Column: Caines On ‘Nine Acres Of Opportunity’

July 11, 2016

[Opinion column written by Wayne Caines]

It is very rare in Bermuda that nine acres of land suddenly appears on the market waiting for an entrepreneur – or entrepreneurs – to come along.

But that’s what is happening at Cross Island, at the Royal Naval Dockyard, and I strongly believe this presents an unheard of opportunity to create a legacy for Bermuda that will benefit the community for decades to come.

I accepted an invitation to become the chairman of the Cross Island Legacy Committee because I feel passionately about this country and its future and saw, in this, a chance to help create a game changer that could benefit Bermuda economically and culturally.

Wayne Caines Bermuda July 11 2016

Cross Island will be the home of the America’s Cup event village next year and there is always the possibility that the Cup will return to Bermuda in the future, using the same land.

However, at some stage there will be a need for a long-term use and it would be foolish not to plan for that now and that is what the Committee is doing – by asking for the input of the entire community.

So far we’ve had some brilliant ideas – a sports centre, conference centre, a shipping container city for small businesses, a fish farm, and a sailing centre to build on the America’s Cup legacy. All these, if they went ahead, would provide jobs and help bring investment to the Island.

That is why this opportunity – I call it nine acres of opportunity – is so exciting because it has the potential to further boost Bermuda’s economy thereby creating jobs and wealth for all of us.

Helped tremendously by Deloitte, the Committee has been – and will be – asking stakeholders, community groups, professional groups and everyone in between for ideas. If you have not contributed already you can via this link.

Mr Caines urges people to submit ideas for Cross Island

Importantly, we don’t just want your ideas, we also want your input on other people’s ideas – ideally we’d like to get a really good conversation going and you can see and comment on many of the ideas on our Cross Island Facebook page. Please tell us which ideas you support and why, and help us improve and develop the ideas others have already submitted.

I also want to stress that this process is not necessarily about finding one big idea, one big development. The best solution might be lots of small ideas so it is inclusive, allowing the average Bermudian a chance to participate and benefit.

The deadline for your submission is July 31. The work of the Committee will then start in earnest as we begin to digest and analyse all the ideas.

Aerial footage of the infill at Cross Island early in the construction phase

My fellow committee members – Andy Burrows from the Bermuda Tourism Authority, Joanna Cranfield, the Business Development Manager at WEDCo, Kirk Outerbridge from the Department of Works and Engineering, Aideen Ratteray-Pryse, from the Department of Planning, Philip Seaman, of Pj Designs and a member of the WEDCo board, Elena Strong from the National Museum of Bermuda and Jonathan Starling, the executive director of Greenrock – will work towards delivering workable ideas to WEDCo.

The committee will evaluate the benefits and costs of each idea against the following key objectives:

  • 1. Economic – Provides economic benefits to Bermuda
  • 2. Environmental – Is sensitive to the environment, surrounding historical significance, and marine habitats
  • 3. Financial – Delivers a good Return on Investment [ROI] for Bermud. Is financially viable
  • 4. Social/Cultural – Is connected to Bermuda’s heritage and culture/ Provides social benefits to Bermuda
  • 5. Structural – Is a good fit for the location, physical site, and exposure to weather and elements.

Once that is accomplished, we will pass our shortlisted recommendations to the WEDCo Board. The Board will then review and shortlist the ideas further to form part of a public RFP process. We are confident that WEDCo are committed to carrying out a transparent and inclusive RFP process in the next phase of this exciting endeavour.

Bermuda, this is a conversation worth having. It is a once in a generation opportunity and I, for one, hope we will receive 60,000 ideas.

- Wayne Caines


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Comments (43)

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  1. Toodle-oo says:

    It’s going to be underwater in a hurricane , so if we eliminate all of the poorly thought out hare brained ideas that might leave us with maybe 2 possible uses , whatever they might be.

    • archy says:

      Have you got a crystal ball? Are all the ideas hare brained, I’d like to know?

      • Toodle-oo says:

        All of the ideas I’ve hear bandied about so far do not take into account the area’s exposure . Probably the dumbest was an old folks home development.

    • wondering says:

      so is there historical data that shows your statement to be true ( i am not doubting the potential but has it been documented in the past that Dockyard is a low-lying area?)

      • wondering says:

        …..that is prone to flooding and storm surge (i just never thought of that)

        • Jeremy Deacon says:

          Hi, part of the matrix through which any ideas will be measured, is structural – ie whether it can withstand the elements.

      • Toodle-oo says:

        A tour of the Long Arm immediately after Fabian was proof of what happens there in a storm . 10 ton boulders dislodged and rolled around like marbles 9 feet above the high water mark .
        Asphalt peeled away like carpet .

        And now the 2nd dumbest suggestion ..’marijuana grow house’ .. lol
        What’s a farmer’s ‘grow house’ typically look like ? Tissue paper and twigs in a wind over 50 mph.

        • wondering says:

          Thanks I wasn’t in Bermuda during or immediately after Fabian and when I did turn home the country had recovered cosmetically


        • Jus' Wonderin' says:

          Oh right guess you couldn’t build a strong warehouse type building that would withstand hurricane force winds, etc. Toodle-oo to your marbles you lost them…smh

          • Toodle-oo says:

            Sorry , no matter what it’s used for I don’t want to see any warehouse style structures there no matter how well they’re built. After all this effort do we want to fill it with ugly buildings that impede the views ? No .

            My marbles may be gone but at least I still have good taste .

      • Um Um Like says:

        Historically, the area in question has been under water.

      • Rocky Noggin says:

        Um, just look at the water level next to the land, bird.

        • wondering says:

          Hey, I was asking as I truly am clueless but Thanks.

    • Onion Juice says:

      How about Reparations, we aint asking for Forty Acres and a Mule but lets have some respect for our ancestors !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • dick francis says:

        eh? This is reclaimed land.

      • wahoo says:

        Sure you can have it. Design yourself a flag and print your own currency and give yourself a name…maybe LaLa Land. You will need a visa to enter Bermuda but we might accommodate you. We throw in a mule for free too.

      • Lead By Example says:

        Eight hundred million dollars wasn’t enough for you?

    • Lead By Example says:

      Toodle Don’t , you have been invited to be part of solution, but instead it sound like you want to be part of the problem. If you have an idea, you can submit it. If you prefer to sit back, wait for others to do the grunt work, while you play armchair quarterback…I guess that is your prerogative, but those of use that are seeking a solution wish those like you would PUT UP – OR SHUT UP!

      • Toodle-oo says:

        People putting forth dumb , poorly thought out ideas just because they see 9 new acres to be developed is part of the problem .

        Putting forward the suggestion that we need to give much thought to the use of an extremely exposed area not only on open water but 7-9 feet above it so that whatever it is used for is practical , safe and can withstand the location is part of the solution .

        I still maintain that in practical terms there isn’t much use for it other than a plantation for palmettos and olivewood . At least they won’t rust out in 2 years or have to be evacuated every time a storm threatens . And if they do their replacement will be inexpensive and easy .

    • Gabriel says:

      Thats why I suggested it to be a water park…

      • Toodle-oo says:

        Are you at all familiar with the structures in a water park ?
        The materials they’re made of , their heights , the windage they generate ?

        Do you realise that water parks are fueled by fresh water , millions of gallons of the stuff ? We already have a water management crisis .

        Sorry , as much as everyone things it’s great , another dumb idea.

  2. Jus' Wonderin' says:

    Marijuana grow house for future generations…

    • Just the Tip says:

      Legalize it and that would be good, could add a bakery so you could have baked product as well. That be nice sit off by the water and have a brownie and just relax.

      • Keepin' it Real!...4Real! says:

        Now THAT makes too much sense…never happen though…can you imagine it..? Probably have to make reservations to get onto the hand of the long arm….lmfao!

    • wahoo says:

      Cross Bay Cronic!

  3. Community First says:

    How about holding some public meetings and discussions to engage the public in person.

    Please Mr. Cains, take a step out from behind your closed door meetings, paid public relations machine and online surveys.

    • wahoo says:

      That was done already…nobody came/went/voted.

    • Lead By Example says:

      You are being asked to submit your ideas. If they had a public meeting now and listened to all the ideas they would be there for weeks. Submit your ideas so they can go thru the good, bad and the ugly so that when they have a public meeting they can submit the top 20, 10, 5 ideas.

    • Jeremy Deacon says:

      There have been meetings, everything is posted on the facebook page, Mr Caines is speaking this week at Sandys Rotary, he has been on the Sherry J show and this link to the ideas form has been circulated very widely, the committee has brought on new members to help, and there has been a lot of publicity via the traditional media.

  4. Terry says:

    You fools talk so much s***.
    The original is still there; though small.

    Money filled some area of it.



    Spell MONEY.

    When your AC dies you don’t call an offshore………………….

    Fools you lot.

  5. Peter says:

    Yes we have an idea how about supporting equality and legislate civil unions first things first

    • Onion Juice says:

      The PEOPLE have spoken, get over it.

      • Peter says:

        It’s only just begun

      • Mike Hind says:

        No. They didn’t.

        And since when do you care? The majority voted for the OBA and you keep kicking up about it.

        • Onion Juice says:

          Thats because some fools fell for de ole oaky doke and are now kicking themselves in de @$$.

        • Straight up says:

          Hey Mike,
          Do you have a boyfriend your waiting to get married to? Anytime you catch a whiff of anyone opposed to SSM, you are all over them. Take a break!
          Like you, they are entitled to their opinion. ..and that’s all it is, an opinion. Once you remove the creator and his words from the equation, it your word against theirs.

  6. takbir Sharrieff says:

    Mr .Caines,may Almighty G–o–D Allah bless you to be successful in this onerus task on your,plate…….for the future generations ,to come.Peace…..

  7. just wondering says:

    my main problem with this have you read the small print in the application? you present a brilliant idea to the committee etc and it then becomes totally their property to do with as they will – you get no look in on your brilliant idea – on that basis why would someone submit their proposal??

    • Clare says:

      Because it’s public land. You can’t own it. If you have a sensitive idea, do it on private land so you can protect your idea.

      They need to do a public RFP process for whatever idea they go ahead with. If the idea person owned the idea, how would that be open, fair, and transparent? How would it get value for money for the government and people of Bermuda? It wouldn’t.

      • Jeremy Deacon says:

        @Clare, the opinion piece says this: Once that is accomplished, we will pass our shortlisted recommendations to the WEDCo Board. The Board will then review and shortlist the ideas further to form part of a public RFP process. We are confident that WEDCo are committed to carrying out a transparent and inclusive RFP process in the next phase of this exciting endeavour.