Prime Minister Dr. Douglas was the Featured Speaker at the official groundbreaking ceremony for the launch of the Ocean Grove Villas and the Windswept Residence Club and he told the developers that he was pleased to see progress being made at Christophe Harbour, which he described as a development vision that is shared by his St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Government and a project that continues to be an important component of the Federation’s economic transformation strategy.
“Like most other resort area developments in the Caribbean, I am very much aware that Christophe Harbour has experienced various growth-related challenges and internal issues since the financial melt-down and global economic recession first began in the United States of America over four years ago. Consequently some of the projects envisioned for Christophe Harbour have been moving at a much slower pace than was expected,” said Dr. Douglas to the guests who included Governor General His Excellency Sir Edmund Lawrence and Lady Lawrence, Cabinet Ministers, business leaders and other officials.
The Prime Minister acknowledged though that there is the risk of private investment promises not turning into real projects for the benefit of the people of St. Kitts and Nevis, but noted that the ceremony was taking place within sight of an actual villa under construction as part of the Windswept Residence Club project.
“I could not ask for better evidence that the project has actually commenced. I understand that the design and construction of these luxury villas will be of world-class quality,” said Prime Minister Douglas.
But he stated in a rather confident tone that his Government has a very solid reputation for encouraging private investment that is of good quality and compatible with the country’s development objectives, including the empowerment of nationals and the sustainability of the environment and culture.
The new projects, which have a value of over US$50 million tare being developed by Russian investors and will include 50 two-bedroom villas as part of the US$37 million Ocean Grove Development and the Windswept Residence Club of 9 villas at a cost of US$13 million.
Ocean Grove Villas is a joint venture between the Christophe Harbour Development Company and the Canada-based Apex Capital Partners Corporation.
Dr. Douglas said this project is also significant because it is the first major investment to be put together in St. Kitts by a Russian group.
Dr. Douglas note that St. Kitts and Nevis is an international country and it is not by any accident that this investment comes at a time when his Government is in the process of removing the requirement for an entry visa for Russian visitors.
“We see Russia as a new and desirable market for both investors and visitors for our country, and you can be assured that my Government will continue to take the necessary steps to improve the flow of trade and investment between our two democratic countries,” said Dr. Douglas.