Development Revived on West Caicos
Turks & Caicos News
Turks & Caicos News - December 2012
Development revived on West Caicos
The resort on West Caicos that has been stalled since 2008 is now on track to be revived, thanks to an agreement between initial developers, new investors, and Turks and Caicos Government. The restarting of the development will mean millions of dollars pumped into the local economy, along with hundreds of new jobs made available.
As of Dec. 6, the TCIG completed a development agreement that would enable the recommencement of the Molasses Reef development, a luxury hotel and condominium resort, on West Caicos with the remaining details being finalized this week. A group of European investors advised by Kew Capital reached an agreement with the previous developers, Logwood Development Company, to buy most of their interest in the project.
The developers are poised to get restarted as soon as possible, but not before the new development team carries out a detailed review of the existing infrastructure and buildings. “Subject to this review, the developer looks to start work in 2013 with a view to opening the hotel as soon as possible,” the government said in a Dec. 14 statement about the revival of the project.
The development agreement, initially signed by His Excellency the Honorable Governor Ric Todd, has been under negotiations between TCIG, the new investors, and the development owners for approximately 12 months. With the recommencement, TCI will be able to look forward to many benefits including employment within the construction industry, the hospitality for years to come.
The government stands to gain from ongoing duties, licenses, and other business fees, as well as a 25 percent share of proceeds from the sale of the leasehold interests and a $7.6 million stamp duty through the completion of previously agreed upon land sales.
The nine square mile, uninhabited island of West Caicos saw the project begin in 2001 only to be stalled in 2008 due to the credit crisis and collapse of the main creditor to the project. The Molasses Reef development employed 500 people at its busiest point in development and was expected to create hundreds of jobs on an ongoing basis once the hotel opened.
The development team has also expressed interest in making the new development environmentally sustainable. “We know this project comes with a great deal of responsibility; West Caicos is a beautiful island and we are determined to ensure that the new development is sensitive to its environment and to this end we will work closely with the various Government agencies as well as the newly elected Government,” said a spokesman for the investment adviser, Kew Capital. The development agreement designates much of the island as a nature preserve.
“The project will add to the range of tourism and hospitality offerings…deliver considerable economic and employment benefits to TCI, and has been very carefully structured so as to preserve the unique environmental and marine heritage of West Caicos. The re-start of the development is a further vote of confidence in TCI and in the current investment policy of the TCIG,” said Gov. Todd. industry, and enhanced government revenues.###
Written by Turks & Caicos Free Press Newspaper, December 17th, 2012