primarily for WEDCo tenants on the existing Victoria Row site.

The infrastructure expansion will provide sewage collection and supply of reclaimed water from locations between Ireland Island North and Boaz Island.

Completion of this project will mark another significant enhancement for the West End of the island and is an example of prudent sustainable development.

Additionally, the project provides a solution to the long standing housing challenges within the West End without displacing existing tenants.

The overall cost of the total project is $36,000,000.00 and will be delivered and paid for by the West End Development Corporation.

The Government is, however, providing a shortfall guarantee for this project.

It is not anticipated that there will be a need for the Government to activate the shortfall as the projected rental revenue and sale proceeds from existing owned Boaz Island Village condominiums will cover the cost and financing for this project.

However, in the unlikely event that there is a shortfall, WEDCo has already put in place the provision of a Board resolution that funds provided through a shortfall will be paid back to the Government.

The construction of this project will also create a welcome boost to the construction industry. Throughout the 18 month delivery period, it is anticipated that in excess of 100 jobs will be required within various capacities to complete the project.

The construction method for this project is a pre-engineered concrete and foam filled panel system for both walls and roof. These panels will be delivered to Dockyard and they will be erected and completed with all local labour.

This method of construction provides significant strength and energy efficiency while being extremely cost effective. The aesthetics of the units will be consistent with many existing 2 story dwellings throughout Bermuda and the interior will be completed with kitchen appliances.

The project will be delivered in 2 phases. Phase 1 will see construction of 45 units on the property adjacent to the existing Victoria Row. Upon the completion of phase 1 the current sitting tenants from both Albert and Victoria Row will have the opportunity to move into the completed units.

Phase 2 will see the demolishing of both Victoria and Albert Row and then completion of the remaining units. The development consists of a mix of 1, 2 and 3 bedrooms. Rents for these units will range between $1600 and $2,100 per month.

These homes are being developed to provide the 60+ existing WEDCo tenants and those still on the Bermuda Housing Corporation (BHC) rental waiting list, the opportunity to live in a new, safe, modern unit.

The infrastructure expansion portion of the project affords the housing development and others to be linked into existing potable water supply, sewage collection and treatment as well as the supply of treated water which can be used for flushing and irrigation, thus significantly reducing overall potable water consumption.

In conclusion, I would like to say thank you to the area residents for their patience and to everyone involved in making this project become a reality.

WEDCo has already planned and notified all residential tenants of an upcoming residents meeting in which all aspects of the project will again be delivered.

Thank you.

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  1. Public Works Minister Defends WEDCo Project | Bernews.com | May 29, 2012
  1. Argosy says:

    Where ya gonna get the $?????

    • Family Man says:

      Sounds like we need to hire a couple consultants to do a feasibility study.

    • Somebody is making sense... says:

      By any chance, was this project identified in the 2012 -2013 Budget? If so, I don’t recall it being vigourously challenged as it should have been?

      • pepper says:

        I doubt if this project will ever get built !!! they will say anything near an election.

    • Have a Cold One says:

      72 MILLION wasted when it could be used for much better. I know the story says 36 million but you know all government projects go over budget by 2-3 times

  2. OMG says:

    OMG – do the nuts designing this know we have more inventory than ever before and no-one wants West End let alone Dockyard. They cannot even sell the Boaz Island units that are almost at give away prices!!

    $36M coming from where and going down the tubes! Who is going to built them F&F construction (Friends & Family)??

    • Out of flight says:

      Why? Why? are we building these when we have a surplus?
      Nuts
      Unbelievable and the ones up there now are in bad shape. Not the old military ones the newer ones need help first.

  3. Finally left! says:

    Im confused… so the govt is building more low income housing, but renting this time as opposed to trying to sell??

    Or just renovating/replacing the existing properties?

    • hmmm says:

      Doesn’t it say that these are to replace the ones that currently exist? Do u people read before you to criticize?

      • Truth (Original) says:

        Its phase 2 that I have a probem with.

      • Finally left! says:

        LOL i have not criticized anything…. i have merely asked for clarification.

        It seems though that while it says the current tenants can move into the phase 1, that there is also a phase 2..

        so my question is still valid. Are they really building more low income housing, but renting as opposed to selling, considering their last bunch of low income housing has done nothing.

      • Finally left! says:

        Hell lets make it easier on govt. There are now apartments/condos built at grand atlantis. none have sold, yet govt has or is set to pay for those. Why cant we just move pepole into those… its pretty self explanatory that they will either not sell, or have to be severely reduced in price…. so lets cut losses and use those up.

  4. Family Man says:

    Awesome. That’s just what we need, more housing units. The cheaper the better. We can drive all those greedy landlords into bankruptcy.

    How are the sales of those Grand Atlantis units going? I bet there’s been lots of ‘interest’ and we should have the first sale about the time we see ground broken the new hotel development at Club Med.

  5. Truth (Original) says:

    STOP BUILDING !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Truth (Original) says:

    Please call the election so we can halt this development after phase 1. This Govt is hell bent on decimating the value of our real estate. YOU ARE FURTHER SATURATING THE VALUE OUT OF AN ALREADY SATURATED MARKET !

    Unbelieveable.

  7. GVT Mechanic says:

    This is nuts! There are hundreds of empty properties already, why not decant people into those, pay the landlords the much needed rental (err, you know putting food on the table for those families) and then demolish Albert/Victoria and rebuild IF NEEDED!! How many contractors are trained in putting together these types of prefabs?? Not many – so where are the 100 people coming from, Island, Correia?? Do they actually think these things through?

  8. observer says:

    geez you cant fill what you have know….why don’t govt just rent the unsold apts instead of wasting 36 million bucks…..the govt plan to bring down rents have worked but we now have more empty apts than ever in history, just check sunshopper or emoo…..I truly hope the minister rethinks this absolutely unnecessary move.

  9. jt says:

    ummmmm? ughhhhh? hmmmmm? Nope, I tried, I don’t get it.

  10. terry says:

    This is so funny.
    It makes me puke.
    Ewart, just do it.

  11. Mountbatten says:

    Prime real estate to house prison officers families and rapid response teams for those vicious troublemakers in WestGate .

  12. Razor says:

    Building more living space that will never be rented. Weeeeeeeee!

  13. The new name for Beautiful Bermuda is soon to become The Concrete Projects. PLEASE let’s all pray to get the PLP out and maybe just maybe we have a chance of having an island with some elegance and class again, before it is to late.

  14. Curious says:

    Where is WedCo getting the $36 Million from? That detail was not mentioned in the announcement.

  15. Guard for the People says:

    I see the big picture here and it makes TOTAL SENSE To ME…NOT!!! Let me get this right, lets build more apartments in a part of the island that is not attractive to the average Bermudian or foreign worker. People are not exactly lining up to move to to the furthest point west of the island. Are they? Its a beautiful part of the island but lets face it, does the average persom want to drive to Hamilton each day and fight the traffic both ways. Readers, before you get your panties in a bunch I said “average person”, not every person. I did it six years ago because the rent was $200 a month less for a simailar sized apartment that I previously rented in Paget, but the extra gas expenses for my wife and I were about $160 a month extra and I spent about an hour each day more in traffic. Was it worth it…NO! ! With all the homes and apartmments on the market right now, is there really anyone out there that REALLY believes this is a good idea right now?

  16. wpplrstupd says:

    can you f…ing ppl just stop bitching.

    ffs you are not geting back in power.

    so just leave

    • Truth (original) says:

      This idea simply doesn’t make sense and here’s why;

      Govt is providing a SHORTFALL GUARANTEE for this project
      Wedco plans to offset costs is PROJECTED rent and sales of existing condos in the west end.

      I don’t have to tell you that, that is a horrible financing plan right? You have seen the response Govt has gotten to the sale of their development… ZERO sales.

      WEDCo will get the same response so unless this project comes in EXACTLY at cost or less (possible but not likely), the Govt will almost definitely has to provide these guaranteed funds for this project.

      Of course, I am assuming that you haven’t any analysis of the situation at all and neither will you offer anything useful to the convo.

      Typical.

    • The nitty gritty says:

      Interesting you still think of it as getting back “power’!
      That ‘power’ corrupted and has led you to the brink of mass unemployment and serious crime.
      What you have seen so far is just a taster for intelligent people to wake up.
      Not so swift of mind will keep digging deeper and arrogantly calling for all detractors to leave Bermuda!
      The loss of every person will incur the loss of 2 to 4 jobs and if the PLP do get back in you can triple those numbers. If I shut down tomorrow, two dozen people are unemployed, 40 or more other businesses stop getting a cheque for goods and services, and the knock on from that.
      You my friend will be joining that ever growing scene of street vendors selling washing powder and toilet paper for a living and that’s some sacrifice to ‘power’.

    • More with less says:

      No it is you and the government that are so clearly stupid. Have you ever heard of supply and demand? Probably not.

    • powa less says:

      People of lesser intelligence and a chip on their shoulder just love to keep going on about ‘power’.

      Those more enlightened with a vision for the future understand that it’s ‘RESPONSIBILITY’ , not ‘power’ to lead this island forward for the betterment of all of us.

      FWIW, I still think you’re just a poser trying to stir the pot .

    • So what you are saying is be quiet, just sit back and watch the island deteriorate. It has no bearing on which government you believe in a mistake is a mistake

    • jt says:

      Produce better results and people will stop. Pretty simple.

  17. verbal kint says:

    This is the wrong time to be considering building this, and it needs to be stopped, but we need to protect ourselves if it goes forward. Before the first shovel full of dirt is moved, we need to know who the contractor is going to be, how the contract is (was) tendered, and what resonsibility they are going to be held to.

  18. Mad Dawg says:

    As we all have seen several times now, this guy isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed.

    We’re watching the start of another train wreck.

  19. Cinderella says:

    Is this development necessary? NO!!
    Is a water treatment and desalination plant that will serve the western half of Bermuda necessary? YES!!
    Is a wider road needed? YES!!
    Can we have an urgent care center there too? YES!!
    Why load the minimal resources with more demand for services?
    Where are the Civil Engineers when you need them, or are they “just natives”?

  20. think says:

    I have just one question: Is the Office of Project Management & Procurement going to make sure this project is managed properly, ie. completed within the $36 Million budget and delivered on time??

    • GVT Mechanic says:

      simple answer is no – it is being managed by WedCo. A friend works at OPMP and they were stunned when this was announced with no nod to them

  21. terry says:

    You bet it will if Zane and Correia have anything to do with it.
    Steel beams excluded.

  22. blah blah blah says:

    Obviously there has been NO thought process used for this idea/plan. The debt has spiralled out of control and they are just adding to it. Where are they getting these assinine ideas? get a grip PLP you are out of control and ruining the lives of the people you are supposed to be looking out for.!!!!!!!

  23. WEDCO 4 LIFE says:

    BUP BUP BUP!!!!! GO WEDCO! BIG TINGS A GWAN!! PURE NEW DEVELOPMENTS, HERR ME?

  24. Moonbeam says:

    The PLP will do ANYTHING to retain power even if it hurts their own people. Why are their own people so blind to that ? They let the PLP ‘hoodwink’ them all the time. Where is their intelligence ?

  25. Grouper says:

    By guaranteeing the $36M, Bda Govt has added this amount to it’s NATIONAL DEBT of more than $1,500,000,000……

  26. Malachi says:

    As if we need more units in Bermuda, in spite of there currently being hundreds of empty units on the Island. The units in question should remain – all they need is renovation. I actually quite like the style of the Victoria Row units.

    Moreover, those buildings are very well constructed, and with a little renovation, might even outlast any new construction we might undertake.

    So please, don’t knock down those fantastic buildings!

  27. More with less says:

    The paranoia with the power has reached an all time high. Several have become delusional and are constantly looking over their shoulder. Wonder why?

  28. Victoria Row Tenant says:

    I live in one of the Victoria Row Units, all that is required for the renovation is: rewiring, windows replaced,roofs fixed and a good coat of paint on the outside. These units were constructed in the 1800′s to house Bermudian Dockyard workers, they have 16″ walls and have withstood many hurricanes. At the moment they have a few units vacant which could be completely renovated, as each unit is renovated they can put existing tenents in them while they renovate theirs and so on. Why is Wedco so anxious to demolish these beautiful homes and part of our Bermudian History.

  29. Pastor Syl says:

    So $36 Million for rental units? How long will it take for the rents to cover expenditure? Even more to the point, what rents are the current renters in Albert/Victoria paying? How do they compare with what will be charged for the new units? I’d make a bet the new rents will be far above current rents. What will happen to the current tenants then?

    The most fundamental question has already been asked – why are we building more units when we have a surplus of empty units now?? Doesn’t make sense.