0

Sebas’S Brickell In Govt Ppp Market

By NEIL HARTNELL

Tribune Business Editor

nhartnell@tribunemedia.net

Sebas Bastian’s Brickell Management Group (BMG) has entered the public-private partnership (PPP) market through a contract to construct a new “multi-purpose” government office complex on Harbour Island.

Paul Major, BMG’s president and managing director, confirmed to Tribune Business that work on the project was set to begin “within weeks”, with the new offices to be built on the site of the existing complex.

He also reassured concerned Brilanders that the project did not involve demolition of the historic Commissioner’s residence on Dunmore Street, and its replacement with the new office complex, as several contacts had suggested to Tribune Business.

“It’s not the ex-Commissioner’s residence,” Mr Major told Tribune Business of the location for BMG’s PPP project. “That’s a protected site and an historical site. No, no. That’s across the street. We’re not going to touch it.

“That stately looking building, although dilapidated, no one’s touching that. I spoke to Courtney Strachan at the Antiquities, Monuments and Museums Corporation (AMMC), and he said they were developing plans to restore and rebuild that.”

The AMMC last year partnered with the University of Miami School of Architecture to assess the historical significance of the Commissioner’s residence, and the potential for its restoration and future preservation.

The property had accommodated commissioners, or island administrators, from 1900, was also Governor Dunmore’s residence from 1786 to 1797. Its history also involves hosting receptions for former colonial governors, and other key events.

Mr Major, meanwhile, said the construction plans called for the demolition of Harbour Island’s existing government office complex, which features the local administrator’s office, courts, police station and apartments for police officers.

“All that will come down, and we’ll build a new, multipurpose government office complex where the current one is,” he confirmed to Tribune Business.

Mr Major said BMG was exploring the possibility of bringing in temporary trailers to accommodate impacted police and government officials while construction took place, noting the “scarcity of space” on Harbour Island.

He added that the plans for the new complex consisted solely of offices for the local administrator and police, plus the jail and court facilities, with officer accommodation not included.

Mr Major said the new government offices would cost “at least a couple of million dollars” to construct, describing the PPP project as “quite a sizeable building” that would “take up most of the existing space”.

He added that demolition of the existing government building was still being priced, with BMG seeking to employ as many sub-contractors and vendors from Harbour Island and Eleuthera as possible.

“We will take some of our equipment,” Mr Major said, “but what’s on the island in terms of labour, resources and equipment, we’ll seek to employ it. We’re starting to ask around for electricians, plumbers and the like. We’ve got people scouting around.”

He noted that the Harbour Island project presented potential logistics challenges, given its distance from Nassau and issues in transporting manpower and equipment, adding: “If you’re short one jack hammer, you’ve lost two days.”

Mr Major said between 12-15 construction workers were likely to be employed on the Harbour Island government offices project.

The Government is increasingly turning to public-private partnerships (PPPs) to meet its real estate and infrastructure needs, in the belief that it will reduce or eliminate a heavy demand on the Public Treasury.

Rather than use increasingly scarce taxpayer funds to finance the construction of government office buildings, especially given its strained fiscal position, the Government is turning to private capital and entrepreneurs.

It is entering into contracts where private investors/developers will finance and construct new government buildings, then lease them to the Government for a set period of time, so they can recover their investment and earn a profitable return.

Under these contracts, which are typically referred to as build/own/operate/transfer or (BOOT) arrangements, the properties are turned over to Government ownership, once the period for the developer to regain his capital and maintain the site has expired.

The proposed Road Traffic Department headquarters on Tonique Williams Highway, and new Post Office site at the Independence Drive shopping centre, where the old City Markets store was based, are two examples of PPPs.

Mr Major said he thought the Harbour Island contract was for a seven-year BOOT arrangement, confirming that the project was the first PPP arrangement between the Government and Brickell.

When asked whether Brickell would seek similar deals with the Government elsewhere, he added: “Possibly, if we’re minded to do so.

“We’ll certainly consider it. We have the infrastructure to do it. We have the equipment and construction company to do it.”

BMG is the property development, management and construction company launched by Island Luck chief executive, Sebas Bastian.

Its real estate developments include the Venetian West out at Old Fort Bay, and the Venito West at Westridge. BMG also manages a property portfolio that includes Aventura Plaza on JFK Drive, plus assets on Madeira Street and Rosetta Street.

Apart from Messrs Bastian and Major, BMG’s Board in 2014 included Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) chief executive, Leon Williams; IBM (Bahamas) executive, Felix Stubbs; Atlantis PR chief, Ed Fields; and political aspirant, Cassius Stuart.

Comments

Well_mudda_take_sic 2 months ago

All of those named in the last paragraph of the above article have sold their soul to the thug Sebas Bastian and have allowed their greed to make themselves no different from him. Others like them are associated with Investar Securities Limited, another company controlled by Sebas Bastian.

0

sealice 2 months ago

so the dude that used to run around town with a little invoice printer on he hip know has the knowledge to tender gov't contracts and enter into building contracts? I guess this is what he paid for in the last election and he's finally getting it now just in time to pay up before the next election.....

0

realfreethinker 2 months ago

That grimy Paul Major involve in many things. He must be a bag man for someone

0

Sickened 2 months ago

This is disgraceful! A known criminal is now governments top contractor. Red Flag anyone?

0

ThisIsOurs 2 months ago

Public private partnership??? When since do they need a PPP to construct a building? Seems like a fancy way to get around the bidding process. The incestuous relationship the government is setting up with this gaming house is going to be the death of this country. They are building the foundations for the perfect too big to fail.

0

norman_t 2 months ago

You are absolutely correct.

0

sheeprunner12 2 months ago

The PLP is setting a dangerous precedent with these numbers cartel bosses .......... this will be worst for us than when Pindling and his Boys were in bed with the cocaine cartel bosses ....... The USA will not rescue us from these webshop bosses (they are not Colombians!!!!!)

The government will soon be going with open palms for Budget loans to the webshop cartel bosses

0

norman_t 2 months ago

Probably already happening.

0

Sickened 2 months ago

Definitely already happened. The numbers boys alone saved BoB.

0

happyfly 2 months ago

You are exactly right the US wont rescue us. The drugs were hurting them too but an illegal, unregulated gambling and banking system (which is coming) will give them an excuse to cut this stupid little country free. 45 years of independence and we have not learned a thing about nation building. For the PLP is all about nation stripping

1

Mayaguana34 2 months ago

Perfect deal - Contribute to the campaign and we guarantee a twenty year rental/lease arrangement at exorbitant rates! Everybody Wins except the Bahamian people

0

Sign in to comment