Prime Minister Christie announces new deal for Downtown Nassau

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BP UPDATE >>> Sale of British Colonial Hilton Signals More Jobs for Bahamians

Hilton Hotel Downtown Nassau Bahamas

Nassau, Bahamas – China State Construction Engineering Corporation has signed an agreement for the purchase and redevelopment of the Nassau British Colonial Hilton Hotel and adjacent property. The deal was sealed during an official ceremony held in the foyer of the hotel on Friday, October 24. Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. Perry G. Christie was in attendance for the occasion. He said that the event signified an objective that the government has been pursuing for several years.

“My Government’s objective has been not only to secure a qualified buyer to upgrade and operate the Hilton Hotel, but one with the means to proceed forthwith to develop the vacant property to its fullest potential for the greatest economic benefit to both the investors and the local economy,” said Prime Minister Christie.

Mr. Christie said that the sale of the hotel would be beneficial to the country, resulting in the employment of 250 construction jobs and 500 permanent jobs. In addition, he projected that approximately 500 jobs will be created in the amenities and commercial components of the project.

Chairman of China State Construction and Engineering Corporation, Mr. Yi Jun, thanked the government for assisting with the acquisition of the hotel and said that he was optimistic that his company would be making a major contribution to the Bahamian economy.

“We are very delighted to, once again, participate in a project in The Bahamas,” he said. “We are confident and happy to be here and believe that this project will be good for the country and will contribute approximately $750,000 million dollars to the Bahamas’ GDP [Gross National Product].”

Also delivering remarks was Chinese Ambassador to The Bahamas, His Excellency Yuan Guisen, who congratulated the Bahamian government for its participation in the sale of the hotel.

The new buyers plan to create a luxury hotel and condominium units on the hotel sites. In addition, the plans include the construction of a multi-storied garage building with roof top garden and banquet rooms, high-end retail shopping, restaurants, gymnasium, movie theatre, nightclub, marina and boardwalk along the entire waterfront.

The developer has also indicated its willingness to join in a public/private sector agreement with the Government and other stakeholders along Bay Street to implement an overall plan for redevelopment extending from Arawak Cay in the west to Potters Cay in the east.

Prime Minister Christie said that the government would discuss those plans with stakeholders over the next fortnight. He said that some of these stakeholders are ready to proceed with their redevelopment plans. To this end, they have retained the services of Mr. Todd Hill of DTJ Design Master Planners along with local architect, Mr. Michael Foster, who worked on the original EDAW City of Nassau Redevelopment Master Plans.

The China State Construction Engineering Corporation is also the builder of the $3.5 billion dollar Baha Mar mega resort.

REMARKS BY

THE RT. HON. PERRY G. CHRISTIE

PRIME MINISTER

AT ANNOUNCEMENT OF SIGNING OF SALES AGREEMENT

BY CHINA STATE CONSTRUCTION ENGINEERING CORPORATION

TO PURCHASE AND REDEVELOP THE NASSAU BRITISH COLONIAL HILTON HOTEL

AND ADJACENT PROPERTY

OCTOBER 24, 2014

Salutations,

It gives me the greatest pleasure to participate in the announcement by China State Construction & Engineering Corporation of the execution of the Sales Agreement for the purchase and major development of the historic Hilton hotel and adjoining property in the heart of the city of Nassau, on the picturesque waterfront of one of the most beautiful harbours in this hemisphere, and adjacent to the leading cruise port in this part of the world.

What is unfolding here today is part of a vision which I have been resolutely pursuing for several years as a strategic component of the redevelopment plan of downtown Nassau and the waterfront, into a compelling and iconic tourism, residential, cultural, entertainment, business mecca and city centre, with vistas to the sea to be leisurely enjoyed by residents and visitors alike.

My Government’s objective has been not only to secure a qualified buyer to upgrade and operate the Hilton Hotel, but one with the means to proceed forthwith to develop the vacant property to its fullest potential for the greatest economic benefit to both the investors and the local economy.

I am delighted that China State Construction, one of the world’s leading project development and construction groups will make a major investment to create on this site luxury hotel and condominium units, a multi storied garage building with roof top garden and banquet rooms, high end retail shopping, restaurants, gym, attractions, entertainment, marina and a boardwalk along the entire waterfront. The project will create 250 construction jobs and 500 permanent jobs, plus 500 additional jobs in the amenities and commercial components.

This ambitious project by China Construction will become the anchor property in the west to jump start the downtown redevelopment. The developer has indicated its willingness to join in a public/private sector partnership with the Government and other stakeholders along Bay Street to implement an overall plan for redevelopment extending from Arawak Cay in the west to Potters Cay in the east. Some of these stakeholders with whom I meet in the next fortnight are ready to move ahead with their redevelopment plans. Together we have retained Mr. Todd Hill of DTJ Design Master Planners along with local architect Michael Foster who worked on the original EDAW City of Nassau Redevelopment Master Plan, to work with local professionals and a steering committee to establish guidelines and a framework for systematic implementation. It is envisaged that stakeholders, entrepreneurs, investors and the public at large would benefit from the golden opportunities presented in the city’s redevelopment.

This stellar redevelopment will accommodate a large variety of activities, from the largest to the smallest in a symbiotic relationship. It would be uniquely Bahamian and expose the best aspects of Bahamian architecture, culture and lifestyle while protecting the natural environment.

In offering my Government’s special welcome and expressions of gratitude to Mr. Jun Yi, Chairman of China State Construction and Engineering Corporation, I should mention that the Hilton and downtown redevelopment projects, represent the second major investment of his company in The Bahamas.

China State Construction is not only the builder of this $3.5 billion Baha Mar mega resort, but also holds significant equity stake of $150 million in that project, with the China Import Export Bank being the lender of $2.6 billion. China Construction has put down substantial investment stakes in The Bahamas, while at the same time benefitting economically.

We therefore look forward to this conglomerate becoming leading corporate citizens with meaningful contributors to the local economy, cultural, public, educational and social causes and to the society in general.

I am also grateful to His Excellency Ambassador Guisen Yuan and the Chinese Government for encouraging and supporting in a major way these significant investments in The Bahamas, as part of the deepening relations between our two countries.

I look forward to all that we are witnessing and speaking of here today providing hundreds of new jobs and business opportunities for Bahamians in the immediate future and on a continuing basis.

I wish to assure China Construction of my Government’s fullest cooperation in providing a favourable environment for the success of your major investments in The Bahamas. I thank you for your magnificent manifestation of confidence in the Government, people and economy of The Bahamas.