Westend Statement On Southampton SDO

August 2, 2023 | 11 Comments

Westend said they would like to “set the record straight and address some ongoing misconceptions” about the development application for the Fairmont Southampton.

A spokesperson said, “In response to recent comments in the media about the revised Southampton SDO application, Westend would like to take this opportunity to set the record straight and address some ongoing misconceptions about the development.

Main changes to the SDO application

“The revisions to the SDO application are more than ‘token’ changes. Instead, the new submission features a number of important community and environmental gains, including the designation of three tracts of land on the Fairmont Southampton property as Protected Conservation Areas.

“Westend has also committed to implementing the following enhancements, at our expense:

  • The realignment of South Road to eliminate the dangerous S-bend
  • Railway Trail improvements, including the installation of a ramp for cyclists and security lighting
  • The addition of 3-way traffic lights at the hotel access road junction with Lighthouse Road and Middle Road
  • Active preservation of the two Historic Protection Areas on Turtle Hill, as well as the installation of natural seating, interpretive signage and bluebird nesting boxes

“Significantly, approximately 60% of the entire property will remain green space.

“In response to feedback from the public, we have replaced the six-storey buildings from the original application with two- and three-storey buildings which have been redistributed to reduce massing and integrate better into the landscape. Many of these units have been moved to locations that were approved in the SDO from 2009.

“The allocation of units has been rebalanced: in the revised application, 159 units will be for tourism and the remaining 91 will be residential. It must be emphasised that this rebalancing will not result in any further concessions from the government.

“Despite recent claims in the media to the contrary, we would like to reiterate that our strategy was never to apply for higher density with the intention of then ‘settling’ for fewer units. We do not view this process as a game and have not submitted a revised application as a ‘publicity stunt.’

“Rather – and as we have stated repeatedly – we would like to start the hotel renovations as soon as possible; going through the SDO review process twice is only resulting in further delay.

“The revisions made to the SDO application were based on the feedback we received through the public consultation process and from the Department of Planning. Our goal is to present a proposal that will satisfy all parties and we believe we have achieved this objective through the revised SDO application.

Overcoming unforeseeable challenges

“Finally, we would like to address a recent comment from Gencom CEO Karim Alibhai that ‘everything that could go wrong has been going wrong’ with this project.

“There’s no denying that global events – from the COVID-19 pandemic, to supply chain issues, to rising interest rates and capital markets volatility – have made embarking on major construction projects in the hospitality industry extremely challenging in the past couple of years, not just in Bermuda, but worldwide.

“This project was not unaffected by these external forces. Consider the timeline of our involvement with the Southampton. We purchased the property in December 2019 and arranged financing. We originally intended to keep the hotel open for 2020, while concurrently executing all the predevelopment work required for the renovation. The plan was to then close the hotel for 12 to 18 months to complete the required work and reopen for the 2022 season. The onslaught of the pandemic in early 2020 forced the immediate closure of the property and it was never reopened due to declining market conditions. Our carefully laid plans were significantly altered, requiring the creation of a new timeline and capital plan.

“Despite these unforeseeable challenges, we remain optimistic about this project and are looking forward to getting started on the development so we can share Bermuda’s breathtaking beauty and unmatched hospitality with the rest of the world.”

click here Bermuda Fairmont SDO

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Comments (11)

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  1. It’ not the end of the road…
    In the bend of the road…
    Unless you forget to turn…

  2. The main concern is loud obnoxious people flying noisy kites on Easter Sunday and not going to church and observing sanctity there of losin sight of the importance of same.
    This hotel has been known to be a felaxed refuge to go to to get away from hustle and bustle of every day life…then you come along and say we live here and we can be noisy and eegrunt as we want to be…look at me…

  3. Bill says:

    You toads…we need a causeway with hydro electric duel facing impellors for changing tides to go with the new airport….which by the way is not as nice as the old one . Where are all the concessions that were at the old one?
    Oh…i know…monies are not designed to remain here or perpetuate our economy so no one participates innit…

  4. Bill says:

    Firstly…who is west end ?…a bit vague don’t you think?

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      Westend Properties Ltd. is the company that has owns the property on which Southampton Princess sits. That has been the case for decades.

  5. Bill says:

    Has anyone viewed the childs response to the offer to a submarine tour …on instagram?
    I would suggest this responce as my response to this statement .

  6. Time is Now! says:

    Let’s put people back to work! I am growing weary. Build and build NOW! This he changes are visually much more appealing. Now let’s push the owners of Elbow Beach to renovate and reopen or sell to someone who wants to breathe life into the property. If we put this much energy into rebuilding this country, we will ALL be better off!!!

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      We have no money with which to re-build Bermuda. Are you suggesting that what is left be sold to foreigners for redevelopment?

    • What says:

      I’m sorry, but we haven’t seen the revised plans yet, if there is a tiny adjustment to the number of units and then west end talking about only one and two stores units, then clearly they are decimating the golf course. The site will become just like any other area of Bermuda, densely populated, but with fractional ownerships.

      If Gencom are real, then they will get the hotel open, as they don’t need any SDO in place for that, or do they have no money and are using Bermudians money through leverage to destroy a property and make all the money for self. Hey, I have no money too, how come a Bermudian investment group is not allowed to do this? Government selling off Bermuda for what?

  7. Daniel says:

    They don’t care about Bermuda. They don’t care about jobs. They don’t care about our tourism product, or our tourism brand which has taken decades to cultivate but can take months to destroy. Gencom is not a good deal for Bermuda. We can do better and deserve better than a bottom feeder real investment firm who prey on distressed jurisdictions and exploit their desperation to get a hotel up and running for their own gain. What you are proposing is pure overdevelopment, manipulation, and makes Bermuda look like everywhere else. Propose something that adds value, or that gets your investment returns without devaluing our brand, or just get out.

  8. Floyd Pitcher says:

    The A bend west of Southampton Princess Gate on South Shore is not an issue.
    The problem is those who ride and recklessly drive on our roads.
    Last year a young lady was killed by one such individual to the east of this gate, do we need to remove this bend in the road as well.
    So please don’t try to curry favor or deflect away from the real issue raised, this development is an eyesore and adds little to no value to Bermudas tourism product.
    We all know it’s a cash cow nothing else.

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