BELAIR–The Pearl of China project is still on the horizon, albeit in a pared-down form for Belair beachfront. The hotel section of the project will now feature only 225 units on the beach and the convention/trading centre will be built across from Raoul Illidge Sports Complex.
Pearl of China’s local representative Cengiz Kucuk told The Daily Herald new drawings for the two locations and the requests for planning and building permits are in the works. These should be completed within three months.
Keeping to that schedule and the receiving the approved permits from Government, he is confident construction can start “in this year.”
The massive project of a 326-room hotel with a showroom and 450 executive apartments was announced by Finance Minister Richard Gibson Sr. in September 2016, just weeks before the snap parliamentary election. A symbolic ground-breaking ceremony for the project was held some 10 days ahead of the election.
When announcing the project in September 2016, Gibson Sr. described it as a multi-million-dollar “jackpot” project for the country.
However, the project was hit with several snags, including building density restrictions at the Belair site. Negotiation with the original owner of the land to lift restrictions that have been passed down in every deed since the property was first sold did not yield results.
The project is supported by a Chinese public-private venture. A company reflecting 50 per cent share ownership by the Chinese Government and 50 per cent by Chinese private sector companies has been established in St. Maarten.
At the symbolic ground-breaking, developer Trey Cui Shuqiang of New Life Town Investment and Development Limited said Pearl of China would generate 400 permanent jobs, for which the local population has been urged to get suitably trained mainly in the hospitality field. The jobs will not come online until the hotel and convention centre for Las Vegas-style conventions and conferences is completed.
Shuqiang had promised at the ceremony to donate a fully-equipped ambulance to Windward Islands Emergency Medical Services (WIEMS), 4,000 solar panels, 1,000 energy-efficient light bulbs, 500 inverter air conditioners for schools and senior citizens, and tables and chairs for Charlotte Brookson Academy for the Performing Arts.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/72707-pared-down-pearl-of-china-to-have-225-beach-units