by Linda Straker
- Kimpton Kawana Bay claims Government has blocked completion of hotel
- Filed claims against Government at International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes
- Government unable to confirm that it was served with notice of filing
The developer of the Citizenship by Investment (CBI) known as Kimpton Kawana Bay said that it has filed claims against the Government of Grenada at the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) claiming that the Government has blocked the completion of the hotel which began construction in 2017.
Washington-based ICSID is an arm of the World Bank devoted to resolving international investment disputes against sovereign states. It recently awarded the American company WRB Enterprises which owned majority shares in the Grenada Electricity Services (Grenlec) millions in a mandatory repurchasing agreement.
The arbitration request from True Blue Development, the parent company of Kawana Bay according to a news release from the publicist, is made under the 1986 Treaty between the United States and Grenada Concerning Reciprocal Encouragement and Protection of Investment.
The Developer is seeking damages for their significant loss of investment principal and lost profits and for the ICSID to declare a violation of the Treaty, including Article II (2), Article II (1), and Article III (1); Award of damages in an amount to be proven in these proceedings in compensation, including for the direct losses, lost profits, repayments to CBI Applicants, and consequential damages caused by Grenada’s violations of the Treaty; Entry of a declaratory judgment that the agreements with Grenada are terminated and, with it, all of Claimants’ obligations and duties owed.
Last month Warren Newfield principal of True Blue Development and former Grenadian ambassador-at-large and consul general in Miami resigned from both posts, claiming the Government has become “an anti-business regime.” He is also requesting that the ICSID allocate and award the full costs associated with these proceedings, including all professional fees and disbursements.
The filing document which is dated 17 June 2021 is also requesting the fees and expenses of the Tribunal and ICSID arbitration costs. He also wants pre- and post-award interest at a rate to be fixed by the Tribunal; and further relief as counsel may advise or the Tribunal may deem just and appropriate.
Providing details about the challenges facing the project, the release said that at the end of 2020, the Government revoked the project’s long agreed-upon budget, citing unexplained “discrepancies.” Further “reviews” of the budget never materialised. “Earlier this spring, the government stopped processing Citizenship by Investment applications, which are the lifeblood of the Kimpton Kawana Bay budget,” the release claimed.
“The government’s clandestine scheme appears to have begun in July 2020, with the Grenada CBI Committee informing True Blue that certain documents were missing from its files. True Blue resubmitted the previously approved application and the Grenada Cabinet reaffirmed the 2017 approved budget of US$99 million,” said the news release.
Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell in a recent interview said that the developers engaged in activities that are contrary to the CBI legislation, and that action had to be taken to protect the image of the country and the programme.
At the time of filing this report, the Government was unable to confirm that it was served with notice of the filing.
NOW Grenada is not responsible for the opinions, statements or media content presented by contributors. In case of abuse, click here to report.