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The Pointe seeking to use dredged sand in phase two

If approved, will be used in construction of marina, nourishment of beaches, completion of entire development
CHESTER ROBARDS
Senior Business Reporter
chester@nasguard.com

Published: Feb 03, 2017

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The Pointe, by developer Neworld One Bay Street, is awaiting certain approvals to begin phase two of the project, one of which is an environmental impact assessment that, if approved, will allow the developers to dredge sand for its marina, the nourishment of beaches and for use in the completion of its entire development.

Government tabled the heads of agreement for the $200 million development on Wednesday. The HOA allows for the developer to provide for its own utilities “on an interim basis” if it along with “relevant government agencies” deem it necessary.

According to the HOA, the area for the extraction of sand that will be used in the construction of The Pointe’s condo hotel will have to be approved by the relevant government agencies before dredging can commence.

The harbor was dredged several years ago in anticipation of the arrival of the world’s largest cruise ships. Sand from that excavation was used to expand Arawak Cay for the development of the container port.

The HOA contends that Neworld and construction firm China Construction America (CCA) intend to start and complete phase two of its project with sand dredged from the sea floor when given the approval.

CCA is also the lead construction firm on the Baha Mar project. The HOA between government and Neworld was signed only 11 days before Baha Mar’s former developer Sarkis Izmirlian filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in a U.S. court. When work was stopped at Baha Mar, CCA wasted no time beginning construction on phase one of The Pointe, so quickly, it neglected to acquire necessary approvals.

According to the terms of the agreement, CCA was allowed to move manpower and equipment from the Baha Mar site to The Pointe’s Bay Street site.

The government also granted between 400 and 500 work permits for foreign labor, but requires 70 percent Bahamian labor on the project.

The issuance of work permits and the number of foreign workers who have already worked on phase one of The Pointe development continue to be bones of contention surrounding the resort, as questions have arisen regarding the ratio of foreign to Bahamian labor.

The heads of agreement does, however, call for the parties "through mutual agreement" to "vary their employment ration if it becomes necessary for earlier completion".

Neworld One Bay Street, the developer of the project, has agreed to employ 200 Bahamians at the peak of construction and have 500 permanent jobs when the development is complete, according to the agreement.

At the moment, Neworld employs, through its acquisition of the British Colonial Hilton, 277 people.

The agreement calls for the construction of a three-story building for retail shops, a multi-purpose performing arts center, nightclub and rooftop bar, a movie theater with up to six screens, a 100-boat slip marina and eight restaurants, among other amenities.

 


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