The National Industrial and Commercial Investment Limited (NICIL) in a statement yesterday pointed out that the recent challenge to the lease granted to Atlantic Hotel Incorporated, the developer of the Marriot Hotel in Georgetown, is aimed at styming development in Guyana.
In media reports on Saturday June 29, A Partnership for National Unity’s Desmond Trotman move to block the transfer of Marriott Hotel Land-Lease which he claimed attracts a fee of GY$300,000 (US$1500) Per Annum for 99 Years.
NICIL noted that Trotman’s move to block the leasing of Block Alpha to Atlantic Hotel Inc. follows a pattern of action by special interest groups to stymie the development of the Marriott Hotel Project.
“There has been no secrecy or sinister motive behind the lease agreement for the 6.886 acres of land upon which the Marriott is being built. In June 2012, NICIL submitted to the National Assembly, the Marriott Contract, AHI’s Tax Agreement and the Agreement to Lease, dated 28th January 2010, between NICIL and AHI, in response to questions raised in Parliament about the project,” NICIL said.
These agreements, NICIL explained, have all been in the public domain for over a year.
“Following the above, the Government held a debate on the Marriott Project, which, part of the Opposition participated in. The issue of lease charge was never raised. The Government has always said that it remains open to making presentations made to the opposition on this project (in a manner similar to the Amaila Hydro Project),” the release said.
According to NICIL, in all aspects of the project, they have publicly advertised for interested parties (to date at least 5 different advertisements have been issued); these include seeking investors, seeking the contractor, seeking the supervision firm, and seeking parties to operate the Entertainment Complex, it said.
“The lease rate payable by AHI is based on the following considerations: Government has on many occasions issued concessionary lease rates where there is substantial capital investment on the said property and significant positive developmental benefits; the objective being to encourage investment, employment, and income generation” it said.
The company noted that they are making an investment of US$60M in development on the said property, which is one of the largest investments on any land in Georgetown.
“The lease rate is the same price of GD$1.00 per square foot (plus VAT) charged of the tenants of the Eccles and Coldigen Industrial Estates, all being properties owned and managed by NICIL. The terms and rate of the lease are the same as those issued to a private developer over 10 years ago for the said property.
The developer withdrew in 2009, following the US financial crisis of 2008. AHI and NICIL have pursued the development of this project in an open and transparent manner.
The Marriott Hotel Project has huge developmental benefits including the creation of over 250 jobs for Guyanese, once completed, and the establishment of a modern world class branded hotel that will support the expansion of Guyana’s travel and tourism sector,” the statement concluded.