by Curlan Campbell
- Mt Hartman Project on over 270 acres of prime real estate
- US$8 million spent thus far on phase zero
- Plans underway to commence 1 of 4 phases over a 5 to 8 year period
Hartman University Town, Grenada, is preparing to begin phase one of the US$2.9 billion Mt Hartman Project under the Citizenship By Investment (CBI) programme, on over 270 acres of prime real estate.
On the Mt Hartman site in the southern peninsula, work continues to complete phase zero, amounting to US$8 million spent thus far. That phase includes a showroom and other facilities.
Under a new investment company and management team, Hartman Education Enterprise Ltd indicated that despite setbacks due to the global pandemic, plans are underway to commence 1 of 4 phases over a 5 to 8 year period, which will see the construction of a modern science and technology university town. Hartman Education Enterprise facilitated a media tour of the property on Thursday, 11 November 2021.
Public Relations and Human Resource Manager Brenda Baptiste provided insight into the project’s various phases, including that they are already engaging several investors in the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States. Without divulging the names of those investors since agreements have not yet been finalised, Baptiste indicated they had expressed interest in visiting the site.
“At the moment, we have two in the UK, we have one in Canada, and we have three in the US, so they’re all going to come to Grenada look at the site look at Granada itself as an investment place, you know, see what happens we even want to put them in touch because as I mentioned there won’t be any competing with St George’s University. Our country has a very long-standing relationship with St George’s University, and our government and officials honour that and we too because what we want to do is to build, not divide.”
While not competing with St George’s University (SGU) which has been operating on the island since 1976, the Hartman University Resort has chosen to focus its plans on the development of a state-of-the-art facility that centres around the area of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), that is expected to attract students from around the world.
In addition, Hartman University Resort will include a University Campus, Student Village, Medical Centre Commercial Areas, Resort, and Wellness Villas. The architectural design was awarded the Titan Property Awards 2021 by Titan Property Awards & International Real Estate.
The investment company has already forged meaningful partnerships with two Grenadian construction companies during the project’s construction phase. “Under the CBI arrangements with the government of Grenada, it is critical that the CBI projects encompass a ratio of foreign to local workers. Insofar for our company, our ratio is now at 70–30, 70% local 30% Chinese. In terms of our suppliers, 90% I would say of our supplies come from local suppliers. We have preferential supplier agreements with Gravel and Concrete and On the Spot Ltd, and that is a relationship which has been developed over the years, from you know, previous work with other Chinese counterparts and with our company,” Baptiste said.
Since the start of the project, environmentalist groups and organisations have condemned the encroachment of the project on vital wetlands and mangrove areas and one of Grenada’s last refuge for the critically endangered Grenada Dove.
At present, Grenada Land Actors (GLA) is awaiting judgment on a legal claim for Judicial Review against the Planning and Development Authority of Grenada in the High Court. The claim brought into question whether the Planning and Development Authority acted per the Physical Planning and Development Control Act 2016 in the granting of planning permissions to not only the Hartman University Resort, but also to two other tourism development projects namely the Levera Development Project in St Patrick, and Six Senses project at La Sagesse currently underway in proximity to coastal and wetland environments.
Baptiste explained that the developers are working alongside the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry to ensure that the construction does not adversely affect the environment. Addressing the environmental concerns by various groups, she said the developers have already set up a conservation fund to support the natural environment. “We have established a fund and, it is the Hartman Education Conservation Fund… already we have put in $100,000 into that fund just initially.”
She said, “All lands in the country whether you have deed or title, once you encroach our national parks the State is in control. So we are in compliance, so that so far we’ve established the fund to support. We know that is a national concern for our people. I, as a Grenadian, a very patriotic Grenadian at that, I work for this company. Still, it is part of my interest as well as a Grenadian to ensure that our national parks are preserved conserved.”
On Friday, the High Court is expected to deliver its verdict regarding the case filed by the Grenada Land Actors.
NOW Grenada is not responsible for the opinions, statements or media content presented by contributors. In case of abuse, click here to report.