By L.K. Hewlett
St. Kitts Reporter
With so many phantom development projects that have failed to materialize in our nations past, the latest announcement of a multi-million dollar project on St. Kitts’ South East Peninsula is being scrutinized by the entire nation.
Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas recently revealed some of the details regarding Christophe Harbour; a collaborative development project between Kiawah Development Partners, Auberge Resorts, Mandarin Oriental and J.B. Turbidy.
Dr. Douglas also said that the project would combine with a number of other private sector projects in St Kitts and Nevis to give momentum to the programme of economic transformation.
“The best is yet to come. Christophe Harbour, the comprehensive development plan for the Southeast Peninsula unveiled by the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, along with other developers – Firesky Ventures, Auberge Resorts and Kiawah Development Partners would place St. Kitts and Nevis to the forefront of the high-end, luxury sector of the Caribbean tourism market and one of the best luxury golf and resort destinations on the face of the globe,” he said.
The project spans 2,500 acres with six spectacular beaches, and includes the new marina, which will consist of approximately 300 acres of water surface within the natural harbour.
According to the developers, the four-hotel project when completely built will sit on six spectacular beaches. Its natural harbour, sheltered by green hills and high bluffs, will provide the ideal setting for mega yachts as centrepieces of a seaside village of restaurants, shops, and boutiques, two five-star hotels managed by Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group and Auberge Resorts and oceanfront homes. Atop the green cliffs will be a Tom Fazio championship golf course and clubhouse plus a collection of luxurious villas and private home sites.
The initial development will see two luxury hotels, accommodating visitors and yachting enthusiasts who will dock at the marina or call it home. Under the management of Auberge Resorts, the first hotel will be a five-star boutique property while the second five-star hotel will be managed by Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, the award-winning owner and operator of some of the world’s most prestigious hotels and resorts.
The P.M. forecasted high quality jobs for our people as it is anticipated that thousands of jobs will emanate from this particular project.
“This project will open up new entrepreneurship and wealth creation opportunities for our people and will generate foreign exchange and other revenues to assist us in bringing down the public debt that we had incurred to create the environment that is necessary to attract and support a project such as St. Christophe Harbour,” said the St. Kitts and Nevis leader.
At an event held at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort and Royal Beach Casino, Prime Minister Douglas, who is also the Minister of Tourism, recalled meeting one of the developers, Mr. J. B. Turbidy some two years ago, enunciating the vision that he had on behalf of the Cabinet.
“I insisted that this project be designed to have maximum impact on the quality of life of our people and thereby push us to even higher rankings on the Human Development Index.”
P.M. Douglas admitted to questioning the reality of such a huge project when he asked Ambassador Wendell Lawrence after the first round of negotiations, ‘Is this for real?’
The Whitegate Development program, which includes the La Valley Project, Beaumont Parks, and Kittitian Hill, has been somewhat stagnant since their conceptualisation a few years ago.
No precise timelines pertaining to the future groundbreaking or completion of the Christophe Harbour Development have been divulged.