WEDCo: Work Will Be Awarded Via Tender

May 20, 2012

The contract tenders for the demolition, erection and completion of the Victoria Place Housing project in Sandys have not been issued yet, WEDCo Chairman Walter Lister said this afternoon [May 20]. Speculation had arisen on a talk show that the contract had been, or will be, awarded to Correia Construction.

The cost for the entire project is $36 million dollars, and the funding for this project is through the Bank of Butterfield. Mr Lister said funding for the finance is via a combination of rents and sale proceeds from the remaining WEDCo owned Boaz Island Village Condominiums. Minister of Public Works Michael Weeks previously said that Government is providing a shortfall guarantee for the project.

“The houses are being purchased “turn-key” from CPS – Coastal Precast Systems. The houses will be manufactured, shipped and erected with local labour,” said Mr Lister.

“The contract tenders for the demolition, erection and completion of the project have not been issued therefore no one to date has been awarded any work, however, this will be done over the coming weeks.”

Mr Lister said tenders will be issued for local contractors to provide work including trenching, site excavation, landscaping, crane work, electrical, plumbing, painting and more.

“One of the primary objectives for this development is to deliver the project within the prepared financing of $36,000,000.00. I can however add that it is our intent to include as many small businesses as practically possible,” said Mr Lister.

The OBA has questioned the project, with Opposition Leader Craig Cannonier asking why the Government is continuing to build more housing when there are hundreds of empty apartments, and Shadow Finance Minister Bob Richards asking where is the $36 million coming from.

“If the Government has to guarantee it, then it is taking on more debt,” said Mr Richards. “This will be $36 million on top of the more than a billion dollars it already owes, and on top of the $14 million the BHC has to borrow to pay for the latest phase of the Grant Atlantic housing project.

“The public should not be fooled into thinking that Wedco or BHC borrowing is not public debt. These are government entities, and it is taxpayers who are ultimately responsible for it,” said Mr Richards.

Mr Lister’s full statement is below:

As Chairman of the West End Development Corporation (WEDCo) it gives me great pleasure to announce the delivery of the Infrastructure expansion and Victoria Place Housing project. The Board and Management have always been dedicated to improving the quality of life and standard of housing within the West End.

Approximately 3 years ago WEDCo was approached to give consideration for a new mega Yacht development it was then an opportunity to use this as an opportunity to assist WEDCo in delivering a solution to the long outstand Housing challenges and expand the Dockyard infrastructure.

WEDCo is still committed to furthering the Marina development and will be a business partner in that development we first wanted to deliver a cost effective solution for housing. It was through this relationship that we are now delivering our solution.

This longer term solution not just a quick fix for two properties, instead it is a well thought out sustainable plan for all residential properties with WEDCo’s remit. Initially we anticipated that the project would have been completed by now, the last 2 years have presented many challenges for us to overcome.

I would urge the public at large to listen to the facts:

  • This is a WEDCo Infrastructure and residential housing project.
  • The cost for the entire project is $36 million dollars.
  • The funding for this project is through the Bank of Butterfield.
  • Funding for the finance is via a combination of rents and sale proceeds from the remaining WEDCo owned Boaz Island Village Condominiums.
  • WEDCo is in a partnership to develop the Marina and a solution for the infrastructure expansion and housing. This partnership is operating under the company called South Basin Development, Ltd. This company is owned and controlled by Wedco.
  • The houses are being purchased “turn-key” from CPS – Coastal Precast Systems. The houses will be manufactured, shipped and erected with local labour.
  • The contract tenders for the demolition, erection and completion of the project have not been issued therefore no one to date has been awarded any work, however, this will be done over the coming weeks.
  • CPS will manufacture the insulated concrete panels, consolidate interior fixture and fittings and deliver the entire unit including project materials via barge to Dockyard.

Tenders will be issued for local contractors to provide:

  • Trenching, installation of pipe, electrical connections, plumbing connection and all works associated with the infrastructure portion of the project.
  • Site excavation and preparation
  • Site works: Electrical, plumbing, lighting and eventually landscaping.
  • Erection of Houses will require many contractors to complete the entire installation:
  • Crane work
  • Electrical
  • Plumbing
  • Installation of Door, windows, cabinets. Etc.
  • Painting

The above items will be all delivered through contractors and subcontractors. WEDCo will over the coming weeks hold provide further detail of the entire project not simply for public information but also for contractors to better understand our project and the best way to get involved.

The site as we currently know it will soon have a new face and therefore we need to reflect back and ensure this is properly recorded. The existing Albert and Victoria row were originally constructed during 1870’s. The purpose of these dwellings was to house the married Royal Navy artisans.

These were the family homes for the carpenters, plumbers, ship wrights and other working class persons within the Royal Navy. Today many of our sitting tenants who are also working families which came to live in these same dwellings after being relocated from Devonshire and have made Dockyard their home for the last 30+ years.

While these structures have served for generations they are in need of replacement. WEDCo in conjunction with the Maritime Museum will ensure that before the demolition of each site occurs each of them will be properly recorded and kept for historical records.

The new housing development affords an opportunity for every current sitting WEDCo tenant to move into a brand new unit. This opportunity will be the start of a new community, a community that every tenant will participate in shaping the quality of life for years to come.

So, while I am pleased to be in a position to facilitate this opportunity delivering new physical structures, I also wish to also relay that receiving this opportunity comes with the responsibility of building, protecting and preserving the quality of life for our community.

The project will be delivered in 2 phases. Phase 1 will see the installation of new infrastructure between the Dockyard Waste Water Treatment Facility and Boaz Island as well as the erecting of 48 pre-engineered units. It is important to again outline that as of today the only contracts that have been signed are the required Finance documents and the development agreement with South Basin Development.

Some decisions with required to final materials have already been made and did go through a proper analysis to ensure cost saving (e.g. Windows, doors etc.) WEDCo is contracting to purchase units from our supplier, erected in Bermuda -wind and water tight. It will be the contractual responsibility of the supplier to contract the local labour necessary to complete their installation.

Throughout this process many small local companies will receive contracts to provide construction services for this project. In addition to the erection of houses there will also be demolition, landscaping and various other required site works all of which will be awarded via tender process.

I must however stress that it is impossible to ensure that everyone looking for work can or will be accommodated. One of the primary objectives for this development is to deliver the project within the prepared financing of $36,000,000.00. I can however add that it is our intent to include as many small businesses as practically possible.

WEDCo accepts there will always be a certain level of controversy and criticism when delivering projects. However, we are focused on delivering this much needed Infrastructure expansion and Residential rental development as quickly and as cost effectively as possible.


The Hon. Walter Lister J.P. M.P.


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Comments (34)

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  1. Mountbatten says:

    LOL at headline , cause the former premier didn’t do business so transperently . One or two cats got all the major work .

  2. Mad Dawg says:

    So there will be a “tendering” process, and then one of the Friends and Family contractors will get the contract. As usual.

    • pepper says:

      This is the way they do tendering !!!so get over it ….and guess what our new govenor will not do a thing about it !!!!!!!!!!!the issues will continue…
      Brown and others all had their friends on board !!!!!!and Paula Cox knows what went down… but most BERMUDIANS like this style of government, and what did Renee Webb do to earn the wage she was paid as a consultant !!!!!!!!!!!and do not get me started on what Commisiong got paid as a consultant….

  3. Family Man says:

    So exactly how does this work:

    “The houses are being purchased “turn-key” from CPS – Coastal Precast Systems. These guys are based in Chesapeake, Virginia.

    But then Lister goes on to say: The houses will be manufactured, shipped and erected with local labour,” said Mr Lister. So how many Bermudians are going to Virginia to manufacture these houses? How many Bermudians are employed shipping these houses from Virginia to Bermuda? A few Bermudians might be employed as labourers to erect the houses under supervision from Coastal Precast Systems and I’m sure they’ll have a few Bermudian painters.

    How does the BIU feel about this arrangement? Love to hear LaVerne’s justification for hiring a US company to build Bermuda houses.

    I’ll bet the guys at the block plants who are working reduced hours are just thrilled to hear another PLP “buy Bermuda” initiative.

    PLP saying one thing, doing another since 1998.

    • Come correct says:

      Just because you can stick a white roof on it doesn’t make it a Bermuda house. Looking at the condos on southside road in st.davids and the new grand atlantic failure, am I the only one that thinks these look like sh!t with all the pipe work run on the exterior? Destroy our beauty, get rid of our traditions and what do you have left besides a bunch of alcoholics stuck on a rock?

      • Family Man says:

        They have all the architectural style of a match box don’t they?

        Ahhh never mind, the fees and commissions were good so the politicians and contractors can retire to their second homes in St. Kitts, Dominican Republic or Costa Rica.

  4. Liars! says:

    Whatever dude, we know what your “tender Process” is….get three astronomical prices, then don’t choose the lowest price, with the most experienced contractor. Rather, give the contract to a “black” company that has hardly any experience and will not be capable of finishing the job….like Andre curtis, like Pro-active, like Landmark, like so many others.
    Like that “job” that WEDCO is already doing out at Dockyard, you know the one, its taking years to complete…..the contractors are never there and the guys have started everything but finished nothing…they should all be fired like this Government!

  5. Rockfish#2 says:

    Wait a minute!

    Is this the same Walter Lister who was instrumental in relieving Jim Butterfield of the cement plant at Dockyard?

  6. Ray Charlton says:

    Renovate the existing units with out of work Bermudians managed by W&E.
    Put the money in Bermudian pockets rather than the overseas manufacturer and the rich contractors who get the jobs.

  7. LaVerne Furbert says:

    Why not use “friends and family”? Are you suggesting that the PLP should give the contract to one of their enemies?

    If Dennis Correia qualifies, why shouldn’t he get the contract? Are you now suggesting that no PLP member or supporter should ever get a government contract?

    • Family Man says:

      What do your union members think about having these pre-fab units built in the USA and shipped to Bermuda as a “turn-key” unit?

      Or is it just another “we don’t care what you think”.

      What happened to Paula’s Buy Bermuda campaign?

      • LaVerne Furbert says:

        What does this have to do with union members? Nothing!!

        Do you know any company in Bermuda that produces pre-fabricated materials?

        • Come correct says:

          So a concrete block isn’t pre-fabricated? Or do they cut them right from the earth like that?shouldn’t we buy locally instead of building more american pre-fabricated projects?

    • Come Correct says:

      Who are the plp’s enemies? or is that a stupid question?

    • Mr Cranky says:

      Note Laverne’s words here: “Why not use friends and family”?

      Thanks for confirming it Laverne. I see exactly what you’re saying. There will be a sham “tendering” process and then the friends and family plan will kick in. It’s a closed deal.

      No-one in the government has any comprehension of openness, integrity, or avoiding conflicts of interest. They just want to funnel money to themselves.

  8. navin johnson says:

    Laverne it means have an open tendering process and not a secret…your Government is going to borrow “more money” to build pre-fab condos that are not needed and the money will not find its way into the hands of people who need it but people who already have lots of it and the rest of us will pay for it….but don’t worry the BIU will continue to pay you and the other officials until the last penny and certainly before any of your members…

  9. 1minute says:

    $36 Million = $50-70 Million for this Government.

    Why do we need more housing built? They can’t even fill the condos on South Shore in Warwick.

  10. Tender? says:

    The majority of the project has already been awarded to a non tendered non Bermudian company. How did they win that? How much of the $36 million is going to Coastal Precast Systems?

    • Family Man says:

      Gross or net of commissions?

      • Albert Sodergren says:

        Oh I think the commissions will be very gross.

  11. Serious says:

    Of course the job has been offered to someone already. How else could it be stated by Min. Weeks that they have a start date in August 2012. Transparency cannot be achieved through all the heavy clouds that are hanging over this government.

    • Verbal Kint says:

      That got my attention, too. Something doesn’t seem right there.

    • Peaches & Cream says:

      Damn Skippy! Wake UP!! A Blind man can see that! Im telling you – this little island the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Theres no in between!

  12. Bewildered says:

    I think what Walter Lister means is that the $36 million is to cover the local work – assembly, excavation, plumbing, electrics etc. Seems a bit steep at about $800,000 per unit, but heh, local labor needs to be kept employed, plus need to cover all the “extras”.

  13. Come Correct says:

    “The houses will be manufactured, shipped and erected with local labour,” said Mr Lister.

    So we’re sending Bermudians abroad to MANUFACTURE these pre-casts and ship them? Are we using a Bermudian shipping company or building another Sea Venture?

  14. navin johnson says:

    some Minister on Hott 107 said last night that the project was to “inject capital” into the local economy as part of the Government mandate to provide affordable housing……where is the $36million coming from? borrowed from the latest line of credit? and how much of the $36million stays here or goes to the US to Coastal Precast Systems…? (any friends and family connections to CPS)…another joke in a long long line of jokes…….

  15. pebblebeach says:

    Save it Walter…

  16. Albert Sodergren says:

    So why do these proposed units need to be connected to the waste treatment plant?

    Will the units have their own water tanks?

    What is to be built on the land currently used by Albert and Victoria blocks?

    Since the Marina company was mentioned in the press release one can be certain that the infrastructure is being extended to that area in preperation for the as yet not approved marina. I wonder how much of the $36 million is earmarked for the marina?

    It would be very interesting to have WEDCO show the Bermuda taxpayer what the overall plan is for the vast area that they control. Surely after all these years there must be a Master Plan.

  17. Yankee Boy says:

    BLDC Tendering process is well known for it’s transparency and lack of back door deals. Come on Walter look at how you handled the cement tender deal. The WEDCO Board of Directors did not formally interview one of the respondents before awarding this 10 year contract to Maxcem ( Dennis Correira).


    1) Did Correira ever make available the 20 % of Maxcem shares available to the public like he promised in his cement bid proposal ?
    2) Why did you / Wedco accept a lower net revenue from Maxcem than the other respondents. $200,000 a year is a major difference ?
    3) Why did you not interview any of the RFP respondents ? Was the hurry , Paula was assuming leadership of the PLP 3 weeks after your awarding the cement bid ?

    Thanks Walter , I am sure Cliff Lambert and Myron Piper would like to thank Derek Burgess, Chris Furbert and you for your transparency.

  18. Mark says:

    The units start at $1600 a month for a one bedroom…..who in their right mind would pay that for a pre-fab all the way in dockyard…that aint affordable… much do they currently pay a month?

    • Ray Charlton says:

      I have been told by the occupants that they presently pay between $600 and $1200 per month.

      • Peaches & Cream says:

        LOL what a joke! so if the occupants are now paying between $600 – $1200 then how and why on God’s green earth will they pay $1600???

        • Albert Sodergren says:

          Well since the residents are low income and are being turfed out by rapacious landlords I would hazard to guess that the turfees will go elsewhere or apply to Social Assistance.

          Who willingly lives at the extreme west end? Precious few I think.

          Either way the taxpayer is still on the hook to backstop housing that is not needed. Oh but there is a “need” for the new MEGA MARINA that will cover about 60 acres of mostly turtle grass beds. Just in case someone wants to park their visiting gin palace in Bermuda for the weekend before they realize that they are in the armpit of the island with pityful services and transportation links.

  19. Mark says:

    Government is displacing low income and fixed income families to move in middle class people….where are these people supposed to now find somewhere affordable to live…where’s the compassion? If it was the ubp we would be hearing all sorts of complaints about the white man tryna get rid of the poor black ppl…I’m disgusted at this government.