Chinese lender and contractor agree to complete Baha Mar resort


Bahamas Prime Minister Perry Christie on Wednesday said the lender and primary contractor of the stalled Baha Mar resort have reached an agreement to complete the project.

The project’s exiled developer slammed the plan, saying it “defies sensibility.”

Christie, in an announcement in the Bahamas’ House of Assembly, said Export Import Bank of China and China State Construction Engineering Corp. (both are Chinese state-owned entities) reached an agreement to finish the $3.5 billion project. The deal was reached after two days of talks between the two parties and the Bahamas government.

Christie said the contractor and the project’s court-appointed receivers are in talks to set terms and a time frame to complete the resort. Christie’s announcement was first reported in the Bahamas Tribune.

Representatives for project developer Sarkis Izmirlian, who attempted to put the project into U.S. bankruptcy last year and has been locked in an eight-month stalemate with the lender and contractor, bashed the plan.

Izmirlian’s BMD Holdings said it was “very discouraging” that Export Import Bank of China, “knowing full well the serious irregularities already demonstrated by its sister company China State Construction Engineering Corp., would now turn to this very same entity to complete the work.”

Earlier this year, the project was put up for sale by the project’s court-appointed receiver, though no price tag was disclosed.

The 1,000-acre beachfront project was originally slated to open in late 2014, though it has since been set back by delays.

Plans call for four new hotels totaling about 2,200 rooms as well as a casino, a 200,000-square-foot convention center and a Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course.

Izmirlian, who laid off 2,000 employees at Baha Mar last fall, has since criticized the Bahamas government for blocking the bankruptcy, which he filed last June in a U.S. court, and has accused China State Construction of misleading the government.

Representatives of Baha Mar’s contractor didn’t immediately responded to request for comment from Travel Weekly.

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