I had the pleasure of attending the ground breaking ceremony for Port Ferdinand yesterday. Its going to be a sister marina to Port St. Charles which will be right next door to it. Both marina's located in the North Of Barbados just 2 minutes drive outside of Speighstown, Barbados' second largest town. As a Bajan and a man from the North of the island, its interesting too see another major marina being built.
I must say I am a lot most intrigued after experiencing the Heineken Regatta in St. Maarten which is the biggest sailing competition in the Caribbean. (Check out more on my Regatta Experience). The Heineken Regatta in St. Maarten attracts people from around the world. Not just the average Joe but people who love marine life and enjoy the sea. Apparently each year during the Regatta hundreds of thousands of dollars are raised to protect the marine environment there.
As Prime Minister of Barbados David Thompson pointed out in his speech at the event, its amazing how many Bajans are afraid of the sea. I must admit I grew up fearing of the sea too. However, I am making the honest effort to appreciate this resource that is most responsible for where Barbados is today. Tourism being our major industry supported by people around the world who spend thousands of dollars to get a little taste of our marine environment.
Its interesting to imagine how these marina's might be able to impact on Bajan's love for the sea. The CEO for the project announced that they will be hiring swimming instructors to teach the local children how to swim. Time will tell.
According to the Prime Minister the Father of Independence, The late Errol Walton Barrow had a passion for the sea and a secret desire to see more Bajans taking to the sea as a means to discover oneself. Maybe his vision will be realized soon.
Looking further afield sea travel is a cheaper alternative to air travel and its have been underdeveloped in our region. If just look at the demand for the Bedy Travel Ferry service it shows that there is a big demand for a good intra regional network of marine travel.
That is another story for another time.
See more information on Port Ferdinand.
Speech By MR. Bjorn Bjerkham Chairman of Port Ferdinand SRL @
Port Ferdinand Marina Development Ground Breaking Ceremony – Friday, December 11, 2009
Prime Minister, Honourable David Thompson, Ministers of Government, Reverend Peter Haynes, Distinguished Guests, Members of the Press; Ladies and Gentlemen.
On behalf of the Directors of Port Ferdinand SRL, I am delighted to welcome you to the ground breaking ceremony for this new addition to the tourism and marina resort accommodation, here in St. Peter. Little did I think when I arrived in Barbados some sixty years ago, that I would be a part of such a major step in the development of our nation.
It is indeed humbling to realize that this could not have been achieved without the help and collaboration of many people, so I would like to take this opportunity to thank some of them.
Firstly, I must thank my wife Joy, and my family, for the support they have given me, even when others thought I was crazy when I went into the many ventures I have been involved with, here in our island nation, from becoming the largest private providers of affordable housing in Barbados, to the creation and building of Port St. Charles, and the building of the magnificent beachfront resort development of St. Peter’s Bay, and now this second Marina Development, Port Ferdinand. Thank you, your faith has given me the strength and endurance I needed to help achieve what we are embarking upon here today.
Also, I must thank my fellow Directors and shareholders in this venture – Philip Tempro, Gary Morse and Sir Kyffin and David Simpson for their shared vision and aspirations in bringing this development to life and adding to the tourism product here in Barbados.
A special thanks goes to Gary Morse and his family for their confidence in this project, and partnering with us yet again in this venture. Gary has created a family-owned and operated business in Central Florida, namely “The Villages”, which is now the largest and fastest growing retirement hometown in the world, having over 35,000 homes, and about 75,000 residents, with two towns and eight country clubs and 400-plus holes of golf, not to mention two polo fields, which of course are very dear to my heart. The Villages is now the largest community between Gainsville and Orlando, in Florida.
Gary is no stranger to the Caribbean, having done developments in the Bahamas, Montserrat and Jamaica, and has been coming here to Barbados for the last 13 years. It is very heartening that a successful business man like Gary Morse has the confidence in Barbados and in this project. The investment of Gary’s talents, resources and vast experience will help make this development a success.
At this time when investors are running for the hills, he is contributing to the economic well-being of Barbados, as well as helping us to keep more than 1 000 workers at JADA employed.
I would like to thank Prime Minister Thompson, for believing in this project, and lending us his presence here to break ground for us.
This development will have 96 resort condominium units to add to the tourism product; 576 beds, as well as 120 berths for boats.
The funding for the financing of the development and construction costs of this project will all be brought in from foreign exchange sources, and together with the projected foreign exchange income generated by the sale of these units, we will put 750 MILLION DOLLARS in foreign exchange into the economy of Barbados.
It will employ some 500 people during the construction phase of 5 years, and will employ about 300 people on an ongoing basis after.
We also need to acknowledge the work of our architect – Ian Morrison, whose work is nothing short of brilliant, and our other consultants, who have worked tirelessly with Philip and myself in the planning of this project.
The actual construction of this development will be carried out by JADA Builders, led by Philip Tempro, who has gained vast experience in this type of construction, and will do a great job.
He has grown from strength to strength in the last 14 years, since he joined up with us, and has become the driving force behind JADA, which is now the largest employer in the construction industry in Barbados. Without him, this development would not have come about.
We would also like to acknowledge David and Sir Kyffin Simpson who also joined with us and have contributed to the development of our country.
As stated before, during its construction, this project will employ some 500 Barbadians, during an anticipated building period of over 5 years, and we will use Barbadian produced materials wherever possible. We will also do major rehabilitation works to the sea shore, to stabilize, and enhance it, and we need to acknowledge the sterling input from the Coastal Zone Management Unit, and the Town and Country Planning Department for their help and cooperation in the design, planning and implementation of this important aspect of the work in this development.
We will also be putting in the first bascule bridge in Barbados on a major highway, and we would like to thank all at the Ministry of Public Works, for their help in the design of this innovation in our country.
Our embarking on this venture at this time is an indication of our confidence in the future of Barbados, which is one of the leaders in the Caribbean, due to our stable government and their good economic management of the Nation’s resources, which redound to the benefit of the business community in our island, and all who live in it.
I would at this time encourage the businesses that did well in the boom years, to now invest some of the profits they made at that time into the development of our nation, and not just put it in their back pockets, to wait for better days. It is a time to give back and by doing so ensure that workers are not sent home, and the development of our nation continues on its path.
We ask that the Lord smile on this endeavour that we are embarking on, and we pray for the continued good health and safety of all our team.
I thank you all for coming this morning to help us launch this PROJECT.
What is Port Ferdinand? (The Official Spew)
Port Ferdinand is a 15 acre exclusive residential private marina community, located in Six Men’s, St. Peter on the picturesque island of Barbados. Only a five minute drive from Speightstown, the island’s oldest city, and about thirty minutes from the airport, Port Ferdinand is a remote boat lover’s paradise yet all of life’s luxuries and conveniences are close at hand or just a short water taxi away.
The development features 120 berths and 96 three-bedroom condominiums in four different styles all with grand views of the captivating horseshoe shaped marina, turquoise sea, breathtaking sunsets and inviting lift bridge which welcomes sea travelers and allows access to large yachts and sailboats. Each condominium has its own private berth with convenient and spacious dock side storage room.
Phase one will feature 30 beautiful three-bedroom South Lagoon apartments with just over 2100 square feet of open concept floor plan along with 10 exceptional Viceroy Point apartments ranging between 2300 and 2550 square feet. Viceroy Point is the tip of land closest to the sea at the mouth of the marina and the unique location affords a special curved apartment layout that affords its guests 270 degree views of both land and sea. Viceroy apartments have their own private covered parking area, pool, Jacuzzi, gazebo and deck. The Development will be fitted out with modern building management systems and every condominium will be well provisioned for technology expansions such as computerized lighting, security, audio visual and surround sound packages.
Phase Two will include 40 breathtaking North Lagoon apartments and 16 coveted Hill Side properties nestled under the cut rock escarpment all with elevated views.
Port Ferdinand neighbours Barbados’ only other private luxury marina, Port St. Charles; a sister marina for which residents of Port Ferdinand will have membership to the exclusive Yacht Club.
Amenities include 24 hour security and concierge service, modern gym, spa, experience shower, yoga room, kids club, entertainment room (adult recreation center with pool and card tables), business center, visual conferencing, function and meeting rooms, center island pool and gazebo, water taxi service, children’s playground, membership to Port St. Charles Yacht Club, +2.5 parking spaces available per apartment and much more.
The Development team consists of the award winning architect Ian Morrison, renowned Barbados developer and builder Bjorn Bjerkhamn (Chairman) and respected contractor and developer Philip Tempro (Chief Executive Officer). Port Ferdinand will be meticulously constructed by the discerning team at Jada Builders Inc. whose most notable projects include Port St. Charles marina, Saint Peter’s Bay luxury west coast development, and Sapphire Beach Condominiums. With more than forty years of construction and development experience this team offers incomparable quality, handsome finishes and excellent value.
The units will be offered for sale in 2012 on completion of the infrastructure and berths. Port Ferdinand is not intended for pre-sale prior to this time.