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Downtown Nassau Seeks Hilton Owner Meeting

By NATARIO McKENZIE

Tribune Business Reporter

nmckenzie@tribunemedia.net

A Downtown Nassau Partnership (DNP) executive yesterday said the group was anxious to meet with the new British Colonial Hilton owner, China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC), to understand what development plans it may have for the city.

Gevon Moss, its project manager , who gave a presentation to the Bahamas Society of Engineers (BSE), told Tribune Business that while the Chinese firm has outlined specific plans for the hotel property, the DNP had not seen anything beyond that.

“The Chinese group has plans specific to the property they purchased, but other than that the DNP has not seen anything. We intend to meet with them soon. Now that they have purchased the Hilton, they are a stakeholder and we would like to meet with them and understand what they intend to do going forward,” said Mr Moss.

China State Construction now plans to develop the six-acre property adjacent to the British Colonial Hilton, on its western side, into a luxury hotel and condominium unit.

The project, which will begin next year, is expected to create 250 construction jobs and 500 permanent jobs for Bahamians.

A further 500 jobs in the retail, marina village, marina and boardwalk, restaurant, gym movie theatre and nightclub components will be created.

“I’m hoping that it will mesh well,” said Mr Moss.”We have had a good working relationship with the Hilton’s former owners, and we imagine that we will have great relationships going forward.

“We know where we want to go and how we want to see our city develop, and we hope that any investor will help to make that a reality.”

Prime Minister Perry Christie last month confirmed Tribune Business’s exclusive revelation that China State had submitted to the Government a ‘masterplan’ for the wider redevelopment of downtown Nassau - from Arawak Cay to Potter’s Cay.

He said the British Colonial Hilton owner had expressed a willingness to join in a public-private partnership (PPP) with the Government and Bay Street stakeholders for the overall redevelopment.

But waterfront property owners have already provided the Government with various options for a boardwalk, which is supposed to run east from the British Colonial Hilton all the way to Potter’s Cay Dock.

“There continues to be dialogue and discussion to ensure that that is realised,” said Mr Moss.

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