Almost ready…
MILLAN… I am confident that we should be getting the finalconstruction permit shortly (Photo: Anthony Lewis)
US$500-m 5-star hotel for Hanover in final stages of approval, say developers

GREEN ISLAND, Hanover — Developers of the US$500-million five-star Grand Luxury Princess Hotels and Resorts in Hanover say they expect to be given the green light to begin construction some time this month.

“Things are going well. We have moved forward in a nice way with the different agencies and authorities and as we speak, we are at a very advanced stage. I am confident that we should be getting the final construction permit shortly,” the resort's country manager, Rafael Millan, told the Jamaica Observer.

The developers received preliminary and requisite approvals last year. They are currently awaiting final approval from the Hanover Municipal Corporation (HMC) and the Negril and Green Island Area Local Planning Authority (NEGALPA). The HMC and NEGALPA are working in tandem with several other agencies including the National Environment & Planning Agency (NEPA), the Hanover Health Department and the Hanover Fire Department. Once final approval is granted, construction may begin.

Millan's optimism that work will begin soon was supported by a well-placed source who told Observer West that the approval process is 95 per cent complete.

“For sure they will be approved, we are just waiting on the other agencies,” said the individual who is familiar with the approval process.

The project has provided jobs for over 30 individuals since mid-February. That team has been doing preliminary work on the site, located in Industry Cove, Green Island, after developers received a permit from the HMC late last year. The preliminary work is expected to last for approximately three months, meaning it would end in March. NEPA also approved four permits for this phase, giving the green light from an environmental perspective, for construction and operation of a hotel or resort complex of 2,001 – 3,000 rooms; environmental permit for construction of overwater rooms; outline planning permission for hotel/resort, and beach licences.

The preliminary work includes earth preparation, construction of temporary buildings, installation of electricity and water connections from the Jamaica Public Service Company Limited (JPS) and the National Water Commission (NWC), respectively, and the setting up of a concrete manufacturing plant.

“As soon as we get all the permits that we have applied for, we will be doing a ground-breaking ceremony,” said Millan. “We try to work closely with the parish. We are the largest [hotel] project in Jamaica. We will be the first project in Green Island. So, we have a challenge ahead which is to make sure that we have a positive impact on the local economy in all aspects.”

The group is proposing to construct a 2,037-room resort on 84 of 180 acres of land owned by the developers in Industry Cove, Green Island, Hanover.

They also want to construct a building to house a casino and four hotels. This will be done in two phases, utilising a workforce of approximately 1,500 tradesmen and labourers. On completion of both phases, they expect to hire some 2,852 hotel workers — 1,417 in phase one and 1,435 in the second phase.

It is expected that the first phase, the construction of 1,012 rooms, inclusive of 14 overwater rooms, will take 18 to 24 months. Following a year's break, the second phase, in which 1,025 room will be built, will also be done within 24 months.

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