Tax breaks offered for Grand Atlantic project

  • An artists rendering of the Bermudiana Beach Resort (File image)

Tax breaks will be offered for the conversion of a failed housing development in Warwick into a hotel if legislation tabled in the House of Assembly is passed.

The Bill was designed to give customs relief on materials imported to turn the Grand Atlantic apartments into the Bermudiana Beach condo hotel.

The legislation would also give the Bermudiana Development Company, a subsidiary of the Bermuda Housing Corporation, exemption from hotel occupancy tax for ten years, as well as a ten-year break on the employer’s share of payroll tax if there is a management training programme in place and a ten-year deferral of landholding charges. And BDCL would also avoid land tax for five years — from the resort’s sixth anniversary — if 70 per cent of its employees are Bermudian over the period.

The Grand Atlantic was built as affordable housing and opened in 2011, but the scheme was a failure and only two apartments were sold.

There were also fears about the stability of a nearby cliff face.

The previous One Bermuda Alliance government announced in 2014 that the site would be turned into a hotel and developers MacLellan and Associates signed a memorandum of understanding.

But the project was stalled so the site could be used to house sailors and support staff from the America’s Cup competition last year.

Lieutenant-Colonel David Burch, the Minister of Public Works, announced in March that the resort was expected to open to its first guests in two years.

Colonel Burch added that the redevelopment would be carried out with co-developers OBMI Bermuda, a firm of architects, and Bermuda Realty Company Limited.

Hotel operations and commercial management will be provided by MacLellan & Associates, with 71 of the condos to be refurbished.

The other seven apartments will be converted into a reception area, a bar and restaurant and an operations centre.