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Turks & Caicos News
Turks & Caicos News – October 2012
$70 Million Development Proposed for Third Turtle Site
The Turks and Caicos Islands government has signed a memorandum of agreement with developers who propose building a $70 million hotel, casino and marina complex on the vacant Third Turtle site on Providenciales.
The Oct. 14 statement announcing the agreement says the project expects to create 300-400 jobs and anticipated government revenues of around $9 million per year, among other “social benefits.”
The agreement gives TCI company Circle Holdings Ltd. until Dec. 31, 2013, to apply for Outline Planning Permission and 40 months to complete the development after obtaining Detailed Development Permission.
“We will now take the necessary time to design a property that best conserves and enhances nature’s beauty, and is well within the existing height and density restrictions,” said Vasco Borges, the development’s managing partner, a former executive with Grace Bay Club who has resided and worked in real estate development and hospitality in the TCI since 2005.
The original Third Turtle Inn that was located on the site at the Turtle Cove Marina was the first hotel and restaurant on Providenciales, opening in the 1960s. It has been closed since 1989.
Developer Richard Padgett and his Oceanpoint Developments Ltd. had planned a five-story, multi-phase condo/hotel, spa and marina on the site. But he announced in March 2010 that he was abandoning six years of work and $21 million spent on the project.
No construction had begun, but the Third Turtle beach was completely renourished with sand dredged from the marina.
Then in January 2011 government filed a court action to cancel all development permissions, accusing Padgett of paying more than $1.1 million to former Premier Michael Misick and Minister Floyd Hall to get special treatment for the project. Padgett was charged in October 2011 with bribery, a charge that is still pending.
Government’s press statement says the site, recently acquired out of receivership, has 17 acres with 775 feet of frontage on the Third Turtle beach and 1,300 feet of marina frontage. Circle intends to build a low-density, high-end hotel, complimented by a casino, residential product for rental as part of the hotel, marina, retail and entertainment area.
“I am very excited with this project, no less by the unequivocal support it has received from all quadrants of the society, particularly from neighbours and business owners at Turtle Cove, and from the TCI government,” Borges said.
“When one walks the site, it is evident why the first developers on Providenciales chose the Third Turtle beach as their home. It is unique in combining a half-moon white powder beach with marina facilities.
“The project was greatly facilitated by the revamped Investment Unit set up by the TCI government. The TCI government has proven they are willing to do their share in putting Turks and Caicos Islands in the investors’ mind.”
Government Chief Executive Officer Patrick Boyle said the announcement confirms claims by him and the governor that the TCI is a great place for business.
“It is terrific news that someone with such a proven track record right here in the TCI wishes to combine forces with seasoned real estate investors and bring his knowledge and experience to a new development,” Boyle said. “Growing the economy here is a balance between established businesses investing and reinvesting and attracting overseas investment.”
The memorandum between government and Circle Holdings was signed under the TCI’s new investment policy.###
Turks & Caicos Free Press Newspaper, October 18th, 2012