That’s paradise: An earlier artist’s rendering of what the 140-room boutique hotel at Morgan’s Point
might look like. *Illustration supplied
That’s paradise: An earlier artist’s rendering of what the 140-room boutique hotel at Morgan’s Point might look like. *Illustration supplied

The Morgan's Point Development could break ground within a year if a proposed amendment gets passed in the House of Assembly today.

Craig Christensen, one of the three co-owners — Brian Duperreault and Nelson Hunt are the other two — told the Bermuda Sun that the high-end resort property could be on a fast-track to get off the ground.

He added the group have been in discussions with all five topend hotel resort chains for a partnership at Morgan’s Point.

Mr Christensen said: “In order to assist the Government in some of the remediation works, there have been some land adjustments made, primarily where the Government retains some of the problem areas. It assists us with financing so we’re not in possession of problematic areas. As such, reworks our business plan that reflect those land changes.” The Morgan’s Point land used to house the US Naval Annex until it was given back to the Bermuda Government in 1995, when the 99-year lease was mutually terminated.

The Bermuda Government then swapped that land with Mr Christensen, Mr Duperreault and Mr Hunt for the Southland’s property in Warwick after BEST organized a successful protest that would have allowed a Jumeriah hotel to be developed there.

The problem with the Morgan’s Point property is the American military left ( according to a 2002 Ministry of Environment report) an estimated 520,000 gallons of oil and 55,000 gallons of jet fuel that would cost almost $15m to clean up. Mr Christensen said it turns out to be a “win-win situation for both of us. It saves the Government a lot of money and an enhanced business plan for us.

That’s what they are debating tomorrow in the House. I don’t expect it to be controversial.” Mr Christensen could not divulge details as to what the enhanced development would be. “It will be an enhanced major development, that’s all I can say now. I would rather let them debate it in the House… but this will be a fabulous plan.” He added the land change was necessary “as we need this and we need this right away to finalize financing on the basis of the adjusted land.

“We’re very anxious to get that done to get started as fast as possible. This is a critical piece in moving this forward.

Mr Christensen said “there is an agreed offer in place” for financing depending on the outcome of tomorrow’s debate.

He said once that happens it is a matter of putting together the full engineering and architectural plans with a hotel brand.

“They will be at the table with us as well.” Mr Christensen said he did not want to be pinpointed to a specific timeline for the Morgan’s Point project to break ground, but said it would be reasonable to expect it to happen within a year.

He said there are plenty of variables such as approval from planning.

He did not want to reveal which hotel group may be involved but added “it would be fair to say we’ve spoken to all top five brands”.

The old plan at Morgan’s Point, which will have to be adjusted if the House passes the amendment today, as developed in drawings by Forrec in Canada, said: “At approximately 250 acres, the Morgan’s Point site represents one of the largest pieces of undeveloped land on Bermuda.

“The challenge was to create an attractive destination for tourists, a focus for local activities and a venue for international events. Development amenities include: a championship golf course, a marina, and residential units.”