BVI News

No foreigners | Cabinet decides that only locals, Belongers should rebuild Palm Grove centre

File photo of the Palm Grove Shopping Centre as it was being demolished.

Only a BVI local or a Belonger of the British Virgin Islands will be eligible to be awarded the contract for the reconstruction of the Palm Grove Shopping Centre in Road Town. 

This decision was one of many coming from a September 26 Cabinet meeting.

A post-meeting statement published on Tuesday expressly said, “Cabinet decided that the Expression of Interest and subsequent Request for Proposals for the rebuilding of the Palm Grove Shopping Centre be issued only to BVIslanders or Belongers of the Territory of the Virgin Islands”.

In the event a foreigner decides to partner with a local or Belonger, or a mixture of both, Cabinet said they can only be awarded the contract “once the BVIslander or Belonger or multiple BVIslanders or Belongers have majority ownership of the joint venture or consortium”.

Centre demolished because of unsafety

The Palm Grove centre was demolished since last August after authorities labelled it unsafe. In late 2017, all tenants were vacated after the old structure was weakened by the 2017 hurricanes.

Palm Grove was also affected by crystallite asbestos, a mineral commonly used in building construction. However, local experts said that type of the mineral found in Palm Grove was not dangerous.

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  1. CW says:

    Limited bids is how you get taken advantage of on price. SMH.

    Like 16
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    • @cw says:

      Obviously you didn’t read the article or you would realise that government is not putting any money in the project. This one is solely on the back of the developer which is a wise move by the Premier and his team.

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    • not just price says:

      also quality

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    • watch says:

      a prescription for high price and inferior work but lets hope for the best . I wouls like to see performance bonds posted for these projects . Just normal practice to protect we the taxpayers .

      Like 12
  2. racist bvi says:

    strikes again, all foreigners out? Let’s put the foreigners in a camp…

    Like 21
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  3. Musa says:

    Great we have great team in bvi good going VIP look out for quality .

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  4. Sensible says:

    This seems like a sensible decision. Palm Grove is on Wickhams Cay I and we know the history of that stemming back to the 1960s. Next, BVI has enough qualified local contracts to build Palm Grove…no need to get foreign contractors to do that.

    Like 17
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    • Evidence? says:

      OK, let’s go with the statement that the BVI has enough qualified local contractors…first of all, what does “qualified” mean? It seems like every govt funded construction project goes substantially over budget in terms of time and money. One would think that “qualified” contractors would not allow this to happen even with unforeseen situations.

      Given past experience, and the absence of any reason to think otherwise, restricting bidders to Belongers is likely to result in excess costs, tardy completion, and who knows about the final quality

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  5. About says:


    And to the ja who does not know what racism is, here is a lesson to learn.

    Racism is the discrimination by one person of/ against another based soley upon the color of his/her skin.

    Most w people, for example, do not, or would rather not see b people on our beaches just because we are of brown skin.

    This is a good initiative. It will ensure some construction money is made by locals and stays in the bvi.

    Like 8
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  6. Asbestos's Boy says:

    Who are the local experts that say crystalline asbestos is not dangerous ,Name Them!,,

    Like 12
  7. READ says:

    If persons are genuinely interested they would seek and read the official document with the offer. It does NOT exclude foreigners, it says that Belongers or BVIslanders would be the ones allowed to take the lead on the project and partner with other locals AND/OR foreign entities. If it is done right it can work, we cannot say we are developing the Territory and leave the people out. The reconstruction of ESHS by locals in record time and on budget despite all the noise showed that if given the opportunity our people can get things done.

    Like 13
  8. Quiet Warrior says:

    “ However, local experts said that type of the mineral found in Palm Grove was not dangerous..” This opinion by local experts is misleading and ill-served the community. Here is a news flash. No exposure to asbestos is safe; all exposure(s) to asbestos must be taken seriously. The adverse effects of asbestos occur by inhaling the dust.

    The impact is cumulative and the disease takes decades to materialize. Extreme exposure, ie, 9/11 results in the adverse impact occurring sooner. As a practical matter, local personnel who have been exposed to asbestos should be placed on a monitoring programne. Affected personnel, along with their affected family member(s), should be made whole through medical care, monetary payment…….etc.

    Like 7
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    • Who says:

      When I studied journalism some decades ago, it was generally the norm to identify sources. Who are these local experts? What are their qualifications? What exactly did they say? How can this be verified? And, one could ask the same of “Quiet Warrior”.

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      • @Who says:

        @Who, and where did you attend journalism school, did you graduate……etc? By the way, the information listed was acquired thru industrial studies and years of training/education/world of work. Furthermore, the effects of asbestos on human health is common knowledge. Do you have a different view(s) from what was listed and if so state them?

    • Flo says:

      We’re there any illness reported from the asbestos found at palm grove?

      • @Flo says:

        @Flo, asbestosis/mesothelioma….etc have decades of incubation. The long incubation period is why people who have been exposed to asbestos should be placed on a monitoring programme. Further, the long incubation period is often misleading for people.

  9. Local contractor says:

    I am an expat who hired a local contractor to rebuild my demolished house after Irma. On time, very good value for money and excellent quality. There are plenty of local contractors who can do the job – the rub lies in financing

    • No doubt says:

      I am sure there are a few but with one’s own eyes, one can see the general standard of building is low with no code standards employed and seemingly no architects. Even look on the real estate sites. Almost everything has been built by people who clearly shouldn’t be trusted with LEGO let alone constructing homes and offices. On VG though, perhaps it’s a different story. There is a small office block on WC II that has been stalking for years despite having anchor tenants lined up, now fed up.

  10. watch says:

    a prescription for high price and inferior work but lets hope for the best . I wouls like to see performance bonds posted for these projects . Just normal practice to protect we the taxpayers .

    Like 2
    Dislike 1
  11. Lease holder says:

    And what happens to us.
    We are being ignored by the administration as though we have no rights and seemingly cast aside. Who stands in the gap for us .

    Like 1
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    • @Leaseholder says:

      My bet no rent has been paid since Irma? Most lease agreements will have a clause when the building is not tenable (which also protects you) There is plenty of space in town why not take the opportunity to refocus and upgrade.

  12. Question says:

    What happens to the tenants that had leases up to Hurricane Irma? They are just forgotten?

    Like 2
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  13. Be careful says:

    Please note that majority ownership of a company does not necessarily mean the local gets the most profit.Nor should it if the foreigner takes the most risk or puts in most of the work.

  14. Suggestion. . . says:

    How about building a palm grove center designated to parking. Town is putting up buildings galore with little to no parking. A parking building can also generate money.

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  15. Plod says:

    Im sorry but this just stinks of back handed brown envelopes and corruption……I think the governor needs to keep an eye on this one.

    Like 11
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  16. Foreigner says:

    Thank you for advising my investment money is not required in the B V I. Forewarned is forearmed.

  17. FAIR ENOUGH says:

    If you know the History of Wickham’s Cay Development you would recognize the importance of having the Development done by Local. The developments inception, in the 1970’s, was for it to be developed by non-local investors. That didn’t not happen, there were protests -fast forward to day – this is still the case. Let “The People Be the People” this is never going to change.

    I agree with the choice to allow local developers to re-develop Palm Grove. I am not a Belonger But Palm Grove was my daily place of “business/work” its somewhat sentimental.

    As log as the protocol’s are followed there should not be an issue.

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