One of our commenters suggested this week that the issue of the proliferation of condominiums being built in Barbados should be placed under the microscope. Specifically the condos being built on the West Coast have all but obliterated the few windows to the sea which we were struggling to preserve. Reverend Andrew Hatch who has been an advocate for maintaining windows to the sea in Barbados has sadly lost this battle. Several arguments have been offered that building condos are destructive for the Barbados tourism product. The most interesting comment is that of Executive Vice President of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association Susan Springer who is quoted in a PriceWaterHouse (PCW) Report titled A Question of Balance:
Of course we expected the counter argument from the people who are going to the bank as a result of the shift to condo building. Terry Hanton who is the Managing Director of Property Consulting Services, a division of AA Altman Real Estate had this rebuttal to make:
He further hammered home the point that although condos are replacing hotel rooms the practice at his company is to ensure his condos operate in a rental pool. The net affect on room plant is therefore zero.
Former Minister Barney Lynch was the biggest proponent of the condo model for Barbados. Did he not partner with Bruce Bayley and the Barbados National Bank to build condos on the South Coast on behalf of government? Now that the government has changed it would be interesting to find-out if this is another project which will have to be abandoned. Minister Richard Sealy over to you.
The PCW report concedes that the high cost of servicing small hotels make it an easy decision for owners to fold to the idea of replacing the hotel with a condo. The issue which our previous government seems to be compromising on is the spoiling of our island beauty by approving the erection of many of these ugly structures we see piercing the West Coast skyline.
Condos, flyovers, what next, casinos?