Daily Archives: October 16, 2011

Harlequin shuts down Merricks, Allamanda projects

How many abandoned developments can Barbados take?

by Stolen Sea Eggs

2009: “The Merricks Beach Resort will become one of Barbados’s most luxurious, family-orientated 5 star resorts and will offer state-of-the-art accommodation and amenities including a world class spa. There is currently a shortage of this level of accommodation on the island.”

… from Harlequin Property: The Merricks, Barbados

2011: “Government had offered Harlequin concessions but to date they had not received them, so the development company had to shut the projects down until the concessions became available.”

… from the Nation article 13 workers lose jobs

Where is the bottom?

Word came yesterday that Harlequin Properties shut down construction at the Merricks Resort Development and the Allamanda Beach Hotel – “due to Government’s failure to provide concessions” according to an article in The Nation.

Harlequin says that the Barbados Government promised the company certain unnamed concessions at the start of the projects, but to date the government hasn’t delivered on its promises. That could be. Could it also have something to do with the alleged fraud at Harlequin’s Buccament Bay Resort? Who knows!

These are bad times and they are not getting better tomorrow. Whatever the promised concessions, if they involve revenue output from the Barbados Treasury the vault is empty and no amount of promising or wishing will make it not so. Did we promise roads, power, water and other infrastructure to the project? The money probably isn’t there. It really hasn’t been for decades unless we planned to borrow it and that free ride on our grandchildren is ending according to the IMF and any reality check.

We can’t pay our pensioners and government employees on time, chemists are waiting up to a year to be paid for government prescription plans and at least four buses I know of are sitting idle because the budget isn’t there to cover major engine and transmission work.

Other big projects are in trouble too as the private sector goes into hibernation during the financial chaos. The Four Seasons is nothing but a concrete wasteland, and in another year or so many of the half-done footings will be seriously damaged. There’s nothing more insidiously destructive to unfinished structures than salt-laced water running down exposed rebar and into the concrete for a couple of years. I’m sure that my friend and rebar engineer Grenville Phillips II would agree. 🙂

Barbados: Failed promises to investors and philanthropists

The other side of the story is that over the years Barbados has made it a habit to promise much to foreign investors to entice them to the island, but then fails to pay up. Off the top of my head I can think of a two prime examples, but there are many more… Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Economy, Offshore Investments