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Baha Mar to demolish old banks next month

Buildings that have lined the southern side of West Bay Street for years will be demolished next month as Baha Mar prepares to make room for the superstructure of the casino and convention hotels of its $2.6 billion dollar mega-development.

Scotiabank, Commonwealth Bank and Fidelity Bank on the Cable Beach Strip will all be brought down begining the first week of December at Baha Mar’s expense, according to Baha Mar Senior Vice President of Government and External Affairs Robert Sands, who said even more jobs will be created as a result.

“There will be a contract awarded to a Bahamian company. I’m not in possession of the exact amount but [those are] some of the works that we will allocate specifically to Bahamian companies,” he said.

The police and fire station on the strip will also be demolished in short order, Sands confirmed.

He said the new banks and police and fire station will be opened on November 21, 2011.

“The police and fire station is bigger because it has to be representative of the community,” he said. “You have much more hotel rooms, etc.

And also it has to accommodate larger fire engines because of the height of buildings. Scotiabank is a state of the art bank. Commonwealth Bank is a state of the art bank and so is Fidelity.”

The Office of the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Finance will be relocated to the SG Hambros building on West Bay Street, which was recently purchased by the government.

The developers yesterday handed over the newly realigned section of West Bay Street to the government.

It took 600 workers nine months to build the new road and the new commercial village which repotedly cost in excess of $100 million.

Sands said the foundation of what the world will come to know as Baha Mar will soon start to take shape.

“We’ve done significant foundation pilings starting from June 1 of this year. So you’ll begin to see the superstructure come out of the ground early next year,” he said.

Baha Mar has an expected completion date of December 2014.

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