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Chin hopping mad

Published: 
Monday, July 30, 2018
UdeCOTT invites Invaders Bay tenders
The Invaders Bay Plan attached to the current UdeCOTT tenders ad which businessman Derek Chin claims is a replica of his Streets of the World project.

Businessman Derek Chin is now angry and questioning an advertisement recently posted by the Urban Development Corporation of T&T Limited (UdeCOTT) for current tender requests for expressions of interest for the development of lands at Invaders Bay.

The ad recently posted gave the period of tender from July 27, 2018-August 30, 2018, with a submission deadline of August 30, 2018.

But Chin yesterday expressed shock and confusion to the T&T Guardian of this development, given the fact that since 2011 his Dachin Enterprises had proposed to the People’s Partnership administration a $1 billion Invader’s Bay Development Project—Streets of the World—for the lands.

“Has UdeCOTT decided to by-pass our previous approval of my Streets of the World Project and another’s marina by the last administration?” Chin said.

“Do we have to reapply again? Everyone knows of my vision and plan, which puts me back to square one having done all that work and spent millions.”

Chin also claimed UdeCOTT used his plan in the ad and expressed disgust.

He said he has since held talks with several stakeholders, including government officials both in the past and present administrations on the issue.

In a T&T Guardian article on September 28, 2015, Trade and Industry Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon said she welcomed Chin’s project and added that “Government is willing to meet with him about the long-delayed project.” Gopee-Scoon had also promised a detailed review and analysis.

Yesterday, Chin detailed those plans again, saying the Streets of the World project will be a 22-acre ultimate destination theme park venue appealing to the entire Caribbean.

Officials of the Disney and Hettema Group, who specialise in uniquely-creative designs for theme parks, museums and cultural attractions, have already visited T&T and held extensive discussions with Chin on the project.

The only obstacle in the way for Chin over the years was the signing of papers to acquire ten acres of land allotted to Dachin Enterprises so that construction can begin. But with this latest UdeCOTT development, Chins admitted he was hurt.

“I only saw the ad yesterday (Friday) and it’s like a snub. Our Streets project, which everyone is aware of including yourself, was approved by the last administration and we were never declined. We were awaiting the awarding of land to do the approved project,” Chin said.

“My Street of the World plans are now in the public domain and followed the criteria for the development of these lands.

“It’s certainly not fair to now place us back to square one and others to copy and submit a similar vision.

“Same with the person who was awarded the approval for his marina development in conjunction with my project. We find it very unfair and are investigating to determine our next approach in light of the previous approval of our projects.”

Chin also wondered whether UdeCOTT’s current move was legal.

“It’s very unfair and could be illegal.”

He lamented that because of the run-around he has been getting on his project since 2011 he had since invested the money in a MovieTowne Guyana project which opens later this year. That investment was worth over $300 million.

“Trinidad lost out! As I said the Streets project would have taken this country to a totally new level and solve the tourism issue,” he said.

In a previous article in the T&T Guardian, Chin had also said he had investors lined up for the Invaders Bay project.

“Disney and Hettema are now waiting on me to get possession of the land. When that happens, I will start to bring in the investors. I have a lot of people on the side that are interested in this project, including Coca-Cola and M&M, who will both put up stores,” Chin said in a previous article published by the T&T Guardian.

One of the main attractions of the project, Chin said, will be the Main Street, a re-creation of Frederick Street, downtown Port-of-Spain, in the 1930s complete with a tram car.

Chin explained that the streets will reflect the rich culture of T&T and there will be a Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum highlighting T&T’s Carnival history, including elements of the steelpan and calypso. There are also plans for a live entertainment theatre and an aquarium featuring leatherback turtles, fish and a coral reef.

Efforts to reach UdeCOTT chairman Noel Garcia yesterday for comment were unsuccessful as calls to his cell phone went straight to voicemail.

Up to press time, UdeCOTT corporate communications manager, Roxanne Stapleton-Whyms, also did not reply to a detailed list of questions on the matter sent to her via email yesterday afternoon.

MORE ON UDECOTT’S AD

The Urban Development Corporation of Trinidad and Tobago Limited (UdeCOTT) currently possesses 75.37 acres (30.5 hectares) of undeveloped, new greened, reclaimed land situated in west Trinidad along the Audrey Jeffers Highway known as Invaders Bay (hereinafter ‘the Lands’).

As part of UdeCOTT’s 21st Century Infrastructure Transformation Programme, UdeCOTT wishes to identify suitably qualified entities to submit proposals to develop the Lands in accordance with its Conceptual Development Plan.

The Conceptual Development Plan includes:

• Office and Commercial Spaces

• Recreational and Entertainment Facilities

• Hotel Accommodation

• Conference and Convention Facilities

• Residential Spaces

• Marina/Ferry Terminal

n EXPRESSION OF INTEREST (EOI) REQUIREMENTS

Interested parties are invited to submit proposals for one or more areas of development. The proposals must demonstrate experience in undertaking similar development projects. The EOI submission must at a minimum include:

(i) A Letter of Introduction

(ii) The Company Profile inclusive of proof of Incorporation

(iii) A description of all senior members of the Company

(iii) A description of similar development projects undertaken by the entity

(v) Minimum of three (3) years audited financial statements or management accounts

(vi) General overview and concept for the proposed development

(vii) A description of the intended financing arrangements

Participants may associate to enhance their team but must indicate in their submissions whether their association is in the form of a Joint Venture, Consortium or Sub-Consultancy.

All members of such associations must have real and well-done inputs to the assignment and their contribution must be detailed in the submission.

UDeCOTT reserves the right to develop a shortlist of entities based on an assessment of the responses received. Interested entities are therefore required to submit a comprehensive response. Failure to so do result in exclusion from further processes.

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