Scott: Four Grand Atlantic Proposals Shortlisted

September 27, 2013

Grand-Atlantic-Development-Bermuda-genericMinister of Community, Culture and Sports Wayne Scott spoke in the House of Assembly today [Sept 27], providing an update on the Grand Atlantic Development.

The Grand Atlantic property was planned as a housing development, with the listed prices for the 78 units ranging from $495,000 – $665,000.

Only one unit sold in the first six months, and some months ago Minister Scott said that the “only responsible thing to do is to take a step back before any further decisions are made.”

The Government had earlier solicited [PDF] of requests for information from investors and potential buyers, local and international, for the 78-unit property.

Speaking this morning, Minister Scott said, “A total of eight proposals was received by the Bermuda Housing Corporation pertaining to the Grand Atlantic Development. The proposals included ones promoting tourism use, senior residential use, and mixed use.

“To date four entities have been shortlisted for review, with emphasis being placed on tourism use. The process of discussions with local and overseas investors interested in the purchase of the Grand Atlantic property is entering the final stages of sensitive negotiation. The Bermuda Housing Corporation has facilitated the viewing of the property for overseas investors and their local partners during the past few months.

“The potential investors were impressed with the recent viewings and agreed to send in a second tier of formal written documentation confirming their interest in the property and the partnership and associated costs that they envision with the government to bring jobs, tourists and opportunity to Bermuda.

“The proposals are being carefully vetted and the preferred proposal will be recommended to cabinet as soon as possible for consideration and approval to proceed. Thus, a decision on the best long term use of the Grand Atlantic Development that will benefit the entire island of Bermuda is expected to be made shortly by the Government,” concluded Minister Scott.

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  1. Video: Minister Scott On Grand Atlantic Units | | September 29, 2013
  1. J Starling says:

    What are the four proposals?

    • watching says:

      Yes please…let’s hear the details…in the interest of transparency…

      • Hmmm says:

        They haven’t vetted the details yet…read the article.

      • Gusto says:

        Proposals are submitted confidentially fools!!

      • Suzie Quattro says:

        Why? Why wouldn’t the people who made the proposals expect some degree of confidentiality if their proposal is not taken up?
        Transparency is one thing, but it doesn’t mean every piece of paper is published.

  2. Nuffin but da Truth says:

    Knock the lot down!

    • Verbal Kint says:

      I think that is proposal number 1. 🙂

    • Gusto says:

      Knocking it down will not get rid of the debt ya idiot!!

      • Verbal Kint says:

        Knocking it down will not contribute to future debt. 🙂

        • Gusto says:

          Yeah it would…it would add to the debt to knock it down. Why is asset destruction an option? Are you high?

          • Verbal Kint says:

            Yeah, I’m high, but I still know what FUTURE means, and you seem to have missed the smile indicating my statement was tongue in cheek.

      • Verbal Kint says:

        It won’t contribute to future debt.:)

        • Time Shall Tell says:

          Knocking it down would yield zero financial returns to an already outstanding debt so yes it would contribute to future debt.

  3. watching says:

    What I don’t understand is the OBA and BEST and other special interest’s chief concern was safety. Now they are trying to find alternative uses. Ok fine. But have the safety issues been addressed? or were they overblown from the beginning?

    • Bermyman says:

      Maybe the safety issues will be addressed once a proposal is chosen and the process begins? Safety may not be an immediate concern but were you to own the property, in say 20 years if you have one of the front unites it may be the cliff underneath has eroded so much that you have moved out. At present I doubt there is any immediate safety threat to the properties. Have another Fabian though and there maybe. All around this is taxpayers money, squandered and wasted by the previous government another one to add to the list. Imagine if they had never been built the millions that could have been used instead to fund social services for the needy or ensure Civil servants don’t have to take pay cuts! Just imagine if the PLP knew what they were doing with our public funds we may not be on the verge of bankruptcy.

    • Stuart Hayward says:

      BEST’s chief concern was the bait and switch: The original proposal and SDO was for a 5-star hotel and “luxury” condos. What we ended up with was something far different.

      Efforts to make some “lemonade” from the lemons we got — to recoup something from the money spent — are laudable. BEST supports these efforts.

  4. Ty says:

    @watching – I agree with that…. I too was under the impression that the safety issue was first and foremost.

    Also – whatever decisions are made, what comes on the lone owner up there.. Now’s a time for them to make a killing on that one piece of property. If they want you to move out to make improvements make them pay you twice what you paid for it or tell them to build around you.

  5. Vote for Me says:

    Ok Riddle me this.

    PLP permitted teh condos to be built and they were soundly criticised for doing so based on saety issues, the environment, surplus housing etc.

    OBA comes along and is prepared to sell tehm for an alternate use.

    Are the buildings structurally sound or not!!

    My recommendation?? Drop the prices to the point of sale and let 1st time home owners purchase them. Beleive it or not, there are still people that need accomodation.

    • DarkSideofTheMoon says:

      Shhhh it’s not 2012 anymore

      • Gusto says:

        OBA said not to build them because the Bda Housing Corporation said NOT to build them…..AND the PLP could not confirm whether or not there had been any presales (because there weren’t)!! Go figure. This is a 100% grade “A” PLP mess!!!!!!!

    • Sandy Bottom says:

      So Vote For Me, you don’t think this was $60m wasted then?

    • Micro says:

      Well they’re there now, only sensible thing to do is build a proper seawall, shore up the cliff face and find a way to recoup the wasted money.

  6. Field says:

    Rent to buy would be nice

    • Out n about says:

      Rent to Buy would make sense as there are many people who can afford the monthly payments of a mortgage but do not have the downpayment.

      • My Kind says:

        Rent to buy (which really means a mortgage with 100% financing) sounds great but would only work if the price was right – I don’t believe it will ever be low enough to work. Short term rentals for tourists I believe is the best shot anyone has at making any money at all.

        Otherwise, just wait until they fall into the sea.

        • My Kind says:

          To be specific: Even if the prices were halved – I don’t believe enough people would buy and bank their future on these places never falling in the ocean. Something short term is the only answer.

          • Freedom says:

            There are houses ALL over Bermuda that are nearly falling off a cliff into the water. It’s actually a selling point, known as WATER FRONT.

      • Moojun says:

        And yet Bank of Butterfield offerred 100% financing, no money down, on these units and still no-one came forward to buy.

        • Time Shall Tell says:

          @ Moojun, with all the bad publicity the property was getting at the time by BEST & the OBA there wasn’t anyone interested in touching them. Now that one of the parties responsible for all the hype are on the other side of the fence they now are humming along to another tune.

          • Suzie Quattro says:

            “Bad publicity”? people went to look at them. Nobody wants them. They’re ugly, unattractive, and unwanted. Exactly as many people predicted before they were built.
            But now we have to try to find a use for them.
            Another expensive legacy problem from the PLP.

        • New Bermudian says:

          Because they’d have still cost upwards of $4K/month to buy with their terms. It’s just more than many people can buy. If the price were something that wound up to about $3K/month, then you might get some interest. People just plain don’t have the money these days. And there’s also a huge amount of uncertainty.

          And…they’re butt-ugly. Little or no landscaping, a chain link fence (!!!) on the edge by the ocean, no curb appeal whatsoever. And then there’s accessibility issues, an older person looking to downsize isn’t going to buy a place they’ll have trouble living in in 20 years’ time. So yeah. I think they got a sow’s ear with this one. The current government, nor the PLP, can make a silk purse from it as the development is. Lots of money sunk into some decent landscaping could help, but it’s the first part of that sentence that’s problematic.

        • Pat says:

          The crisis that we are facing at this time halted Average Bermudians from purchasing theose
          properties. Now all government workers have 5 percent less money in their pay checks. For some it could mean a bill or a shortfall in the rent or mortgage payment. These are serious situations. As for civil servants, they should have their high salaries cut. I don’t think they work any harder then the average government worker who is making far less salary. What happened to shared sacrifice?

          • My Kind says:

            The Atlantis development was just the last in a long line of failed ‘low cost housing’ projects in Bermuda.

            They of course weren’t low cost – and Bermuda has never been able to do low cost. Our construction standards are too high for low cost. The USA has mobile home parks and ‘projects’ and the UK has council housing estates. They all feature cheap construction methods which would not come up to Bermuda code.

            You simply can’t build a $500k condo for say $200K. Well, they did with the lottery housing but guess who is paying for that now? You and me that’s who!

            Rent them out by the week to tourists – keep an eye on the cliff erosion and eventually condemn them. Its the only answer. Get to it! Time’s a wastin.

  7. My Kind says:

    Tourist units rented by the week.

  8. Gold Coast Girl says:

    The only logical thing would be to have them as tourist rental units. As ugly as they are, they couldn’t just be knocked down, and at least they can make some money back on them. I believe the tourists would be interested in staying in them; maybe paint each one a differen pastel colour, plant more foliage around and make a safe walkway down to the beach.

    • somuchless says:

      no need to make a safe walkway, if you stand at the edge, you’ll fall into the sea regardless. lol

    • My Kind says:

      I’m with you Gold Coast Girl. I believe its the only possible way of getting any of the $$$$ back. Logical yes.

  9. HeyBye says:

    Take the write off now and knock them down.
    They will be a financial burden on tax payers going forward as they deteriorate with time and the south shore weather conditions.
    In addition, they are a major financial liability with the eroding cliffs exposing tax payers to law suites down the road.

    Convert the area to a park with a panoramic view of the south shore,this will beautify the surrounding area for residents and visitors alike.

  10. Please knock them down and charge the developer to truck the mess away. Built to fail

  11. Patricia says:

    I would have signed on if it was rent to buy. I went to an open house and the unit was very nice. As stated can afford the rent but not the down payment. I figured by the time those units fell into the water I would be long gone and it wouldn’t be my problem then. Would have probably got a few years out of living there free and clear of debt.

    My only question now is what happens to the individual that purchased a unit. what will the Housing Corporation do about them?

    • somuchless says:

      Prob see if they want to move to loughlands or st David’s.

  12. Hmmm says:

    So you pay a surcharge every moth to landlord as a deposit to be accrued to a future date on which you buy at future (agreed now) price….You still have to buy at the agreed price, so will need financing….i.e. a mortgage. It’s a way of saving your deposit, but Butterfield were offereing 100% mortgages with no money down, which would be cheaper than rent to buy.

  13. Triangle Drifter says:

    Since the PLP thought that this was such a grand idea, maybe the members of the PLP would like to buy the whole project, at what it cost the taxpayer of course, & do with it whatever grand ideas that they come up with.

    Call it practice at managing something before expecting to become the ruling party again. If they can’t manage it successfully then it will be obvious that they are not capable of managing Bermuda again. It gives Mark & Co something to do rather than trying to nit pick the OBA which is busy trying to repair the 14 year PLP wrecking spree.

    In the meantime it stands as a monument to the PLP failure at being the Government.

  14. Moonbeam says:

    OMG ! What boggles my mind is that the PLP/biu don’t seem to have ANY idea of the devastating damage they have done to this Island and its people. Don’t they have a guilty conscience? They should be apologizing, and working WITH the OBA to clean up their horrible mess – and why aren’t they thinking of future generations and the responsibility they have put on their children and grandchildren +++++ ?