CO-FOUNDER OF RANGE DEVELOPMENTS VISITS DOMINICA AND SAYS REBUILDING STRATEGY IS ‘UNDERWAY’ AND COUNTRY SHOWING ‘GREAT RESILIENCE’
Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit (centre in white cap) with members of the ‘clean-up crew’. Source: Roosevelt Skerrit Facebook Page.
October 16, 2017 – Less than a month after the terrible devastation caused by Hurricane Maria, the streets are being cleared, utilities returning, people are going back to work and a degree of normalcy in daily lives is returning. That’s the view of Mohammed Asaria, co-founder of Range Developments, a company that specialises in developing luxury hotel projects in the Caribbean.
“It was shocking to see at first hand the damage caused by the hurricane,” said Mr Mohammed Asaria, Vice Chairman of Range Developments. “I travelled there last week to see the situation for myself. I was incredibly impressed by the fortitude of the people and the efforts the Government are making to restore their country to the paradise it once was. It was heartening also to see children going back to their schools. The energy and drive amongst the country’s leadership is clear and must be applauded.”
Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit is personally leading the entire relief, restoring and rebuilding efforts. He announced recently that water supply has now been restored, as have telecommunications to most areas. In the capital Roseau there are people working on every street corner, cleaners wearing masks hosing down the streets, and water tankers spraying the roads. Vehicular access has been restored in all the island’s roads. The extent of the damage and the cost of the rebuilding will be announced shortly by independent multi-lateral agencies, but is likely to be many multiples of the country’s GDP.
“What we’re doing is to take an opportunity to build back better,” Prime Minister Skerrit told reporters. “And we’re now putting the master plan in place. It entails sustainable livelihoods. In respect to energy, moving more into renewables – geothermal and solar.”
Mr. Asaria also visited Range Developments’ project, The Cabrits Resort Kempinski, on the north-east of the island near Portsmouth.
“I am delighted to see how our team responded to the crisis,” says Mr Asaria. “In the most challenging of circumstances they are already returning to work. Supplies are beginning to get through again as the roads, ports and airports are now re-open. Dominica will rebound from this stronger and in better shape to deal with anything similar that might occur in the future.”
About Range Developments:
Range Developments is an international property developer focusing on high-end hotel resorts in the Caribbean that are well-designed, sustainable and desirable. The Park Hyatt St Kitts won the prestigious Best New Hotel Construction and Design St. Kitts & Nevis award at The International Property Awards 2014-2015. It also won the coveted award of Best New Hotel Construction and Design in the Caribbean 2014-2015. It is due to open in November 17.
Range has two other developments in the region. The Cabrits Resort Kempinski in Dominica is the first government approved real estate project in Dominica under the country’s Citizenship by Investment Program. A minimum investment of US$ 220,000 in the project will entitle investors and their families to a citizenship of the Commonwealth of Dominica. It is currently under construction and the most advanced of any government-approved project on the island. Its third project, The Ritz-Carlton St. Lucia, was announced in August this year.
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Ritz Carlton to operate luxury resort in St Lucia
(L-R) Alejandro Acevedo, Regional Vice President, Marriott International; Mohammed Asaria, vice chairman of Range Developments; and Prime Minister Allen Chastanet signing the operating agreement. Photo: Caribbean News Now
By Caribbean News Now contributor
CASTRIES, St Lucia — Ritz Carlton, the luxury hotel subsidiary of Marriott International, on Thursday signed an operating agreement with Range Developments and the government of Saint Lucia to operate the planned new resort development at Black Bay on the beautiful southern tip of the island.
Ritz Carlton has 91 luxury hotels and resorts in 30 countries and territories, including six in the wider Caribbean: Aruba, Cayman Islands; Mexico, Puerto Rico (2); and USVI.
The agreement was signed on behalf of Marriott/Ritz Carlton by Alejandro Acevedo, regional vice president of Marriott International; Mohammed Asaria, vice chairman of Range Developments; and Saint Lucia Prime Minister Allen Chastanet.
The heart of the Black Bay Master Development will consist of Ritz Carlton branded hotel and villas set on 180 acres. The site is on the Caribbean southwest coast, within easy reach of the international airport and the Pitons, the world famous heritage site. The master development will be developed in a number of phases.
The Ritz Carlton hotel, the anchor of the master development, will be developed under the country’s citizenship-by-investment programme and will comprise 180 rooms.
Range Developments has received plaudits and awards both for its designs and robust and innovative corporate social responsibility activities. This will be the company’s third major luxury development in the Caribbean, following the Park Hyatt St Kitts, which is due to open in November, and Kempinski Dominica.
The Park Hyatt St Kitts won the prestigious Best New Hotel Construction and Design St Kitts and Nevis award at The International Property Awards 2014-2015. It also won the coveted award of Best New Hotel Construction and Design in the Caribbean 2014-2015.
The Ritz Carlton will be designed and built to the highest standards in keeping with Range Development’s ethos and the project will create about 500 jobs on the island during construction, with a similar amount once the hotel is operational.
Saint Lucia’s citizenship-by-investment programme is aimed at encouraging investment in the island. Investors not only have a chance to invest, but assuming they meet the stringent requirements, apply for citizenship of the country, with all the benefits of full citizenship.