The following 26 failed ABLP projects should have delivered over 3,000 new hotel rooms, 6,000 construction jobs, 7,000 permanent jobs and should have pumped over US $5 billion (over EC $13 billion) into the economy.
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The full project details as announced in budget presentations and by senior ABLP officials are as follows:
1. Sunny Hill Project
This project was announced in the 2015 budget, page 42: “The Sunny Hill Group has announced a $200 million investment project in Antigua and Barbuda. The 400-unit project will be located on a 100-acre site in the Falmouth/Bethesda area of Antigua, on land owned by CO Williams Property Development Company Limited. This project will create over one thousand new jobs for Antiguans and Barbudans with five hundred in the construction sector and over five hundred in operation and management positions.”
2. Beaches Resort
This project was announced in the 2015 budget, page 42: “The new US$150 million Beaches Resort by Sandals Resorts International at Long Bay will finally become a reality and not a mere promise. It will provide up to 400 rooms, 1,000 construction jobs and 850 permanent hotel positions when completed.”
3. Half Moon Bay Hotel
This project was announced in the 2015 budget, page 42: “The Replay Group out of Canada, which had sought for over three years to take over the defunct Half Moon Bay Hotel is finally moving forward with the project.”
In the 2018 budget on page 26, the Prime Minsiter says: “By the fourth quarter of 2018, construction on this US$150 million to US$200 million property will begin. The new Half Moon Bay resort will comprise of 47 ultra-luxury villas. In creating the new Half Moon Bay hotel, the developers intend to engage the surrounding community and its artisans to craft a resort that befits the natural beauty of the area. There are to be about 400 construction jobs and approximately 500 permanent jobs created because of this investment.”
4. Morris Bay / Callaloo Cay Project
This project was announced in the 2015 budget, page 43: “A Memorandum of Agreement for the Morris Bay Project was signed last July with His Excellency Sheik Tariq Faisal Alqassemi of Dubai. This is a five-star luxury hotel project valued at US$120M which will be developed in partnership with the Government. It will include a Public National Park for residents.”
In budget 2018, page 25: “This will be a 120 room property, that will generate jobs for 500 persons during construction and 500 jobs once the hotel is operational.”
5. Hotel Resort on Pelican Island and Residences on Maiden Island
These projects were announced in the 2016 budget, page 56: “Development of high-end residential properties on Maiden Island and a hotel resort on Pelican Island, by a private investor who intends to spend US$100 million in development.”
6. Labahia Hotel Resort & Condominiums (Marble Hill Business Hotel) by WIOC
This project was announced in the 2016 budget, page 9: “In addition, there are several other projects emanating from the acquisition of WIOC, which include a Commercial Business Park to be located on Friars Hill Road; two hotel resorts; and a business hotel.”
On 30th March, 2016 a press release published on the government website says:
“Antigua and Barbuda has announced the launch of new hotel development, Labahia Hotel Resorts & Condominiums.”
“The US$52 million investment project between the Adams Investment Management (Antigua) Ltd., and the Government of Antigua and Barbuda will bring job opportunities and economic benefits to the people of Antigua and Barbuda.”
“The multi-storied investment by Trinidad and Tobago project developers, Imtiyaz Adam and Farman Ramjohn, will boast 120 one and two bedroom fully furnished self-contained luxury condominiums and several penthouse suites. In addition, the resort will include a 24,000 square ft. futuristic conference facility, a 300 capacity car park area, restaurants, a gym, tennis courts, gardens with walking paths, essential shops and an Olympic size swimming pool.”
Major Labahia Hotel Investment announced for Antigua
7. Long Bay Hotel Resort by WIOC
This project was announced in the 2016 budget, page 56: “Construction of a new hotel resort at Long Bay, which is a spin-off from the WIOC acquisition transaction. This project will commence by the fourth quarter of this year.”
8. Valley Church Hotel Resort by WIOC/PDVSA
This project was announced in the 2016 budget, page 57: “The Government of Antigua and Barbuda in partnership with PDVSA will develop a hotel resort at Valley Church valued in excess of US$30 million. This, too, is a result of the WIOC acquisition transaction.”
9. Amazon Call Center at Five Islands
This project was announced in the 2017 budget, page 26: “Our Government will partner with Amazon and the Alorica Call Centre, located at Coolidge to construct a call center facility at the Five Islands Campus. This will provide a further 500 jobs in 2017.”
10. Marriott Autograph Hotel at Yeptons
This project was announced in the 2018 budget, page 25 “The Marriott Autograph Hotel will be a 100 room resort, built on the site where the Yeptons Villas once stood. This will be a US$50 million project that is expected to create 250 jobs.”
11. Beach Club at Fort James by Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines
This project was announced in the 2020 budget, page 29 which refers to: “the development of a $270 million beach club at Fort James by Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines”
12. Renovation and Expansion of Halcyon Hotel
This project was announced in the 2020 budget, page 29 as “the $125 million renovation and expansion project at the existing
Rex Halcyon Hotel by Sunwing”
13. Port Oasis Project at Side Hill
This project was announced in the 2020 budget, page 29: “$540 million Port Oasis project at Side Hill. This project will be undertaken by the Hadeed Group of Companies in conjunction with international partners. Once completed, this has the potential to receive calls from Virgin Voyages and other vessels”
14. NAMCO acquisition of Jolly Beach Hotel
This project was announced in the 2020 budget, page 29: “NAMCO will assume 65% ownership of the Jolly Beach Hotel and will spend $150 million to expand and refurbish the property. This will make it one of the largest and most beautiful hotels in the OECS sub-region.”
Subsequent to this announcement, multiple failed attempts had been made to refurbish the Jolly Beach Hotel. The public has a right to know why this plan of action, announced in 2020, failed.
15. Best Western Hotel at Jolly Harbour
This project was announced in the 2020 budget, page 30: “In addition to these projects, work will continue, or commence, on several other properties, including a Best Western Hotel, a Marriott Courtyard Hotel at the Airport, the Ayre Wellness Centre and Spa at Valley Church, Replay Halfmoon Bay project, and the YIDA projects”
16. Marriott Courtyard Airport Hotel
This project was announced in the 2020 budget, page 30 in the same block of text previously quoted.
17. Cedar Valley Golf Course Hotel
This project was announced in the 2020 budget, page 31: “The Cedar Valley Golf Course was voted among the best in the Caribbean and is ripe for development. This is why my Government will make 10 acres of land available to locals, at $3 per square foot, for development of a 50-room Marriott Courtyard-type hotel within the golf course.Individuals, or a consortium of local investors, are invited to make their proposals for consideration by the Cabinet.”
Later, in an ABS News story aired on 24 February 2022,
“Cabinet says that a group of investors has agreed to deposit $50 million into an escrow account as part of a deal with the government to upgrade the Cedar Valley Golf Course. Planned upgrades include luxury housing, hotels and roadways. Government will contribute land as its part of the deal. Work will begin in June and last 24 to 30 months. Project will be valued at $180 million USD when completed.”
Youtube link to ABS story:
18. Mike Tyson Hotel
This project was announced in the 2020 budget, page 53 “One such prospect is the possible acquisition by former World Heavyweight Champion, Mike Tyson, of a hotel property that would be converted into a wellness centre for treatment of diseases, using hemp and other natural products.”
19. Bau Panel – UNOPS
This project was announced in the 2020 budget, page 46: “The United Nations Office of Project Services (UNOPS) and Bau Panel, have recently acquired funding to construct a factory in Antigua to manufacture 10,000 affordable and sustainable homes.”
20. The Yida Project
This project has been mentioned in virtually every budget presentation, initially announced to be delivering US $2 billion of investment over 10 years.
In an ABS TV project update, the Project Manager Johan Hesse and the Minister of Tourism Max Fernandez announced 850 new hotel rooms across 3 hotel properties – Regent Bay, Ritz-Carlton Reserve and Margaritaville.
ABS TV, Eye on New Hotel Properties PGM#2
21. Willoughby Bay Project
This project was announced by the Economic Recovery Committee (ERC) in 2020.
The ERC claimed the Willoughby Bay project could boost GDP by 5 to 10% through a plethora of developments to include: several housing developments, a new marina, a new hotel development, a scenic railway tour, and an agro-industrial park to include food crop farming and cannabis farming.
22. Western Imperial Special Economic Zone (WISEZ)
WISEZ, announced in 2021, was billed as a US $750 investment comprising, among other things a 7-Star Uber-Luxury Marina, Wellness Resort with private SPA & Concierge Services, Casino Hub, world class Conference facilities and an Ayurvedic & Yoga based Alternate Therapy Recovery & Rejuvenation Resort.
Based on the magnitude of the investment as laid out on wisezab.com it would be reasonable to expect it to create at least 500 construction jobs, 500 permanent jobs and add at least 250 rooms to our current stock.
23. Brova Idea Pearl Hotel – Partly Underwater Hotel
This project was announced by MP Melford Nicholas during a Post Cabinet Briefing. Media reports state:
“The Government of Antigua and Barbuda has given approval to a Norwegian engineering and construction group to build a green-energy hotel in the waters off the island.
The Brova Idea Pearl Hotel is expected to adopt a design style that pushes the boundaries of the world of architectural design – partial submersion in water!”
“According to notes from the Cabinet, the Brova Idea Pearl Hotel will contain 170 rooms and cost an estimated 130 million Euros to construct and equip. The construction group assured the Cabinet that it has already acquired funding through Duetsche Bank.”
Partly underwater hotel approved for Antigua and Barbuda
2 March 2019
24. USD $300 Million Hotel from Investors in Holland
Cabinet spokesman Max Hurst reported in his weekly Cabinet Notes:
“The Cabinet held a Google meeting with an investment team in Holland joined by their lawyer in Antigua. The team is planning to spend US$300,000,000.00 in Antigua constructing a new hotel which will open in 2023 and a convention center which will be completed in the year following, or in 2024.”
“The developers/investors anticipate creating as many as 400 jobs during the construction phase and an equal number when the new hotel and convention center are operational.”
Holland investors planning to spend 300 million dollars in Antigua and Barbuda
December 11, 2021
We are also curious as to the status of two major projects in Barbuda:
25. Paradise Found (Barbuda)
First announced in the 2015, the project was last mentioned in budget 2018 on page 25: “In Barbuda, the Paradise Found project by Robert De Nero will be a property developed at a cost of US$250 million.”
26. Armand Hotel (Barbuda)
In the 2020 budget on page 29 this was announced to be a “$100 million Armand Hotel Project in Barbuda.”