I'm no expert on how these things work, but it seems to me that there's probably no downside to island officials agreeing to whatever cockamamie idea developers can come up with next (remember the Scrub Island Megalomaniac Mansion Resort?), even knowing that there's no way it will ever come to fruition (or be sucessful if it does). Surely there must be, um, incentives doled out to the right people to ensure that these projects are green-lighted, no matter how financially foolhardy they seem or unlikely they are to ever actually be built. And so one more billboard will go up, and one more palm-treed lot will be razed, and then . . . nothing. Or so I fervently hope.
How they justify it depends on which "they" we're referring to. The developer probably hopes to sell enough units to recover his costs, and the rest would be profit. Whether people buy a unit at Viceroy, Cap Juluca or Zemi Beach depends largely on marketing, so the developer must have a lot of faith in their chosen agents.
The number one political issue in Anguilla right now is unemployment, primarily in the construction sector. Building this place addresses that. Our elected leaders would have a hard time explaining why they rejected this project.
I don't believe Zemi have a thousand feet of beachfront. The land immediately to their east was acquired for the Fountain National Park. Negotiations for the developer to lease a strip of land closest to the beach on a temporary basis have failed, but they seem to be including it as "their" beachfront.
The politicians approve a project and have a nice press conference explaining that they have now made sure that not only every Anguillian will be employed building or operating the development, but that all sorts of other positive things will come from that as well at no cost to anybody.
Then it never gets built because it was a stupid idea from the start and there are simply not enough gullible foreigners willing the pay the inflated price and then have to beg for a year to get an Alien Land Holders License.
And after that the same politicians can claim that the evil-bogeyman-of-choice is interfering with Anguilla's future.
All this on island time so people have time to forget about step 1 and 2 by the time step 3 comes around. Which will also be after the next election when the politicians had time to get re-elected on their achievements in step 1.
Where on SBE is this proposed development?
It's the old Fountain Beach Hotel property, down toward the western end of Shoal Bay East. It's past the "proposed" stage -- construction started several weeks ago.
“Zemi Beach has views over either the Caribbean Sea or the nearby Fountain Cavern National Park, ..."
And there was me thinking that Shoal Bay East was on the north side of the island, you know, the side of the Atlantic Ocean.
IslandBoy, hard to believe that this isn't another project conditioned on advance sales!
What do you mean when you say construction has actually started? What did they do with the Fountain Beach Hotel? Are they actually building the resort, or just another sales office?
Parts of the old hotel have been demolished. The top floor of the main building was cleaned up for last night's reception. They had a couple of SUVs shuttling people in the rain - people were covered in mud. There was nothing to see, no pictures, models, handouts, tours. The canapes were awful.
In June they promised to have six units finished and open by October. Here is a video of what appears to be a finished resort. Note the otherworldly quality of the place, as if space aliens had just departed with all the humans and rodents:
The film's narrative speaks of the place as if it were finished. This reminds me of a press release from April 2008 that included this notable claim:
"A collection of luxury residences at the high-end resort of Altamer in Anguilla...are for sale... There are nine villas on this Caribbean island". To this day, six of these nine villas exist only in press releases. VapourVillas.
But at least the Goldsteins respect the environment. They have stated:
"Given the sensitive nature of the site, the Government of Anguilla requested that an Environmental Impact Study be undertaken. We are pleased to report that the study was completed by Ivor Jackson and Associates and it is now being reviewed by the Government of Anguilla’s technical team. Based on the results of the EIS, the developer has endeavored to undertake mitigation measures to protect indigenous flora and fauna and wild life." And "indigenous plants have been removed and stored in a nursery for replanting".
If photographs sent to me are accurate, the nursery consists of a concrete pad on which there are twelve (12) small potted plants. There is no evidence of any protection for the hapless rodents.
It sounds like nobody has to be concerned about this development. After all, according to the video it is on "Angweela", which must be an altogether different island.