Campaign opposes $100m Goodman's Bay penthouses


Tribune Business Reporter


OPPONENTS of a proposed $100m, 14-storey Goodman's Bay penthouse complex have launched the ‘Say No to Wynn’ campaign in a bid to rally public support against approving the project.

Azaleta Ishmael- Newry, the campaign's spokesperson, said Wynn Development's penthouse plans represent at "over- development" of the site it will occupy and wider Goodman's Bay area as well as raising environmental and access concerns for neighbours.

She said: “The issue is overdevelopment. The building is 14 storeys high. Many people feel that the size of the building is too large for the area and even for the space that's allocated on the lot.

“There are environmental issues, like noise, sound, air pollution, beach erosion. One of the big concerns that I've heard from grassroots people as well is access to the beach and the whole Goodman’s Bay Park.”

Ms Ishmael-Newry said the area has seen more flooding in recent years and questioned if the development’s new seawall would cause flooding for neighbours to its east.

She said: “I've lived in the area for 31 years - and over the years and especially recently - you're seeing the changes, you're seeing the beach erosion. You know, sand shifts. Whatever you do in the water will shift sand, and whatever you do on the land it will shift, so it's an environmental concern.

“We've seen water come in now that we haven't seen before, say 10 years ago, so definitely there's something in the environment that's shifting... that's causing more water to come in.

“In their EIA they spoke about joining the seawall. So if their new development joins the seawall to their existing seawall, then what happens to that water? Water is going to find the lowest point so the houses on the east of them are most likely flooded.”

Randy Hart, Wynn Group's vice-president, could not be reached for comment before press time last night. However, parking related to the project is another concern, and Ms Ishmael-Newry said the existing site does not have adequate spaces available during peak times.

She also questioned where the 300 construction workers projected by developers will park during the building phase. “Gold-Wynn doesn't have enough parking. Pressure from the community made it such that they had to move the cars," Ms Ishmael-Newry said.

"I don't know where the employees will park in the 14-storey building. They say they have off-site parking so where is off-site parking? When you look at the long weekends, there's not even enough room to accommodate what’s going on there already. A lot of the taxi drivers are bringing tourists there.

“Where are the 300 construction workers going to park and show up to work when they are building GoldWynn? During phase one, workers were parking around the median. They were parking in front of the property, they were parking at Goodman’s Bay. There wasn't any parking. So how are they going to solve the parking issue?”

In addition to 300 construction jobs, the development is projected to create 30 full-time posts.

Ms Ishmael-Newry maintained that the employment opportunities do not outweigh the environmental concerns that neighbours have about the project, and questioned how much of the profits generated will actually be spent within The Bahamas.

She said: “I don't know what 30 full-time jobs mean. Does it mean it's 30 $200-$300 a week jobs? What does it mean? I can't put that into context. We always talk about jobs, but are the planners really looking at the future of climate change?

"Are they looking at how the shores are being eroded? Are they looking forward to 10/15/20 years when we are gone and we're no longer here, and the next generation has to pick up the problems? Or are they only looking for the current?

“The other thing we always have to think about with foreign direct investment is investors coming in. That can be great but how much of that money is leaving our shores?”

The public hearing on the penthouse complex’s Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was held last month and the Department of Environmental Planning and Protection will be accepting public queries and feedback until March 20.


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