Monday, 24 May 2010

Amos Group - Waterfront Presentation

Minutes of AMOS GROUP of  CHRISTIANS TOGETHER IN  JERSEY on Wed. May 19th at 5.15 at  St. Thomas

ELeQ welcomed Mr. Stephen Izatt to the meeting.   SI has been Managing Director of WEB (Waterfront Enterprise Board) since May 2007 having run his own development companies and more recently been involved in the Edinburgh waterfront.  

He went through a Powerpoint presentation, making these points (and others)

The landfill started in 1985.

WEB was set up in 1996 with the Chief Minister as chief shareholder and all money needing to be approved by the Treasury.
It has  received about £43m in public money.

He said there were some myths about, for example that the public has had no say, though there have been several public consultations  or that it is little used.     He agrees that the Radisson is badly designed and the swimming pool was not an adequate replacement for Fort Regent pool, though it was built exactly as requested by the States at the time.  He also agrees the cinema is in the wrong place but there is a long term lease to Cineworld. so it will stay for some years.   It is still not clear what the effect of the collapse of company running Liquid will be.

His present directors, John Tibbo and Peter Crespel+ States members Dan Murphy, John Refault and Eddie Noel are very supportive.+ finance director Lee Henry.    There has  been quite a turnover of chairmen (5), States directors (16),managing directors (3) and changes in States policies.   However WEB has assets worth £88m and a cash balance of £6m.  It intends the future assets should remain in Public hands, generating an income year on year.
Some WEB developments include Les Jardins de la Mer, Route du Port Elizabeth, the carpark with a grass area on top, Maritime House and Albert and Victoria Place Housing.   All these have been successful.  The Leisure Centre is less successful and still has a 20 yr lease.   Harbour Reach has 42 units, all of which were sold off plan, though he  agrees they are too small. The Radisson is picking up, helped by being an international brand.  Liberation Station and Liberty Wharf have been completed while Harcourt have been given  a 60 day deadline to complete their work on the abattoir site.  He is proud that the Weighbridge site remains open space and didn't have an Art  Gallery built on it.  Many of the flats in Castle Quay phase one have also been sold and are slightly bigger..

In the future they are planning Westwater, 11 expensive apartments behind the Radisson and Zephyrus   58 apartments, sharing a common basement.

He hopes there will be a debate on June 22nd on the setting up of a States of Jersey Development Company with the prime purpose of acting as a delivery vehicle for surplus States of Jersey property.    It will have an independent chairman, a managing director, finance director and non-executive directors, both States and non-States.  Hopefully it can be set up by the end of the year.  

Other big projects include East of Albert going step by step, first the New North Quay.   He says it must retain low cost berths for local boat owners.   Also SoJDC may have to oversee  developments at the old JCG, St Saviours Hospital and the North of town master plan..

He foresees the Esplanade Quarter development proceeding building by building as there are firm commitments from  finance clients, starting at the Castle St end   Only when several are complete would there be any thought about sinking the road.  ( We didn't get into the wisdom of that, which Amos has strongly opposed)

Our overall feeling was that there was a real strategic vision and a determination to get the maximum benefit for the people of  Jersey.  We thanked Mr Izatt for his presentation.

1 comment:

Nick Palmer said...

He hopes there will be a debate on June 22nd on the setting up of a States of Jersey Development Company with the prime purpose of acting as a delivery vehicle for surplus States of Jersey property.

Hmmm. This idea should be minutely scrutinised like a hawk (if it was interested in property carve-ups).