After several false starts, the interim government is claiming it has 38 new developments slated for nine of the Turks and Caicos Islands.
It has not been announced when, what or where the developments will take place. Currently, there are only six islands occupied by more than ten people. These include the six islands of Grand Turk, Salt Cay, South Caicos, Middle Caicos, North Caicos and Providenciales. Two other islands now have only a watchman present, which include West Caicos, where a development was well under way but stalled when US financier Lehman Brothers went down. Ambergris Cay was completed but went into receivership less than three years after opening.
Two private islands have been fully operational for decades including Pine Cay and Parrot Cay. A third privately owned island, Dellis Cay, which was started by Turkish developer Cem Kinay but shut down at the same approximate time that Britain imposed direct rule on the TCI in August 2009. The shutdown occurred when financial support was withdrawn, amid charges of corruption between Kinay and the Michael Misick-led administration. Both Misick and Kinay have departed the TCI and both are wanted for questioning by the special investigation and prosecution team. Both Kinay and Misick are the subjects of Interpol “red notices”.
Another vacant island, Joe Grant Cay, had a significant amount of acreage purchased by Kinay but that transaction has since been reversed by the court, with the land being returned to the TCI Crown (peoples) land acreage bank.
In addition to numerous small cays, the large island of East Caicos lies dormant after having been home to a sisal industry decades ago.
The possible promise of new developments was revealed about ten days ago at a public meeting in Provo, where interim government Director of Development Rebecca Ashwood discussed the much publicised possibility of a large development coming to the already most developed island of Providenciales. This Canadian based development proposes to erect three buildings, two of which will soar to 22 stories and a third reaching even higher to 28. Both political parties have come out against the high rise development on the basis it violates the current limit of three stories, which can be adjusted to five stories with planning approval.
Ashwood would not reveal the nature or location of any of the 38 projects, claiming the developers are undergoing confidential negotiations. This repeats the position of discussions between former Governor Gordon Wetherell and two other developers over two years ago. However, neither has gone forward.
During the Michael Misick-led administration, a number of developments were started but then failed.
This included the already mentioned Ambergris Cay and Dellis Cay. Also a private development of former deputy premier Floyd Hall known as Lucuyan Condos on Provo, Royal Reef resort on North Caicos, which was also said to be brought by a Canadian. The buildings were never completed, as high priced presales never occurred.
This also was the fate of a North Caicos development named St Charles Place, named after Misick’s father Charles. This development, said to be headed by Misick’s brother Phillip was scheduled to include four buildings but only one was completed. Minimal sales also sealed the fate of this development.
Sources have indicated that the tile roof of the new building was not sealed correctly and has leaked, causing serious damage throughout the building. Repairs may commence soon as the mortgage holder takes over.
Nikki Beach Resort, another high priced resort with a mega yacht marina at Leeward in Provo, was completed but stalled for lack of business and closed. Recently, it has been said that the resort has been taken over by the mortgage holder and will be renamed and reopened.
Reportedly a Marriott resort is slated for Provo with the developer having acquired 11 acres. Local media have claimed that unspecified sources have revealed this development to them. This resort is said to be slated for location next to the Seven Stars condo resort, in respect of which developer Jak Civre was accused of bribing members of the Misick administration. Civre has settled the case out of court for a multimillion dollar penalty.
A massive development was slated for the western portion of Middle Caicos, where the buyer borrowed $15 million from Belize Bank using the land said to be worth at least $200 million as collateral. Only one half of the borrowed funds ($7.5 million) were paid into the government treasury, with a second lien for the remaining $7.5 million filed against the land by the government. Despite liens totaling over $22 million, the Misick-led government passed freehold title to a Miami-based developer, who has since seen his Miami office building repossessed and sold at auction. Former Progressive National Party (PNP) leader and attorney Clayton Greene represented the buyer while he served as Speaker of the House. A portion of the land was partitioned and promised to supporters of the Misick government. This situation has been under investigation by the SIPT since May 2010.
A small development known as the Half Creek development slated for the eastern end of Middle Caicos had been under review by the Taylor-led government but approval was delayed. During the Misick years, Minister of Works Jeffrey Hall attempted to sell the resort to other developers but failed. The original Florida-based developer took the Misick government to court and won their right to ownership. It now appears that, due to the years of delay, funding for this development has dried up.
Also apparently moribund are two Provo based developments by locals, one of which was Bishop Williams, who promised to build a 200-acre Christian resort. Williams has since been to court for nonpayment of income taxes due in respect of school teachers working in his private school.