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$15m in Baha Mar contracts

Baha Mar signed construction contracts yesterday that are valued at$15 million and projected to create 450 jobs.

They are the first of several exclusively Bahamian contracts in the non-core phase of the Cable Beach redevelopment project, with the second round of contracts to be disseminated next Monday.

Baha Mar executives revealed that the winners of the contracts to build the new Fidelity building, Scotiabank building, police and fire stations and Commonwealth Bank building are John F. Dunn and Associates, Cavalier Construction, CGT Contractors and Developers and Osprey Development respectively.

Those buildings will be constructed in a new commercial village.

Their demolition will make way for the Baha Mar campus and the rerouting of Bay Street, scheduled to begin by the second quarter of 2011.

Three months after the commencement of the commercial village, work on the core of the project, which includes the six hotel structures and their surrounds, is expected to begin.

Vice President of External Affairs for Baha Mar Robert Sands said the contracts signed yesterday are conditional letters of intent and are subject to full approval following the finalization of Baha Mar’s loan facility with China Export-Import Bank and the final approvals from the government.

According to Sands, the Bahamas Investment Authority has already approved the project and Baha Mar officials expect the government’s approval of the amended heads of agreement for the project to be imminent.

Baha Mar expects, within that time, to award more of the exclusively Bahamian, first phase contracts, totalling$60 million.

Meanwhile, the Bahamian Contractors Association is putting together its final recommendations on the proposed Contractors Bill for the government, according to the organization’s treasurer, Larry Treco.

He said the bill would assist all contractors in The Bahamas to duly contribute to the$2.6 billion, four-year Baha Mar build. As much as$400 million worth of work has been set aside for Bahamians on the total project.

According to Baha Mar’s president, Tom Dunlap, this first set of approved awards are expected to create 300 direct jobs, as well as 150 indirect jobs within the community.

“Baha Mar is committed to an open bidding process for all construction work so as to ensure equal opportunity for all contractors who can meet the qualifications, safety, timing and work quality as demanded by its project schedule and brand standards, and to this end Baha Mar has launched a series of town hall meetings in the out islands of The Bahamas so as to inform and assist all local contractors wishing to participate in this mega project,”Dunlap said.

The majority of the labor will come from Chinese workers who will be brought in to work on the core project, under China State Construction. At that time more contracts will be awarded to Bahamian construction companies.

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