Minister: ‘Agreement In Principle On Financing’

January 27, 2016

[Updated with video + PLP response] The Desarrollos Hotelco Group, the developers for the planned St. George’s resort,  have “reached agreement in principle on all of their financing arrangements,” Minister of Tourism Development & Transport Shawn Crockwell said, adding that they are “hoping for ground breaking no later than June of this year.”

Speaking at a press conference today, Minister Crockwell said, “I am pleased to announce that the Desarrollos Hotelco Group, the developers for the St. George’s resort, has reached agreement in principle on all of their financing arrangements for this historic development.

“Financing with an International bank is progressing toward completion with all normal, required documentation to be finalized over the next few weeks.

“Desarrollos are expected to return to Bermuda next month to sign the ground leases with the Ministry of Public Works and to also sign documents with regard to the financing.

“I am happy to report that Desarrollos are being proactive on planning issues and are working closely with the Department of Planning with respect to the designs for the St. George’s resort.

“The developers intend to meet with the residents of St. George’s and lay out their plans and address any concerns they may have. This will be a collaborative process.

“We are hoping for ground breaking no later than June of this year. Desarrollos have engaged local architects and construction companies as it relates to this project.

“As you may recall, the Government of Bermuda has a Master Development Agreement [MDA] with Hotelco Bermuda Holding Ltd., a subsidiary of the Desarollos Hotelco Group.

“We have identified an anomaly within the MDA, which speaks to a maximum of three designated sites. That is not correct.

“The Casino Gaming Act actually references a maximum of three Casino Licenses; there are no limits on the amount of resort sites that can be designated as a future casino site.

“Obviously this will depend on how many applications we receive and if the applicant meets the criteria.  Depending on the number and quality of applications, there can be more than three designated sites.

“I think that it is important to have this clarified and as a result, a small but important change will be made in the MDA to appropriately reflect the intentions of the Act.”

Update 9.16pm: Shadow Tourism Minister Jamahl Simmons said, “Today’s announcement that the Dessarolos Group has reached an agreement in principle on their financing is welcome news. With over 2000 jobs lost since 2013 and a 48 year low in air arrivals, many Bermudians are looking for good news that results in good jobs and opportunities to provide for their families.

“Bermudians in general and the people of St. George’s in particular have been waiting a long time for progress on this project. Now it is important that the government not only get shovels in the ground but ensure that Bermudians are the ones with their hands on the shovels and in leadership roles.

“We anticipate that the Department of Workforce Development will, in due course, be liaising with the developer to ensure that the capable, qualified, unemployed Bermudians are well positioned to take advantage of potential opportunities at this site.

“As we welcome this news, the PLP remains committed not just to the putting Bermudians first in jobs and opportunities at this property, but also to the preservation of community access to the beach. With its historical significance and the deep connection to many east end residents, this must continue to be open and accessible.”

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  1. Paradise Reclaimed says:

    Just don’t sign it away for several generations, please!!! If a decent return on investment can’t be had in half a century, nobody would bite anyway. Be smart for the future generations.

  2. craig looby says:

    Its interesting to see how this groups vetting process is proceeding…while the UMI group is having such extreme difficulty and resistance to being vetted.

    From: craig Looby
    Date: Thu, Jan 7, 2016 at 3:13 PM
    Subject: Re: UMI and the Bermuda airport redevelopment
    To: Deborah Harris , “Richards, Everard T.” , Rhonda Woods-Smith , karen@ariesenterprise.com, Peter Yeung , Arthur Brangman , “Dunkley, Michael H.” , ccannonier, sgcrockwell, “Gibbons, E. Grant” , “Baron, Jeffrey C.” , jjardine, tmdavis, amanders, dsbinns, clwhitter, jballor, “Hayward, Carol B.” , mazhar, vleader, jmtaylor, dgrearson, rbutterfield, tmoniz, hdurham, spgift, lrdickens, agc@gov.bm, oag@oagbermuda.bm, dao@gov.bm, pmhavlicek, energy@gov.bm
    Good day Governor, Premier, and Ministers Richards, Dr Gibbons, Cannonier, and Crockwell,
    Urban Maximum Industries Inc (UMI) has a superior proposal to the current airport redevelopment plan proposed by the CCC and AECON. We are currently being runaround in circles in our attempt to fully engage the Bermuda government to bring much needed direct foreign investment and infrastructure development to Bermuda.
    Technology exists to end the dependence on imported fuels to power island nations. UMI also has a superior plan for Bermuda energy production that can replace the poorly designed BELCO plan for deployment of LNG infrastructure. The deployment of a 200 MW utility scale power production facility based on renewable energy systems.
    The Bermuda Government established the Department of Energy to take the lead in meeting both the challenges of Bermuda’s own need for energy and our responsibility to set an example for the rest of the world.
    The Department of Energy’s strategic goals are to:
    1, Ensure a secure energy supply, in terms of both quantity and cost
    2, Reduce fossil fuel dependency
    3, Encourage greenhouse gas emissions, reductions related to energy
    The current draft energy legislation does not fulfill the Dept of Energy’s strategic goals.
    The UMI Power Master Plan for Bermuda does the following:
    1, Provides a secure energy supply in 200 MW quantity at lower rates to consumers than LNG
    2, Ends fossil fuel dependency; Bermuda will make its own fuel
    3, Ends greenhouse gas emissions related to energy production and certain classes of vehicles.
    UMI is also prepared to present an alternative proposal for the St Georges hotel development, if the public wants an option. We have been hearing concerns from Bermudians that the current developers plans feature a small hotel, and the main focus is on fractional property ownership. A model that has not increased hotel bed numbers to required amounts.
    We want to be vetted by the BMA, so the Government of Bermuda knows in advance that, every thing UMI is proposing can be delivered, and funds are available. We are requesting that the Finance Ministry and the Ministry of Economic Development, direct the BMA to vet our group.
    We contacted The BMA and they have stated that both ministries have the power to direct the BMA to vet us, without UMI being engaged in any application process for any RFP.
    We again highlight that UMI has been approached by two groups shortlisted by WEDCO and BLDC to fund projects that have gone out for RFP.
    In addition to the information below we provide the following websites for Dr Gibbons review, that outline the capacity, experience, projects undertaken, under construction, and scheduled for start, by Peter Yeung and the various partners within his network.
    http://WWW.ariesenterprise.com
    http://WWW.castlerockfinancial.ca
    http://WWW.internationalaseancorp.com
    To ensure clarity of our mission as per our LOI, we also highlight our interest in bundling the construction of the “Bridge and causeway and the Airport”, to form a totally new regional airport. We are prepared to also look at replacing the swing bridge gateway to St Georges.
    Investors are in support of a Bermuda airline, with multiple gateway city routes, the planes will be purchased by the investors, and the operation and marketing of the airline will be funded by the investors, new road paving technologies, with the addition of an island wide, rapid mass transportation mono rail system” as a strategic infrastructure, There are other aspects of our airport development plan outlined in our overview that has been sent in the LOI package, which we have sent out previously, and are re sending now, see below.
    This ensures that the significant investment for the new Airport is logically supported by the key Bridges, and mass transit requirements. We have the capacity to replace the CCC / AECON, and cover the penalty fees associated with ending that relationship with the Bermuda government, so the tax payers pay nothing.
    We have been engaged in talks with the CCC for some time, in an attempt to partner with them and AECON, and they fully accept that the Bermudian people can at any time choose to go with another option in regard to another proposal from a group like UMI, to develop the airport.
    And with polls indicating upwards of 75% of the population are against the current proposal on the table from the CCC/AECON, UMI seeks to provide Bermuda with a superior option for the program delivery.
    The investors working with UMI are prepared to visit Bermuda in January / February 2016, for face to face talks with the government. We are seeking a MOU with the government in order to present our proposals in detail.
    PS…Premier and The Governor’s office, can you confirm receipt of this email.
    Sincerely,
    Craig Looby
    UMI Inc. Founder and President

    Premier Michael Dunkley via gov.bm JAN 19
    Jan 19 (2 days ago)
    to Deputy, me, Grant, Carol, Everard
    Good Afternoon,
    Thank you for the below message sent on January 7th to which I believe the Cabinet Office did acknowledge receipt.
    I am aware that you have been in contact with Minister Gibbons and discussed projects. He in turn has kept myself and colleagues on the Economic Development Committee updated on the discussions.
    All development that the Government of Bermuda undertakes is put out to tender. I would hope, due to the interest and ability that you believe UMI can offer, that you submit the required documents to a tender. They will be considered.
    Thank you for your interest and support of Bermuda.
    All the best.
    Premier.
    The Hon. Michael H. Dunkley, J.P., M.P
    Premier of Bermuda
    Minister for National Security

    craig Looby Thurs Jan 21 2016
    1:43 PM (6 hours ago)
    to burtd06, William, Deborah, Everard, Rhonda, karen, Peter, Arthur, Michael, ccannonier, sgcrockwell, Grant, Jeffrey, jjardine, tmdavis, amanders, Derrick, clwhitter, jballor, Carol, mazhar, vleader, Jackqueline, dgrearson, rbutterfield
    Sir
    Thank you for your response. We very much appreciate and all points are respectfully noted.
    However…..we have been following instructions to make contact with Dr Gibbons, we have also been referred to other Ministers, to date we are still awaiting the information we have been requesting.
    We are attempting to secure a detailed and comprehensive check list of documents that needs to be provided so the BMA / Ministry of Development / Finance can properly vet the overseas investors, who are wanting to secure a MOU to engage in officially discussing our proposals with the Bermuda Government.
    A few points for your awareness as we continue to believe that not withstanding your supportive feedback is that due to the scope and depth of our overall engagement package (alliance consortium) is that UMI in using the public private partnership model seeks to partner not in an isolated and somewhat disconnected fashion as you state via projects (Request for Proposals, Expression of Interests,etc) but by having meaningful and structured national program development:
    The public private partnering seeks to facilitate a program development that is structured, integrated and timely
    The track record of Government project delivery is not consistent and is somewhat disjointed in its transparency or lack of transparency
    Government has a track record of engaging via both the RFP and un-solicited program delivery
    RFP -
    Unsolicited Proposals – Airport Development
    The Airport Project Program via a UMI program would include a bundling of projects which would deliver a significant, structured and timely delivery which establishes a national catalyst for rejuvenation – foreign direct investment, a wide range of employment and training and critical infrastructure program based on an overall tenets of sustainability.
    UMI is engaged with two current invitation initiatives via both BLDC* and WEDCo. We are seeking an expeditious exercise so that we can satisfy and support the Governments stated focus to establish a significant sustainable employment program which enables our country to increasingly move to stability and then growth.
    BLDC – Marginal Wharf – we are entering our xx month of process
    We do appreciate your guidance and continue to hope that in noting that the methodology of an overall national program delivery would be best served by a comprehensive and co-ordinated program .
    Sincerely,
    Craig Looby
    UMI Inc. Founder and President

    • Family Man says:

      All experts, no experience, we just need a few million to get the financing started.

      Been there, done that, learned our lesson.

      • craig looby says:

        All experts…plenty of experience…dont need any money we have our capital and we are not asking the Bermuda govt for money..hence why we are asking to be vetted..so your 0 for 3 on all points.

        • Jus' Wonderin' says:

          What experience do you have Craig? Be honest with everyone…. and you have all that capital ready to go?

        • Zevon says:

          You want your company to build a $2bn solar power plant in Bermuda, and you also want to build an airport.

          Let’s make this easy. How many civil construction projects greater than $100m has UMI started and completed successfully? Perhaps you could limit the list to the biggest five contracts? That should be easy, for someone with your background in media production.

      • jt says:

        Posting correspondence on here speaks volumes.

  3. aceboy says:

    That is because UMI has issues and nobody has any faith in it whatsoever.

    • craig looby says:

      UMI has no issues

      • Family Man says:

        No issues, no experience, no history.

        • craig looby says:

          Your comments have no basis in fact….the companies involved with UMI have experience, have history, and have capital….hence why we are asking to be vetted.

          • Family Man says:

            That’s what Par-la-Ville said too.

            • craig looby says:

              your attempting to compare an apple with a fish…..tell you what since your so concerned about UMIs ability, go sign the petition and help get UMI vetted….then your concerns will either be removed…or confirmed….we have our house in order hence why we are asking to be vetted

              • Family Man says:

                Give us one example, just one, of a successful project that UMI has completed.

                UMI.

                Not some third party building in Asia that you had nothing to do with. UMI. Just one example.

      • hmmm says:

        1)where does the money come from ? How was it generated?
        2)how do the investors expect to be paid back?

        • craig looby says:

          1) this is what the vetting process is for to answer those and other questions 2) Those details would be discussed with the govt and why we are asking for a MOU

          • aceboy says:

            lol. You are all about transparency, right up until the right questions are asked. Then it is all secret and “to be discussed”.

      • aceboy says:

        Yes they do. The whole thing is a start up and just like a recent developer who got himself in way over his head so to are you heading in that direction. Nobody gives away hundreds of millions of dollars. I don’t know who is selling you that bridge but I pray that Bermuda doesn’t buy it.

  4. Remember when-"blast" from the past says:

    The then Premier/Minister of Tourism of Bermuda said that Bermuda was entering its Platinum period for tourism, he pressed a button and an old icon of Bermuda fell flat to the ground.

    The irony is not lost on us as this seemed to happen to most of our economy under his group’s rule.

    The current Minister is saying no such thing and it look s likely that a hotel will be built.

    I don’t think anythng more needs to be really really does it???

  5. Rick Olson says:

    Craig there are a lot of struggling properties and businesses man up and buy one and you will have instant credibility.

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