Baha Mar Resort Negotiations Move Forward

Bahamas Prime Minister Perry Christie recently announced that a framework agreement has been reached to complete the unfinished Baha Mar resort in Nassau, Bahamas. The $3.5 billion project was originally scheduled to open at the end of 2014 but faced multiple delays.

In June 2015, developer Baha Mar Ltd. filed for bankruptcy and submitted a suit alleging the contractor was to blame for missed deadlines. After talks failed to restart the project, the resort was put up for sale in March 2016.

In his announcement to the Bahamas House of Assembly on May 25, Christie stated that lender Export-Import Bank of China (EXIM) and China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) have reached a framework agreement after two days of talks with Bahamian government officials. CSCEC is the parent company of Baha Mar’s general contractor, China Construction America (CCA) Bahamas. The agreement was first reported in the Bahamas Tribune.

The proposed deal would secure the financing needed to complete the project and allow CCA Bahamas to resume construction on the resort, which is already 97 percent completed. The Baha Mar resort complex is expected to consist of four new hotels with a total of 2,323 guest rooms and 200,000 sq. ft. of meeting space.

In response to this announcement, the resort’s developer, BMD Holdings, released this statement criticizing the deal: “It is very discouraging that China EXIM Bank, knowing full well the serious irregularities already demonstrated by its sister company China State Construction Engineering Corp., would now turn to this very same entity to complete the work which its subsidiary, CCA, has failed to do time and again on previous schedules that it has provided.

“There is nothing in CCA’s past performance at Baha Mar that should lend confidence that they can complete Baha Mar on any schedule they provide and refrain from re-engaging in deceitful business practices, including overbilling and substituting inferior materials and systems to the detriment of the potential of this resort.”

In his latest statement on June 8, Christie confirmed that negotiations are ongoing and reaffirmed that the framework agreement provides a pathway to completion of the resort.