A Superyacht Marina for Anguilla

anguillian
By anguillian February 5, 2018 12:44

 

 

One of the major features in the future development of Anguilla is expected to be a super-yacht marina to be constructed at one of the island’s choice coastal bays. To this end the Government of Anguilla has engaged the services of Edgewater Resources, a world famous waterfront and marina construction company. It is to carry out a feasibility study on this potentially lucrative project that is expected to diversify Anguilla’s up-scale tourist industry and create jobs for up-coming generations.


As part of this study, personnel from Edgewater Resources conducted a consultancy meeting with a cross of the Anguillian public at the La Vue Conference Room on the evening of Thursday, January 25th. The meeting was hosted and moderated by Mr. Claudel Ronmey, Senior Partner of BDO Accountancy Firm, and its purpose was to sensitize the public to pertinent aspects of the plan for the marina development, and to obtain feed-back from the community.
President of Edgewater, Gregory Weykamp of St. Joseph, Michigan, made a thorough presentation including slides and videos of the many projects he worked on over the years. He also demonstrated visuals showing the entire coastline of Anguilla and rendered a comprehensive explanation of the various scenarios for the marina construction at several key sites of interest. Mr. Weykamp was accompanied by Eddgewater’s Senior Associate & Director of Environmental Sciences, Penny Cutt, as well as Project Engineer, Michael Kenny.
Present among the audience were Hon. Chief Minister, Mr. Victor Banks; Hon. Mimister of Infrastucture, Mr. Curtis Richardson; Hon. Parliamentary Secretary, Mr. Cardigan Connor; and Hon. Leader of the Opposition, Ms. Pam Webster, as well as Heads of Government Departments.
The Chief Minister addressed the appreciative audience by thanking all for coming out to such a very important consultancy meeting. He continued: “The issue of a marina development is something that has been dear to our hearts. It is one of the planks of the economy that we were determined would be put in place during our term of office. In our manifesto we did say that, within a couple years, we would have investments in marinas, and this is exactly part of that effort. Generally, there is now an opportunity for a super mega-yacht marina and other aspects of waterfront development that are critical for our tourism product. This evening you are here to share your views. There are people who may have certain misconceptions of a marina project, so now you have an opportunity here to hear from experts in the field.”
Mr. Curtis Richardson expressed his great delight with the fact that the study was actually underway and the community was being part of the process. He said that he was indeed in favor of a marina or marinas in Anguilla. “The subject of a local marina has been part of our conversations for a number of years, and I am happy that we have finally taken steps in moving forward with it.”
Before Mr. Weykamp took the podium, the Hon. Pam Webster addressed the gathering by saying: “I think this is one area that the Government and the Opposition can collaborate very closely on. I see the marina as an industry that can be an opportunity for benefitting lots of people. There are really fabulous opportunities that pass across the table regularly. But the key is how we engage our people. So, to the extent that Edgewater is here answer questions is an encouraging thing.”
Mr. Weykamp began by stating the Edgewater Resources has worked on some 300 projects around the world, including the Caribbean, Africa, Malta, Ireland, Asia and the United States. “One of the things that is quite critical to us,” he said, “is that when we build a marina, it has to be about the character of the place. We don’t build marinas with the same characteristics everywhere.” He noted: “There are certain qualities of each marina that are unique to its location. So when yachts come here, it is because they want to come to Anguilla, as a special destination, and not just to the marina.”
Showing attractive world-wide images of marina facilities that are carrying the Edgewater brand, Mr. Weykamp said: “The Keppel Bay Marina project in Singapore, for example, was one of the first marinas built in Singapore, and it was constructed as a recreational facility, even though the area was primarily a huge commercial port. When we started the project there it was a shipyard with dry-docks. But we transformed all that to make it into a beautiful state-of-the-art marina.”
He continued: “The economic value that a marina creates results in job creation, higher property values, residential development, and more businesses with more commercial activity, like shops and restaurants with local character. You wouldn’t want to import business from outside to characterize your marina, but you would promote local businesses like Tasty’s, E’s Oven and The Pump House. These are the kind of outlets with Anguillian characteristics that people would want to come to.”
Mr. Weykamp’s delivery was quite comprehensive. He gave a thorough and insightful view of what a marina facility in Anguilla would be like, not just in terms of recreation but, more importantly, he extensively addressed the benefits it would contribute to the society with its positive economic impacts. At the end of his presentation, Mr. Weykamp was well prepared to answer the many questions that were posed by members of the audience.
One of the many questions from the audience, came from young Joshua Gumbs who expressed concerns about what kind of benefits the proposed marina would provide for him and many of his peers who are involved in culinary arts and entertainment. Joshua said that, as a youthful entertainer, it has always been his view, and the view of his peers, that Sandy Ground should be the site for a marina seeing that it is already “hands-on” for nightly entertainment, music and food. He contended that Sandy Ground was preferred by him and his young associates, as opposed to Scrub Island or any more remote bay.
In terms of financing, the question was asked of Mr. Weykamp, how a project like this would be financed? He answered that, ideally ,this type of facility would be a public/private partnership venture, where private landowners and government contribute to its creation and development. “We focus on public/private partnerships because, at this point, all the sites are rather complicated and too expensive for the private developer to undertake. It would not be that easy. If it was easy, it would have been probably done by now. So what we focus on is leveraging a public/private partnership. This would be good for the community in that it forces the community to be a part of its development and operation.”
Overall, the community meeting on the proposed marina was, in one word, “fruitful”. The presentations and discussions provided much enlightenment and insight on a matter that has been the subject of much conversation in recent years.

anguillian
By anguillian February 5, 2018 12:44

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