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Arthur: Let’s hear about the Pierhead

rhondathompson, [email protected]

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FORMER PRIME MINISTER OWEN ARTHUR has called on Government to clear up “spiralling rumours” about the Pierhead Development Project.On Sunday night during a Barbados Labour Party meeting at Heroes Square, Arthur said that during the period of his administration (1994-2008) he had heard “things” about how the work at the Pierhead and the marina was going to be awarded and he had given certain instructions to then Minister of Tourism Noel Lynch and chairman of the Barbados Tourism Investment Inc., Darcy Boyce, [now Senator Boyce].“. . . That there is to be no hanky-panky in the tendering and who gets the work,” he saidArthur noted that the design for the marina was done by a company at a cost of $12 million. He added that the work for the project had been “awarded effectively” to a company called Lagan. “But some big maguffy is now intervening and a marina that apparently has already been designed, a new contract, I am told, and I hope it is not true, is to be awarded to somebody else to do the work that has already been done before,” Arthur charged.He queried whether that company was SIN Infrastructure Solutions Inc., which he added, might have been incorporated in St Lucia. He alleged that the company was under consideration to do another design for the marina at a cost of over $40 million.“I hope that this is not true,” Arthur said.The Pierhead Development Project, estimated in 2003 as costing $400 million, was designed as a public/private partnership featuring Government, Barbados Shipping & Trading (BS&T) and international investors.The redevelopment project was slated to be on land that housed the former Coast Guard base at Willoughby Fort and included buildings in the Careenage area that are for the most part owned by BS&T and Government.The multimillion-dollar marina plan includes Le Meridien, a hotel brand owned by Starwood, three blocks of condominiums, a retail and restaurant complex, a high-rise car park, and other services.In March four members of the BTII board – chairman Jerry Thorne, deputy chairman Mark Prescott, and members Paul Bernstein and Decourcey Headley – quit the board, reportedly over plans related to the redesign of the project, which has been in the works since 1988. (CH)

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